Peter Gentle delighted with Hull FC's win over Bradford Bulls but says better will be needed at St Helens
A DELIGHTED Peter Gentle praised his Hull FC players following their first win of the season – before warning a harsh lesson awaits if they don't respect the ball more.
Gentle was delighted with Hull's defensive exploits in their 28-12 victory over Bradford Bulls at the KC Stadium yesterday.
Up and running in Super League, Hull now head to St Helens on Friday with Gentle warning further improvements need to be made to build on their win.
"It is a short turn-around to St Helens on Friday and without being disrespectful to Bradford, if we give that sort of ball to Saints, we'll have to defend even better again," said Gentle.
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"We are going to learn a tough lesson if we keep giving the ball away like that.
"We have to earn the right to play some football. We get excited because we are doing some special things on the training paddock, but you have to earn the right to do that on the field and we are pushing things that aren't there at the moment.
"We put a lot of work into our defence this week and we held solid for a long period, despite what we were doing with the ball.
"We put a lot of pressure on our defence, but to keep them to nil in the first half was impressive."
Despite his words of warning, Gentle cut a contented figure after watching his team run in five tries against the Bulls.
Keeping the visitors scoreless for over 60 minutes, Hull's defence caught the eye, and needed to after the home side surrendered possession all too cheaply.
While mistakes littered their attacking play, Hull were still able to record a comfortable victory, helped by home debut tries for Jason Crookes, Shannon McDonnell and the impressive Daniel Holdsworth.
The latter started in a new-look half-back partnership with Richard Horne, who responded to being left out at Leeds with a man of the match display.
Brett Seymour was forced to watch from the stands, sat beside assistant coach Andy Hay.
Having asked Horne to do the same at Leeds, Gentle believes leaving Seymour out could prove beneficial to the scrum-half.
"We had Brett Seymour sitting up with the coaches and having a look at the game from up there," added Gentle.
"We made a few changes to the side and we thought it was necessary, but those guys will be back.
"Horney missed the Tenerife trip and we got a vital part of our pre-season done there. He's starting to pick up now after playing catch-up. To sit back last week and have a look was very beneficial to him."
HULL have revealed Gareth Ellis will see a surgeon once again tomorrow, with Gentle accompanying the player to discuss the available options following his foot injury.
"There are a couple of options open there," explained Gentle.
"We've had scans sent over from Australia to get a look at the make-up of his foot. We are not dragging this out any longer than it needs to be, but tomorrow we will have a definite answer."