Westerman: Hull FC must prove top-four credentials
JOE Westerman says Hull FC expect to be a top-four team – and need to prove it – despite their indifferent start to the season and lowly league position.
Pointing to Hull's inability to match Warrington for the full 80 minutes for costing them a game he felt they were dominating, Westerman has echoed the thoughts of coach Peter Gentle.
Heading to Widnes on Saturday for yet another televised match, the back-rower says they need to work this week on winning the ruck.
But he admits Hull's biggest challenge is finding a level of consistency for the entire game at the Halton Stadium this weekend.
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"We put ourselves up there as one of the best sides in the competition," Westerman told the Mail.
"In the last 20 minutes against St Helens we were better than them and showed that we can be an 80-minute team.
"We need to work on winning the ruck this week and playing off that, but a game of rugby is 80 minutes not 60, and we have to work on that this week."
Defeat to Warrington leaves Hull in ninth place after four rounds.
Facing a Widnes team who have had two weeks to prepare for Saturday's game, due to the postponement of their fixture with Leeds because of the World Club Challenge, Hull will still head into the contest as favourites.
The Vikings are in need of a fillip, though, as their last outing saw them easily swept aside by Hull KR in their solitary win of the year.
But for now, Westerman is not concerning himself with what the opposition may hold.
Reflecting further on the Warrington loss, he insists the focus must lie with what Hull need to put right at training as they continue to try to pick themselves up.
He added: "We were very disappointed. In the first half we dominated them, we were 6-4 up, our completion rate was way up there and we were on top of them.
"We knew what we had to do in the second half, we had to up our tempo a little bit and carry on what we were doing.
"Individually, we dropped off a bit and they punished us.
"After the first try our aim was to win the possession and keep them in their half. When they scored back-to-back tries it killed us and we were disappointed in the result.
"Individually, some people dropped off and we have to work on that this week."