Hull 45-14 Salford: Depleted hosts keep pressure on top four with dominant win
By Press Association
Last Updated: 09/06/18 11:25am
Lee Radford praised his fringe players after a depleted Hull side blew Salford away to record a resounding 45-14 victory.
Captain Danny Houghton and half-back Albert Kelly were among the players to rejoin Hull's lengthy injury list following the narrow Challenge Cup defeat at St Helens, but Radford got another strong performance against the out-of-sorts Red Devils.
The Black and Whites were 37-0 up at half-time in the Betfred Super League clash and took their foot off the gas after Bureta Faraimo completed his hat-trick.
The result moved Hull to within four points of the top two and coach Radford was delighted to keep pace with Super League's front-runners despite the injury woes.
"We'll start building when we get some numbers back but at the moment we're fighting, definitely," he said.
"The difference between 2018 and 2017 is that we've not been put to bed by anybody. In every game we've played in we've fought and it's a real credit to the culture of the group.
"We're not where we are because of our big players; we are where we are because of the job the lower numbers in our squad have done when they've come in. They've been outstanding.
"The experience that some of the blokes are gaining now will hopefully make us stronger moving forward.
"I think we've got eight or nine blokes missing but there's eight or nine blokes gaining experience."
Radford was shocked by Hull's energy levels after seeing their bid for a third straight Challenge Cup success end last weekend.
"First half in particular you wouldn't have guessed what we'd gone through on Sunday and the time they had to prepare for us," he added.
"It's one of the most pleasing wins of the season. The fact they got us at their place as well and the manner they did it in.
"It surprised me a little bit. I expected some fatigue, not only physically but mentally as well. For the first 40 minutes there was no sign of that whatsoever."
Salford scored consolation tries through Greg Johnson, Derrell Olpherts and George Griffin but they were well beaten as they suffered a sixth straight defeat.
Red Devils head coach Ian Watson admitted he is concerned about his team's slump.
"Every defeat puts you in a pressure situation and every week gets harder and harder," said Watson.
"The worrying thing is we're continually coming up with these silly little errors. Our ball retention has to be gold and until we sort that out we're not going to compete against any side."