Rugby League

Lee Radford's Hull FC are top of Super League.

Lee Radford has new perspective on early season defeat to Widnes

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Coach Lee Radford can look back on Hull's horror show at Widnes in a different light now that his side sit at the top of the Super League table.

The Black and Whites were routed 46-6 at the Vikings in the early spring - a night on which Radford revealed he was kept out of the dressing room by his soul-searching players.

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Since then they have won 12 out of 13 in all competitions to emerge as strong candidates in both league and cup, with this 30-10 success over Widnes their latest triumph.

Asked if his side now have a thirst for wins, he said: "Yeah, they've got an unbelievable amount of confidence in each other, to come back and clinch wins like they have.

"That's what was disappointing after the Widnes defeat last time around. People asked questions about our togetherness and that frustrated me.

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"You can question my tactics and my team talks, but nobody can question our togetherness or how tight we are - that frustrates me.

"We learned some lessons from that. I learned to shut up in press conferences after a game! I also learned from how I was at half-time - I didn't get a response from them.

"When you put a new side together like we have, you have to learn the hard way and you can see now that we have naturally progressed."

For Widnes, this was a case of doing too much defending early in the second half.

Hull camped on their line from the whistle, having been 6-4 up at the break, and made their pressure tell.

Second-half tries from Kirk Yeaman, Danny Houghton and Jamie Shaul got the job done with a minimum of fuss and Vikings coach Denis Betts admitted his side had done too much at the wrong end of the field.

"We came in at half-time 6-4 down, having had early chances, but we didn't get over the line," said Betts.

"They were punching through the line, played with a lot of pace and we wasted a lot of energy in that first half. We got into their 20-metre zone once.

"I thought we had regrouped and talked about building pressure but they're a quality side and showed why they are top of the league."

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