Francis Cummins makes Franklin Pele admission after two try Hull FC reserves display

Hull FC's Franklin Pele carts the ball up.
Hull FC's Franklin Pele carts the ball up. -Credit:SW Pix

Franklin Pele put his hand up to play for Hull FC Reserves after being ‘disappointed’ with his own account in Friday’s Super League defeat to Warrington Wolves.

The big prop played for nearly an hour at Victoria Park against the Wire reserves, scoring two of Hull's six tries in a 34-20 victory. Coming off the interchange, Pele lined up alongside Jayden Okunbor, with the duo running the ball well and putting in a fair account.

Speaking to Hull Live after the game, Francis Cummins praised that attitude, with the reserves' head coach content with the minutes on show for both players, with Pele staying over in Warrington overnight before running out again this Saturday afternoon.

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"That was it for both of them," Cummins said of Hull's overseas duo. "Frank wasn't happy with how he played last night, so he put his hand up to play. Grixy wanted him to play as well.

"It's the same for Ock playing in the middle again; he just needs to keep going with more minutes and pick up more confidence, but they both contributed and saw a bit of the ball, which was pleasing.

"There were some other young lads who were trying to get a bit of rhythm into their game and some lads who tried to put their hand up to get back into the first team and get selected. We made hard work of it, but that's where we are with the reserves. It changes every time we play.

"You could say that was a good reserve team today, but then some people haven't played for a while, and then there are different combinations and things like that, but we're okay with it. I'm not overly concerned with the results anyway. The nature of reserves is to try to get people ready for the first team. We feel like we're doing that."

Elsewhere, Cummins also praised the likes of Will Gardiner and Matty Laidlaw, who have played in the first-team in recent weeks and who both put in tenacious performances in a game that swayed one way and then the other.

It was Hull who started on the front foot as Davy Litten chased down an instinctive kick from Logan Moy to score. However, Wire then hit Hull with three tries from Joe Bullock, Cai Taylor-Wray, and Frank Sergent. Pele, who came on alongside Okunbor, powered over before half-time, with the Wire leading 16-12.

The lead changed hands again after the break, with Denive Balmforth racing away for a superb score out of dummy half. Wire then hit the front through Sergent, but it was then Hull who stepped it up, scoring through Pele again, who charged to the line, before Sully Medforth and Moy added the gloss to a hard-fought win.

"We've got some people there who put their hands up," Cummins, who also singled out Liam Tindall, continued. "I thought Will Gardiner and Matty Laidlaw were good. They just do what they do. They rarely change what they are.

"Liam Tindall also carried really well, and he looked a step above the grade. We also blooded a few academy boys who are still finding their feet. We're a little bit all over, but once we hit our straps, there's a good team in there, but the nature of it means we haven't got lots of prep time, so you've got to accept that things won't be pure. We generally have a team run. That's all we do."

There was also a welcome return for Kye Armstrong in the reserves, who played his first game of the year after overcoming a shoulder injury. But for Cummins, and like Jake Trueman in the first team, there's no pressure on those returning to playing, with Armstrong solid on his comeback and better for it.

"I met Kye early in the season and got to know his background and what he's been through," Cummins added. "For those lads coming back, it's just about getting on the field. It takes a bit of time. We don't want to put pressure on him. He's done well, and we've just got to build him up physically and get his confidence going. That will come."

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Hull Reserves Starting XIII: 1. Logan Moy; 2. Callum Shaw, 3. Davy Litten, 4. Ryan Westerman, 5. Liam Tindall; 6. Ben Johnson, 7. Sully Medforth; 8. Will Gardiner, 9. Jeylan Hodgson, 10. Matty Laidlaw; 11. Zach Jebson, 12. Lennon Bursell; 13. Denive Balmforth.

Interchange: 14. Mackenzie Harman, 15. Jayden Okunbor, 16. Kye Armstrong, 17. Franklin Pele

18th man: 18. Will Kirby

Tries: Litten, Pele 2, Balmforth, Medforth, Moy. Goals: Westerman 5/6

Scoring System: 0-6, 6-6, 10-6, 16-6, 16-12, HT, 16-18, 20-18, 20-22, 20-28, 20-34