‘He’s a good player’ Simon Grix provides Denive Balmforth verdict as young players set for more opportunities

Hull FC's Denive Balmforth celebrates scoring his side's first try with Jack Ashworth and Ligi Sao.
-Credit: (Image: Getty)


Simon Grix has given the same assessment of Denive Balmforth’s performance against Warrington Wolves as he did in the Leeds Rhinos game last week. The interim coach acknowledged once again Balmforth’s ‘moments’ but insists the player still has ‘quite a bit’ to work on.

Once again, Balmforth had a big say in Hull’s outcome playing off the bench. He intercepted a Warrington pass to race just over 50 metres to score a try, and then kicked for Liam Sutcliffe to score another. Last week it was a similar pattern, with Balmforth scoring off a scoot from acting half either side of other involvements for Lewis Martin and Cam Scott tries.

Of course, there are other areas to touch up, with Grix also conscious of the fact that the young hooker is only 20, with more opportunities to be handed out to both Balmforth and other young players as Hull enter the second half of the Super League season.

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Asked about Balmforth's performance in Saturday's post-match press conference, Grix said: "There's a bit of hype around Denive at the moment, and everyone wants to talk about him. He's a good player.

"We saw again some moments where he can do some really good stuff, but I'll say what I said last week: if he wants to be a player every week, then he's still got quite a bit of work to do when the ball isn't in his hands, whether that's in offence or defence.

"I'm not trying to dig him out here because he is a good player, but for example, the play of the ball when they jumped in, he's missed his assignment there. It's those bits that take energy, fitness, and awareness. He's got to improve in all of those areas, but I won't take it away from him; he came away with some really good plays for us."

Elsewhere, the likes of Logan Moy, Lewis Martin, and Will Gardiner all impressed despite the 24-18 defeat. Grix, meanwhile, has been impressed with the conduct and attitude of his young players and insists more opportunities will come this year, with the likes of Davy Litten, Jack Charles, Harvey Barron, Zach Jebson, Matty Laidlaw, et al. waiting in the wings.

"Those young lads have gotten some exposure this year," Grix added. "They have all been brilliant. All of those who have come in and out, chopped and changed, they've not sulked, and they've got on with it, playing with pride for the reserves or for us.

"They've had a dig, and we wouldn't expect anything different from professional lads, but we also appreciate the frustration when they see their mates go out and get a run on the weekend. They just need to keep going really well on the training field and in the reserves. Opportunities will come. There's still a long way to go in this season."

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