'He's quality' Hull FC wary of Marc Sneyd threat as Simon Grix instructs same remit

Marc Sneyd in action against Hull FC last season.
-Credit: (Image: SW Pix)

Hull FC will meet one of the true greats of their modern history this Sunday afternoon, with Marc Sneyd facing his former club once again.

Hitting his straps at Salford Red Devils since returning to his debut club two and a half years ago, Sneyd currently leads the way for Super League Man of Steel points. He's in top form, with the 33-year-old showing no signs of laying down.

An icon at Hull for his two Lance Todd trophy wins as the Airlie Birds won back-to-back Challenge Cups at Wembley, Sneyd is still ighly thought of to this day, with interim Hull coach Simon Grix knowing too well the dangers he poses.

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"He's the standout kicker in the competition," Grix said ahead of the clash. "He's got the ball on a string. He can put the ball where he wants it and he makes it really awkward for you, not only with long kicking and territorally but there's been a few really good ones recently where he's feinging and chipping it to the coner. It's almost football chat but he's got that quality about him.

"We can't make the game about Marc Sneyd, though, we've got to defend the play and if he does put them quality kicks, we have to scrap for everything and try to cover what's behind us. There will be occasions where he'll put us under the pump, but if we've got bodies moving and more people in the picture, then we've got more chance of coming up with the goods. For us, it's just about concentration."

Naturally, Hull will show Sneyd the respect he deserves, with Salford doing the double over Hull last season. They've the team bang in form, while Grix's side are still finding their feet, albeit with some improved performances in recent weeks.

"It'd be nice to go beyond four games and not fall off," Grix continued. "We're still looking at performance and the little details and trying to get people better. That's our remit as coaches at the moment. The result would be absolutely awesome to get, but we need to make sure we're getting better and if we do that, then we're getting closer each time.

"We've got some challenges this week. We've mentioned before the number of people before who are carrying bits and bobs and who are unavailble to us. It's a challenge but it's also an exciting oppurtunity. We maybe see a couple of young kids get a came this week and we can see their enegy and enthasium out there."

One of those young players is Will Kirby, who could be given his first-team debut over the Pennines. The back-row forward joins a 21-man squad containing many of the club's exciting young prospects, including Logan Moy, Lewis Martin, Will Gardiner, etc.

And for Hull, who are freshend up after a week off and some time away from camp, it's a chance now to lay down another marker against a quality opponent they can learn a thing or two from.

"Plenty have come back with sun tans but they've jumped straight back it," Grix added. "They've been good. We've tried some different stuff this week. We're looking forward to it and that's the challenge now is to find that consistency. We know we have to be really good to take anything away from them.

"They're the form team. They play a nice brand they're disciplined with it. They're quite aggressive in the way they defend and their quite expansive with the way they play with the ball.

"Their transition is really good and if you're not on it, they can catch you. It's not by accident, they practice this, they're well-drilled, and they don't change too much game to game. They have their way of playing and they back themselves. It's admirable and it's great in terms of consistency and discipline from them. There's some leaves we can take out of their book."

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