Simon Grix takes 'base' from Hull FC defeat as young players and away support praised

Simon Grix says his young Hull FC players did what he asked them to do at St Helens. On first glance, a 58-0 scoreline does the Black and Whites little favours, but they were always up against it on Merseyside, depleted, and fielding nine players aged 23 or under.

Four of them were teenagers, with Logan Moy, Jack Charles, Lewis Martin, and Zach Jebson all having their moments, with fellow youngsters Davy Litten, Matty Laidlaw, and Will Gardiner also involved.

And heading over the Pennines with such a scenario, it was always a case of Saints by how many, and the home side didn't disappoint, scoring ten tries, some of which were in some pretty ruthless fashion.

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Hull, meanwhile, showed some spirit, and their effort wasn't in question. It was just a firm reality of where they're currently at, with the injury and suspension counts not helping their cause.

"If you judge the game on the scoreline alone, it's not pretty, but it felt a bit different," interim head coach Grix said post-match. "I thought our effort was good. Our young lads did what I asked them to do; they came with some enthusiasm and some energy. We came undone through inexperience at times and a determined and relentless St Helens team.

"They were really good, and you can tell that they've been hurting. They've come up here and done a really professional job, so they've done their part. For us, I wasn't judging our boys on the scoreboard. We all want the two points, but we're not there at the moment. We need to get our heads sorted for the talentless stuff, and I didn't think it was too far off tonight.

"Herman (Ese'ese) did a good stint for us out there as a more senior forward. Danny Houghton was very good, but we have to look after the old boy now and give Denive (Balmforth) a chance out there. I thought he showed some good qualities too. I thought it felt a bit different. Could we argue that the towel has been thrown in on occasion before? But I thought they kept going here. The inexperience of us and the quality of the opposition really undid us, but in terms of effort, I don't think we got done there."

Identifying his standouts, Grix continued: "Logan Moy is a tiny little thing at the back; he got belted a couple of times, but he was brave. He got up. He made some errors but he didn't let them effect him and he got on with his game.

"I thought Zach Jebson came on and gave us some energy. I thought Matty Laidlaw was brilliant, as was Will Gardiner. I can keep going with some of that youth in the team. They were good.

"We weren't good enough, though, and there's still a long way to go, but as far as effort goes, it felt a little bit different. They gave themselves a baseline for what their effort needs to be. We just need to add all the other bits to it and we might be a challenge for someone coming up soon."

Grix also paid tribute to Hull's travelling fans, with a loyal core backing the side at the Totally Wicked Stadium, despite a turbulent week for the club that saw Tony Smith depart and two players in Tex Hoy and Fa'amanu Brown follow suit

"The fans were brilliant," Grix added. "The boys made sure they went and let them know that they appreciated it, which is really important.

"It's tough, getting boo'd at home and all of those things we've seen recently. I'm a fan of all sports, and I get dirty on my team when they're not going well. We all want them to win. There is no malice in any sports fan; they just want their team to win and see a better version of themselves.

"All I can say is that we have been, and we will continue to strive to get back to being that team that they can be proud of but in terms of effort, if they judge the game alone on that, I think those young lads did make them proud tonight."

Read more: Decimated Hull FC annihilated again at St Helens on tough night in Merseyside