Gentle: Hull derby the toughest
Hull FC head coach Peter Gentle says his side enter "the toughest derby" in Super League on Saturday is good shape following an intense week on the training field.by NRL
Hull FC head coach Peter Gentle says his side enter "the toughest derby" in Super League on Saturday is good shape following an intense week on the training field.
The Black and Whites take on Hull KR in the final game of the opening day of the Magic Weekend in what will be Gentle's third taste of the Hull derby, following a pre-season friendly between the two sides and Hull's 36-6 win on Good Friday.
Coming on the back of a frustrating display against London Broncos last weekend, it presents a big challenge to Gentle's men against a team which racked up 70 points against Castleford Tigers on the same day.
But speaking to www.hullfc.com ahead of the event at Manchester's Etihad Stadium, Gentle said the thought of playing in the sport's biggest derby has refocused his players at training this week.
"I believe ours is the toughest derby. It's a true city derby and while we won the last one, it still took us a few weeks to get over the bruises and also the emotional high of the game," he said.
"It's not only the players who feel it emotionally, the whole city rides the rollercoaster with us. It's a game you want to be involved in and there is no better game for us on the back of a disappointing performance against London last time out."
He continued, "I haven't had any experience of the Magic Weekend before, so from my point of view it's just like preparing for an away game but against Hull KR.
"It's probably a bit of a blessing to be on a bus for a few hours before the match. The team gets to spend a bit of time together beforehand and that's better than standing in a corner of a dressing room and being left to your own devices.
"We have a lot of experienced players and quite a few who have experienced a Hull derby before. They know what to expect and that was invaluable last time as they got up and spoke to the rest of the squad before the game.
"No doubt they'll be helping out the younger guys or the ones who haven't played in a Hull derby before once again and telling them a few things about what to expect."
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