Sport: Hull FC talking points: Kane Evans' best, debuts shine, Hodgson tactic and season context

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Hull FC got a much needed victory in Toulouse, with the Black and Whites running out 30-6 winners in the pink city.

With Kane Evans on fire, and their new debuts fronting up, the two points were always going back to East Yorkshire. Here Hull Live looks at the talking points.

Evans’ best of the season

There’s only one place to start after that and it’s the performance of Kane Evans. He was absolutely magnificent for Hull FC, leading the side with an unrivalled work rate, some big carries and a devastating offload game.

Read more: Brett Hodgson delighted for Hull FC debut players and 'brilliant' Kane Evans

Evans had to step up in Toulouse. He’s been getting better and better as the season has gone on, but the bar was raised again here. He was superb.

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Backing up some honest admissions earlier this week, Evans led the way in a game Hull simply had to win. He was a true leader out there, also revving his team-mates up and setting the example throughout.

It truly was a phenomenal display and it had to be after all the talk of culture coming out of the club this week. Evans just gets it. He understands it. It’s been building for a while and there’s no questioning his own mental strength - he’s ready to rock and roll now and he’s only going to get better.

Context of win

This was a big victory for Hull FC, who now sit sixth again in Super League. It was a game they had to win. Was it perfect? No. But it was something to build on with Hull getting through their sets and turning the ball over on their own terms.

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As desire to defend goes then fair play to the Black and Whites. They got energy off defending and celebrated each Toulouse error as a little win, none more so than the play from Ellis Longstaff to chase down Olly Ashall-Bott.

Despite a mini blip in the first half that saw Toulouse take the lead, there was a togetherness about Hull. Led by Evans, Hull stuck to their guns. When they made mistakes, their heads didn’t go down and instead they seemed to galvanise themselves.

Mentally that was a superb win but with games against Huddersfield and St Helens coming up, nobody is getting carried away just yet.

Men in Black and White

Hull FC gave a debut out to Will Smith at Toulouse. The Fresh Prince of West Hull lined up at five-eighth alongside Luke Gale, who is starting to look the part in black and white, and did a sterling job.

Again, he wasn’t perfect, but considering that was his first game of rugby in a couple months having flown halfway around the world last week, it wasn’t bad.

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Smith put the kick in for Ellis Longstaff, who was excellent and came up with some huge plays, to score and then got the debut try himself as he supported Jack Walker’s break.

There’s stuff to work on but for a first audition that was something to go on at least.

Jake Connor roaming

For the first time since March 2020, Jake Connor lined up in the centre for Hull FC. Except he wasn’t really at centre, and instead he had a free role to roam around the field as he pleased.

That was evident for Hull’s first try with Connor wrapping round to the left edge to fire the ball to Josh Simm to score. Talk about exorcising your demons. It was the same play as the Bureta Faraimo interception last week but this one stuck.

That wasn’t Connor’s only joy and in popping up in key areas of the field as an extra pivot, he twisted and tormented Toulouse all evening. In truth, this was a tactical masterclass by Brett Hodgson. Picture Tom Trbojevic in Origin a couple of years back. Let’s see how much credit he gets for it.

The Kids are Alright

Young winger Harvey Barron became the fourth young player to make his Hull FC debut this year after Denive Balmforth, Matty Laidlaw and Charlie Severs. And like the other three young guns, the 19-year-old had his moments.

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His first introduction was a tackle, with Barron smothering up his opposite man showing both desire and alertness to get in Toulouse’s face. There were a couple of really strong carries out the backfield too, with Barron then getting his reward, not giving up on the play and touching down in the right corner towards the end of the game.

Fairytale stuff, and everything Hull FC are trying to do right now. Back the youth. They are the future of this club.

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