Crooks display impresses Gentle
Hull FC coach Peter Gentle hailed the performance of teenage centre Ben Crooks after the 19-year-old scored in the 34-20 victory over Leeds.
Crooks, the son of Hull and England great Lee Crooks, scored a late try - his first as a professional - for the hosts as they picked up their first win in five years against the reigning champions.
Playing in only his second Super League game, Crooks was one of four scorers for Hull, with Danny Tickle and Will Sharp adding to Tom Briscoe's superb double, including a length-of-the-field effort which sealed the victory at the KC Stadium on Saturday night.
"It was a good win and we worked hard for it. We had a fortnight to prepare for this game, we changed a lot of things in attack, but we also got back to basics with our defence and that was pleasing to see," said Gentle.
"Having the experienced players there makes a world of difference. As good as the young blokes have been going, it makes a difference having the experienced guys back. We still had one or two of the younger guys out there though and young Ben Crooks did very well.
"Ben is definitely a player for the future, we've had our eye on him for a while and he's definitely something for next year."
Hull made the most of a two-week break after being knocked out the Challenge Cup in the fourth round and played with a greater intensity than a Rhinos side who remain challengers in both competitions as well as having already picked up the World Club Challenge trophy this year.
Boosted further by the return from injury of five senior players, the hosts looked fresher than Leeds and made that enthusiasm count early on as Leeds coach Brian McDermott conceded.
"Hull were good, had loads of energy and started really big," said McDermott.
"The simple answer is we missed too many tackles and Hull won a lot of the collision early in the game. We fixed that up a bit and got back into it but by that time Hull had a sniff and weren't going to let go.
"We had some chances but we didn't nail them. Usually we take those, but we didn't and that made it difficult for us."