Sauaso Sue is relishing his first taste of the Hull derby and facing former teammate Jake Clifford on Good Friday.
Clifford’s Hull FC host Sue and Hull KR this Friday in Super League’s Easter rivalry round. The Samoan international and the Aussie halfback were teammates in the NRL last year at the Newcastle Knights, while current Robins boss Willie Peters was also an assistant coach at the Knights.
Now they are on opposite sides and Sue says he won’t be holding anything back against the Black & Whites and his mate Clifford.
“It’s pretty crazy how things turn out,” he told Everything Rugby League.
“But we’re here now. I’m sorry for them but I won’t be holding anything back on Friday. It’s going to be great experience.
“There’s been a bit of talk about the derby and after playing seven games you start to get a feel of how the fans and the locals are. I can’t wait for Friday.
“I’ve been told about the intensity, the fans, how vocal it is. Obviously there will be a bit of heat on the field so the intensity will rise there. It’s going to be a massive game.”
Sue has kept in touch with Clifford and fellow Hull FC back Tex Hoy since the trio swapped the Hunter for Humberside. But the Polynesian enforcer has gone for ‘radio silence’ as the derby approaches.
“We’ve been in contact quite a bit during pre-season,” he said.
“The last couple of months we haven’t been speaking, but we’re trying to keep out of each other’s way at the moment. I’m sure we’ll catch up for a beer or something after the game.”
— Hull KR (@hullkrofficial) April 5, 2023
Hull FC are struggling and have lost their past five games in a row while Hull KR have won two in a row, with four wins from the first seven rounds.
But the 30-year-old is taking nothing for granted when these two bitter rivals lock horns.
“With these derbies you don’t know what to expect,” Sue admitted.
“We’re expecting anything and making sure we prepare well and are doing everything we can control.”
Sue has made an impressive start to life in Super League. The front-rower has played in every game this season, bagging a try and averaging 75.8 metres, 17.5 tackles and 9.1 carries per game.
Sue is enjoying his time in the UK but says the open nature of Super League, compared to the more structured style of play in the NRL, has taken some time to adjust to.
“It’s been a challenge,” he said.
“Obviously winning fixes a lot of things, so the last few weeks have been enjoyable. But when we were losing it was a bit of challenge.
“I’ve settled in well. It’s always enjoyable when the family’s enjoyed it as well. My wife and kids are enjoying the transition from Australia. It’s different from back home, but we’re enjoying it.
“Super League is up there in terms of intensity. But you can’t really compare it, for myself it’s harder to defend in the middle because you don’t know what’s coming. In the NRL it’s a lot more structured.”