Written by John Davidson
He might only be 18 but Connor Wynne looked at home in his Super League debut against Salford.
The Hull FC custodian, called into action against the Red Devils with both Jamie Shaul and Jake Connor out, and Hakim Miloudi on loan with Toronto, played the full 80 minutes in Sunday’s Airlie Birds’ win.
It was a calm and composed performance by Wynne, who did not put a foot wrong at the AJ Bell Stadium. He was peppered with bombs by the Salford halfbacks but handled them with ease.
Strong in defence and dangerous in support play, the teenager played with maturity beyond his years. Born and bred on Humberside, Wynne is a graduate of the City of Hull Academy.
Highly rated by the Black & Whites, the fullback joined the club in 2016 from the Skirlaugh Bulls and represented Yorkshire Academy in the Origin series last year against Lancashire.
Hull FC coach Lee Radford was pleased with his performance on debut. But he did take Wynne to task for a Twitter post he made 24 hours before the game which read: “Very, very nervous.”
Radford describe the tweet as a “schoolboy error”.
“That’s like an advertisement to Robert Lui and Jackson Hastings to sling up more high balls,” he said.
“That’s a learning curve for him but he dealt with them admirably. I am surprised he was nervous because while he’s not cocksure, it doesn’t look like too much phases him.
“I don’t know whether he was attention seeking for social media or not. ‘All the women message me’,” laughed Radford.
The Hull FC boss was much happier with his team this weekend after they grinded out a 23-16 victory.
The Black & Whites were embarrassed 63-12 by Warrington at the KCOM Stadium last week, but showed grit to beat the Red Devils.
“It was not pretty by any stretch but it was what we anticipated what it was going to be – a really hard-fought two points,” Radford admitted.
“The response of the grittiness pleased me. There was a response from certain individuals that were privately challenged as well, Scott Taylor being one of them.
“He was nowhere near last week and to get an international call-up and then lob up a performance like that was quite embarrassing.
“For him to show that response and to set the stall out like he did was really pleasing. That start went a long way to winning the game
“Salford don’t go away, they tend to be in the fight for the majority of games and this one was not different.”
Radford revealed his side’s preparation for the Salford match was disrupted with illness and injury hitting the camp.
But to respond with a win was pleasing for the coach.
“Last week nobody wants to be associated with performances like that, myself included,” he said.
“They were red-hot but we was nowhere near. All considered, the response was brilliant.
“Myself included, we’ve had six blokes off this week with diarrhea.”