Hull FC prop forward Liams Watts has admitted he needs to work on his poor disciplinary record ahead of the 2018 campaign.
Although outstanding when dawning the black and whites shirt, he’ll be all to familiar with the surroundings of Red Hall, given he was sent off on three separate occasions, and handed a yellow card during another incident for a total suspension of six matches throughout the Super League season.
There was lots of debate and questions raised over a couple of these incidents, one in particular where Watts’ caught Michael McIlorum with an elbow to the face, coincidentally ending in defeat against Wigan. On replay however, it deemed to show the Warriors’ hooker had got his head in the wrong place whilst trying to make the tackle.
However he’s keen to erase his issues of 2017, and get to work on improving his discipline in 2018.
Liam Watts commented:
“I had a good start to the campaign and played some solid rugby, but then I got banned against Catalans and missed four weeks there, which was frustrating,”
“I started to find my feet again and then picked up another suspension and when you miss weeks like that it does catch up on you.”
“But I thought after that in the back quarter of the year I really consolidated myself and got to grips with my game. I cut all the over keenness to try and do something for the team.”
“Sometimes I was guilty of trying too hard to make something happen rather than just working hard and letting the team overcome things. That’s a focus for me ahead of next year.”
Watts also felt he was harshly dealt with on a number of occasions during the Super League campaign as he recalled one instance where he was handed a four-game ban for a dangerous tackle against Catalans Dragons in the second fixture of the season.
“I thought the Catalans one at home was a bit strict but if I don’t get in that tackle then I’m getting a talking to off Radders in the Monday morning video,”
“The punishment on that was harsh and then the Wigan one on Michael McIlorum was what it was. We all have our opinions on that one.”
Some may argue his record throughout 2017 was ultimately what cost his place in Wayne Bennett’s England World Cup squad, as he was arguably the stand-out forward at Hull FC, as Opta stats show a comparison to Scott Taylor.