Monumental relief was written large on the face of Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson after last week’s opening-round win at Wakefield Trinity.
The Australian endured disastrous second half to his debut year in charge last season and a final-day 44-12 hammering at Wakefield raised questions about his future.
Last Sunday’s 16-12 was therefore the perfect antidote to the painful memories of the Black and Whites’ previous trip to Belle Vue and also encouraged hopes of better times ahead in 2022.
But next up for Hodgson’s side is a visit of defending champions St Helens on Saturday lunchtime in front of the Channel 4 television cameras.
The Airlie Birds will be without suspended Jake Connor for this contest after he was sent off against Wakefield for a high shot on Lee Gaskell.
Saints looked in fine shape when powering past Catalans on Super League’s opening night and it is difficult to see past an away win this weekend.
You can get 8/11 with Betfred for Kristian Woolf’s side, who will pick from an unchanged squad this week, to win both halves of the match.
Given their freescoring start to the season – they won both halves against Catalans comfortably last week – then this represents decent value.
Also, Betfred are offering 8/15 on St Helens being ahead at half-time and at full-time and 11/5 on them winning the match by between 1 and 12 points.
St Helens have won their last 11 matches against Hull and should make it 12 straight wins this weekend in what Channel 4 will hope will be another bumper TV audience.
Their opening game between Leeds Rhinos and Warrington last weekend drew a peak audience of 750,000.