To say Andy Last’s stint in charge of Hull FC has been eventful would be an understatement.

The interim head coach took the reins just days before lockdown brought the season to a halt and things haven’t got much easier.

Shortly after making his bow as a Super League head coach he was forced to contend with a coronavirus crisis within the club and his hands have been tied significantly by the gruelling schedule, factors which have be taken into account before building any opinion on his stint in charge so far.

With FC’s campaign now hanging in the balance, though, we take a look back at Last's first six matches.

There’s no two ways about this one, Last’s reign couldn’t have got off to a worse start.  

Despite all the talk of a fresh start before the game, FC turned in the worst performance of the season so far and huge questions were asked of the players and their attitudes as they surrendered without so much as a whimper at Headingley.

Indeed, there were simply no positives to come out of the clash and it gave Last an enormous reality check.

Of course, just two days later, Last’s job was to become even harder as eight members of the set-up, a figure that would rise to 12, tested positive for coronavirus.

Rhys Williams of Salford Red Devils scores a try during the Super League match against Hull FC at Headingley Stadium
Rhys Williams of Salford Red Devils scores a try during the Super League match against Hull FC at Headingley Stadium

After the horror show against Salford and the events that followed, plenty took the opportunity to stick the boot into Hull FC when they were at their lowest ebb.

Last used that criticism to stir up a fire within Hull’s belly over the three weeks of inactivity, though, before unleashing his players on Huddersfield Giants.

Josh Griffin of Hull FC celebrates his try against Huddersfield with teammates
Josh Griffin of Hull FC celebrates his try against Huddersfield with teammates

Hull were much-changed with a host of key players missing the clash, but those youngsters rose to the occasion and made a name for themselves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.  

Just five days later Hull were in action again and while both sides were missing players, it was Warrington who showed the mettle and the physical strength to pick up the points.

In truth, Hull were still counting the costs of their own Covid struggles as they struggled with a rather large hangover.

Last made no excuses, though, insisting Hull simply had to be better with and without the ball if they were to trouble the top teams.

This one wasn’t pretty to watch. It was tough and gritty but with a much-changed side Hull squeezed over the line.

Hull FC's Josh Bowden (right) is tackled by Wakefields' Jordan Crowther
Hull FC's Josh Bowden (right) is tackled by Wakefields' Jordan Crowther

The young forwards impressed once more under Last’s stewardship and it was a huge effort from everyone involved as they managed to hold off a late comeback.

Hull’s desire and determination was impressive, but they struggled for composure with the ball in hand. Few will be keen to look back on this one at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

After resting a bunch of key players against Wakefield, Last made eight changes three days later to bring back the big guns and they simply had too much for Castleford.

They had the quality, the legs and the composure to control the game and do enough to reach the last eight of the competition to cap a fine week for Last and his side.

Hull FC's Carlos Tuimavave scores a try against Castleford Tigers
Hull FC's Carlos Tuimavave scores a try against Castleford Tigers

It seemed that under Last Hull were beginning to make improvements, despite having next to no time on the training field together.

Hull arrived at the AJ Bell Stadium in high spirits but it was quickly apparent that this was a step too far for Last’s FC side.

After five games in three weeks, Hull struggled in every area of the field and failed to compete with Wigan for long periods of the game.

Fatigue was a factor but it seems it will be for the remaining nine Super League games and some big performances are needed if they are to have anything to play for beyond September.

Hull FC's Danny Houghton in training after the Coronavirus Covid-19 lay-off

Why you should sign up?

Super League has restarted and the season is up and running, with a busy few months ahead in rugby league.

Hull Live will bring you the very latest from inside the FC camp with exclusives, interviews, features and opinion.

By signing up to our Hull FC newsletter, you will receive a once-daily email, with all the very the latest transfer news.

How do you sign up?

It's easy and takes seconds.

Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article or any article on the Hull FC section of Hull Live.

And that's it, you're all set.

You can unsubscribe at any time and your data will not be shared with any other party.

Verdict

Last believed he took on Hull with eyes wide open, but in his first game he was given a reminder of just how much work needs doing with this group of players.

There hasn’t been another performance as bad as the Salford clash and there has been visibly improvements not only from a number of individuals, but as a team as well.

However, while the interim head coach seems to be making relatively steady progress, there is still a long way to go and Last, to his credit, knows it.