THE GREAT RUGBY LEAGUE SWINDLE!!
Whether you sit in the ‘WE don’t need it’ or the ‘Bring it on’ camp is quite rightly a matter of opinion, but the way that the World Club Challenge has been handled is for many I have spoken to this week, just that… a swindle.
I highlight this at the top this week because so many people have talked to me about it since last week’s announcement. Quite rightly the team that won the Grand Final, takes one place, but the other match has been allocated to a Club that lost that game and the Wembley final and won little else than a makeshift trophy that the Rugby League themselves failed to recognise or award until a few seasons ago. In the mean-time the winners of the country’s other Cup competition, which is possibly the most historically relevant trophy in the world, are ignored and that in a week when another concocted and contrived fixture list for the Magic Weekend suddenly appeared.
Only in British Rugby League eh??
Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 515th
We thought it was all over ……it is now!!!
No games to watch, no trophies to win and because my Mum always said that you shouldn’t mock the afflicted, no Dobbins to bait either!!
But how are you feeling? Well, there is little doubt that after what was the season that none of us expected or could hardly dare dream of, the roller coaster has ground to a halt a bit. There is certainly little doubt that inertia has become the staple diet for most fans while we await the players returning from a well-earned break on the beach, to start pre-season training on 14th November. Some readers contacted me this week to say that the withdrawal symptoms have kicked in straight after our last game, while personally I guess I feel pretty deflated too. But, although designed specifically for such times, I’m also finding it hard to get enthusiastic about the manufactured nature of our International end of season tournaments and there’s more of that one later.
However, all that said, the City’s only Super League Club still had a few interesting stories to impart this week, as the Player of the Year Awards took place, the details of season tickets for 2016 were released, some speculation about future signings continued, that England squad was announced and the media was stuffed with post season appraisals, reflections on the campaign past and some hopes for 2017.
Nevertheless, all that said it’s still a fact that the closed season seems now to have arrived with a bang!
Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 514
DANNY HOUGHTON – MAN OF STEEL!!!
LEE RADFORD – COACH OF THE YEAR!!!
HULL FC – TEAM OF THE YEAR!!!!
WHEN DID WE LAST SEE A YEAR LIKE THAT?
Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 513th
That’s it, it’s over, the season has finished and Old Trafford remains nothing but a fading dream, as a hugely successful campaign which has been a brilliant ride, fizzled out just as many of us sort of expected it would.
However, who was prepared for the drama that was to follow and oh boy, it made me smile a bit. That said I have some sympathy for any true fans, the Dobbins players, their families and those employed by the Club, however come on, they are our bitterest rivals and have rejoiced long and hard in the past at our downfalls. They’d be dancing on the terraces were it us lot in that position!! And, as for Josh Griffin, well has there ever been such an FC legend before he even pulled on a shirt?
But enough of the championship newcomers, (for now) let’s concentrate on Friday and that superb second half come-back which followed what was a torrid old first 40 minutes and yet saw us fall short at the end.
Regrets? Well not really, except to say that perhaps I let myself get a bit too carried away with it all after Wembley, but sadly the team’s performances didn’t quite match my optimism and in the end it wasn’t so much a disappointing end to the campaign as a flat one! I’d expected it, of course I had, but sport is a strange thing and I certainly hadn’t in my wildest dreams expected what happened next and I have to admit to having perked up a bit by Saturday tea time.
If I had one misgiving about the year of 2016 then it would be that for me Hull FC produced one of the greatest season’s since the early 80’s, without ever actually performing to our maximum capabilities for a full 80 minutes. In the end, perhaps it was that fact and an inability to reach the intensity that the Leeds, Wigan and Warrington’s of this world know you have to attain at this end of the competition, that I think eventually did for us. We won’t be walking out at Old Trafford on Saturday and so the season ends, but…as the old guy said to me last week, “Don’t worry son, that Challenge Cup is still there in the cupboard!”
Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 512th
Out played, out smarted out enthused and alas, for once, out coached as well!
I love Hull FC to bits, I always have and I always will, but sometimes when you’re a fan you have to be honest with yourself and on Friday there was simply no getting away from it; Warrington came to the Kcom played a ‘blinder’ and completely spoiled the party. In here I can only write it as I feel it and it can’t be all happy, clappy all the time and for me in the words of Jackson Browne we appear at the moment to be a team that is ‘Running on Empty’
There can be no excuses because for me last Friday, there were no excuses.
As I walked across West Park before the game deep in thought and perhaps visibly nervous, an old guy walking beside me said, “Don’t look so worried mate whatever happens tonight, when the cupboard is opened tomorrow the Challenge Cup will still be in there!” Sound advice eh? Well maybe, but despite all that and me saying in here time and again how happy I was to have just won the Cup, you want more, you can’t help it and so I was upset at the end and I guess now looking back, I’m bloody mad with myself that I was so disappointed. You know, as a ‘fickle fan’, I have such a short blooming memory!!!
Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 511th
AMAZINGLY, QUITE AMAZINGLY, ITS ALL TO PLAY FOR AGAIN!!!!!!!!
Sport never ceases to amaze does it? Last weekend it looked all over bar the shouting, but now Friday has become the biggest game of the season, after of course ‘The Special One’, and yet conversely it’s DOUBLE TROUBLE if we fail!!! Win and the ‘hub cap’ is ours and we have a home semi- final, but lose and a third place finish beckons with probably an away play-off game at Wigan to follow!! It’s certainly going to be another tense old night for all of us!!!!!!
If it’s the hope that eventually kills you, then it’s your sports team tying you in such knots that, in the meantime, completely buggers you up!!! But wow after what has gone before isn’t it bloody great!
Who’d have thought it eh? This last weekend the drama wasn’t at Wakefield or indeed that much at Warrington, great though the spectacle of that mighty encounter was, but it was rather in the outcome that those two contrasting games threw up for next weekend. Despite one being a sloppy, listless, barely workmanlike affair and the other a great exhibition of grit, determination and stylish rugby, (I’ll leave you to decide which is which) both played their part in setting up a magnificent finale to the regular season. It was all certainly pretty unbelievable when at 10-00pm last Friday the two points we somehow managed to rescue from Thursdays game of mistakes, brain farts and near calamity became so, so significant. It was I think simply written in the stars.
The RL and Sky lads couldn’t have arranged it any better had they wanted to! They’ve got the two top teams in the competition all year creating a rematch of that brilliant Wembley final and bashing it out on the last weekend of regular rugby in the best Stadium in the competition, all to win the League leaders plate. No helicopters flying about with the ‘hub cap’ this time guys, because all the drama will be played out at the KC!!!
SO THIS FRIDAY IS GOING TO BE MASSIVE!!! As the excitement packed 2016 campaign for Hull FC that keeps on giving, just goes on and on and on!
Boy…..what a blooming wonderful season this is!!
Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 510th
“Such setbacks are the stepping stones to greater things.”
You can’t win ‘em all and if it’s important that you use the lessons of such games as Fridays to gain knowledge and strength and move forward, then they are certainly not the time for wasting energy despairing at an opportunity lost!
On many occasions this season it’s been us that were sneaking those last minute wins or just seeing games out, but in an outstanding match that we dominated for 60 minutes we ran out of energy, our go forward disappeared and then just as the tide appeared to be turning, a couple of unforced individual errors saw us slip to a disappointing defeat.
This time fortune did not smile on us and yet that tackle in the corner by Fornua near the end deserved to ‘favour the brave’, before a devastated Hadley was robbed of the ball and the inevitable outcome manifest itself in pretty heartbreaking circumstances.
You know I was disappointed at the end and after Wembley I didn’t think I would be saying that again this year, because I simply thought that it wasn’t going to bother me anymore. The Challenge Cup Final was meant to burn bright in my memory and carry me through any tough times that came, as they inevitably would, in its wake! Yet I saw the heartbreak coming at half time as I mused on the amount of chances we had blown in the first quarter. We could well have had 18 points on the board in that period but in the end, despite going along with a post Wembley ‘open mind’, this supporter got a bit too emotionally caught up in a game that was great for the casual viewer but excruciating to watch if you were totally immersed in it. It was that sort of match wasn’t it and you simply couldn’t take your eyes off the action for a moment, however at the end, despite still basking in the afterglow of that final we were all none the less, pretty disappointed.
I guess that just goes to prove how short lived and fleeting are the best ever moments of your life!
Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 509th
Predictable, expected and what always happens after a Cup Final win? Well I guess so!!
However for me, last Friday’s exploits didn’t tarnish what had gone before one bit and it was in the end a game that brought a really big effort from some of our fringe players and if you’re one of those fans who won’t be satisfied unless we win all three trophies, then for you, despite Warrington’s heroics in the sun, our fate is still very much in our own hands.
OK we lost 31-10, but despite the score for 60 minutes it was a great performance from a scratch team in the week after Wembley, when the winners always lose. No doubt it looked to all the neutral supporters picking up their papers next morning as an easy win for the Saints, but we fought hard for long periods and just lacked the grunt going forward and the sleight of hand in attack to control the middle of the field. It was I guess as well just an indication of what might have been, had we been cursed with a bigger injury list this season.
There were mistakes a plenty but we also got some shocking calls and were really unlucky at times, particularly in the way we were treated by a referee that I feel missed a lot. The difference for me between the referee at Wembley and the two pedantry officials we saw on TV on Thursday and Friday was immense, but more of that later.
I’m pretty sure that had we fielded a full team and not had to play a rested Saints outfit in the week that followed the biggest game in our Clubs history, then we would have won. However I take nothing away from the lads who played, because with Pryce and Feke in the side we were obviously down to the ‘bones’ of our squad. Everyone had a real go and the big worry for me, Washy at acting half, never really materialised because he gave a non-stop performance and with Watts and Manu really ran his socks off.
Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 508th
ALL HAIL THE HISTORY BOYS!!
Johnny Whiteley couldn’t win it at Wembley and neither could Peter Sterling, Knocker Norton, Roy Francis, Arthur Bunting or Brian Smith, but Lee Radford and those 17 heroes won it for us and they did it in the most glorious of circumstances possible!!!
The moment that said it all for every FC fan, Lee’s face just showed what we were all thinking, what it meant to us as fans as he lifted the Cup and that picture is the moment that will stay with me till the day I die.
That win was for everyone who has suffered for the cause, everyone who has been taunted by our rivals, everyone who kept on believing in the dark days when the light almost went out and everyone who just hoped, despite never ever thinking it would happen. It was also for those who made sacrifices and went into hock to get there, those others who have passed on with their biggest wish unfulfilled and for those who said, “Never again” and yet came back for more.
It was simply awesome to see history made before our eyes. For this ageing fanatic, (who still has tears in his eyes as he writes this), LAST SATURDAY WAS SIMPLY THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE which was then followed by a weekend that I’ll never forget until the day I die and one that when I do, will see me finally flee this mortal coil a happy, happy man.
Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – comfortably numb
Without hope we have nothing!
“Someone needs to fight, someone needs to sacrifice, someone needs to inspire and someone needs to be a hero.”
The weekend games are over, the stage is cleared and all the rest of the cast list are now mere spectators and, as the lights go down and the orchestra strikes up, it’s the Warrington Wolves and my team that are waiting in the wings to do battle!! At last it’s here, at last its Challenge Cup week and for the fourth time in just 12 years it’s the ‘Famous Hull FC’ that’s playing in the Final!
How good is that?? Well it’s good; but it’s bloody Scary!!!!!
Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 506th (Wembley Special 2016)