“What the mind believes the body achieves” – Steve Prescott

Steve Prescott Bridge

Lest we ever forget; the newly dedicated Steve Prescott Bridge.

It had to be Steve Prescott’s night and every fan at the game did him proud. The FC supporters in attendance (and there was a big following for a Friday night), were simply magnificent, with the constant choruses of “There’s only one Stevie Prescott” often drowning out a big home contingent. It was an emotion night and almost as an aside, for long periods, an excellent game to watch too. In fact I was glad I was there. You know, just occasionally there are times when you realise how lucky you are to be part of that magnificent FC family, who know instinctively how to react to such an occasion and do so like no others can.

Well done as well, to the St Helens Club and the local Council who put on a great show to make it a real occasion and to facilitate the dedication of the Steve Prescott Bridge beforehand, when as the heavens opened I stood with 400 or so fans in the pouring rain, to watch a fitting tribute to one of the games great heroes.

As for the game itself, well as I walked away I remember thinking that all the chaos and gridlock on the M62 going over, would always be worth it if we continue this season to display that sort of effort and pride in the shirt. As many of the home fans left early, the FC Faithful remained and gave the lads a rousing ‘Thank You’ The team spirit was there for all to see, but with a pivot at each side of the field there was a lot more structure and form in that first half and again our effort throughout was exemplary. We lost but there’s still a deal of hope around for this fan.

However if it was about anything on Friday then it was the fact that “There’s only one Stevie Prescott!”

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The Dentists Diary – 384th

“Goal kicking costs you games” was one of the comments made in Friday’s post match de-briefing in the Drum and Monkey, to which I had to reply, “But it didn’t cost us this one” and of course it didn’t.

Getting this old chestnut out of the way first, can I say that for me if we are to have an off day with the boot then have it when we score 8 tries. Let’s hope our failings in that department on Friday get the issue of some consistent goal-kicker to the top of our agenda, so we can get it sorted and move on. How we address that failing will now be critical but we just got away with it this time! We certainly got out of jail with the Catalan misses at the end, but that went to prove for me that it wasn’t all Joe Westerman’s and Ben Crooks’ faults and perhaps the swirling wind and conditions played a part too. Thomas Bosc is one of the best goal kicker’s in the game and he couldn’t hack it in the end either.

I could see a few folks I bumped into on the concourse afterwards were wondering why I was disappointed, but that was because for me once again we put the cue on the rack and let the opposition back in when we thought we’d won the game. There was also for me the feeling of disbelief that a team coached by Lee Radford, a rugged defender in his playing days and last season’s defensive coach, could concede three tries in the last few minutes in such a disastrous manner. However on reflexion there was much to celebrate too. Some of our attacking play, once we got onto the front foot, was as good as we saw all last season and certainly pleased the fans, it was scintillating stuff that started through the introduction of the fresh legs of Heramaia, before being carried forward by Horne and Rankin.

With the tough two games we have coming up, we desperately needed that win and in a season where for this fan the first goal is to keep away from the bottom two places, we are out of the starting blocks with two points, as we dodged the bullet against a team tipped to make the top 8 and that’ll do for me! However more consistency is a must and much bigger battles loom ahead!

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The Dentists Diary – 383rd

“Don’t worry Wilf, You can’t believe much of what you see in pre-season”, commented a guy I spoke to as we all tramped out of the Good Fella’s Stadium together, and on into the encircling gloom!

And of course he was right, but if you were there it was doom and gloom for all and certainly hard not to wonder how we would turn things around in time for this Friday when, whether we are ready or not we set off on another adventure in Super League. While my heart says, “It s a brand new start, new players, new coach, new hope!” my head tells me that with new comings and goings reported, we’re actually in more disarray than we should ever be at this point of the proceedings.

I really got some stick last week for my appraisal of the Featherstone game; interestingly enough, almost exclusively from those who didn’t attend! However 7 days on and having endured it again on FC Live, I still find it hard to apologise for my comments, made as they were in the cold afterglow of a pretty demoralising afternoon in West Yorkshire. Nor could Pete Smurthwaite excuse it on Humberside last Friday, when 5 days after the event he still described it as ‘a debacle’. Of course he was right, because it added an inglorious finale to a less than satisfactory pre-season. But for me, the Rovers game apart (which provided a much needed and comforting, if only temporary, interlude) it’s the way that the rest of the games were unfocussed, messy and disorganised that’s really of concern.

Yet in the ‘ying and yang’ of the RL fanatic it’s such an exciting time. Perhaps it’s the hope, maybe the anticipation or even the thought we may have got all our concerns totally wrong, but whatever has gone before now somehow matters for nought, as once again we set out on ‘the quest to be best’. A poor pre-season, some ‘panicky moves in the transfer market, a few injuries, a cold Friday night, no visiting supporters and the game on TV; it couldn’t start any worse for the Club, could it? Yet, with no points on the board and only one game completed thus far in the whole competition, it’s still all to play for and we’ll all be there on Friday, full of hope and expectation. You see despite my much talked about misgivings, I have no choice, because I simply can’t wait!!!

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The Dentists Diary – 382nd

Arise Sir Richard of Whiting….

….who sadly said it all last night when he humbly tweeted “I Can only apologise to the FC fans that attended, that the teams effort on the field didn’t reflect the effort you made to travel over”

Richard Whiting - Hull FC

Well, if in the end it was a shambolic performance, it didn’t feel like that early yesterday afternoon, as legions of ‘the quiet mans’ admirers trekked along the M62 to pay homage to Richard, on a day he will remember for the rest of his life. We certainly turned up in numbers; it’s just a pity several of the players didn’t turn up at all!

With the usual spirit of the FC Faithful the motorway was packed with cars as were the streets around the ground, a situation that reminded me so much of those days spent there in the 70’s and 80’s. No one came out to sit on the house roofs behind the end terracing as they used to do back then, but otherwise it was as if we’d never been away.

However back in those halcyon days, ‘friendly’ or not, Hull FC a proud Club always showed some heart and always played with spirit; it would appear that is no longer the case. After that performance, a few of our players should hang their heads in shame! It was a poor showing that left me frustrated and disappointed, in fact it was, in the context of who we were playing, and the importance of the match to a colleague, one of the worst FC display I have seen for years; and boy have a seen a few crap ones. I might mellow a bit by mid week but writing this as always, straight after the game, it’s hard to find any positives at all! I’ll praise ‘em when they’re good, but I have to call it as I see it and for me yesterday, they were rubbish!

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