These weeks without a game are a real blog killer!!
Still it’s great to have a week off from the regular stress and turmoil of weekly games…..well it is for a couple of days, but after that as the news from the Club is almost none existent and the media scratch around to find something of interest to ‘keep the ball’ rolling, it gets a bit tedious doesn’t it?
In perhaps the quietest week that I can remember at our Club we’ve seen two players go out on loan and, and, and, that’s about it!! One thing of course that does go well in these quiet times is the rumour mill which as the 1st May anti tampering deadline approaches has jumped into over-drive and that’s something that has at least heralded the return of Wilf Whiffs in this week’s edition! However, for the most part as is my style, I’ve amused myself this week fretting over out of contract players, the possible demise of the Wakefield Chairman, Sub editors, wondering about Paul Cooke and trying to find out exactly what a ‘Lloret leis’ is; in fact the sort of stuff you’ve all no doubt been wondering about as well….not!
“How do they ‘beat’ Huddersfield’s pack up one week and then, a week later, find it impossible to dominate players they should want to kill for 80 minutes?”
Thus said my good pal Ian, in the afterglow of a game that left him, me and thousands of others in the depth of despair and frustration!! But of course his words only animate the ageless and timeless conundrum that faces FC fans week in week out. Inconsistency!! It has prevailed under the last three Coaches and although Lee Radford has recognised it, tried to remedy it and in fact reduced the win/lose margins to just a few points, inconsistency continues to exist and quite frankly as a fan after all these years, it does make me wonder whether it’s will ever change.
We were on our game against Castleford and well off it against Widnes, up for it against Salford in the League and off again in the Cup and we blew Huddersfield’s pack away and succumbed in the forwards to Rovers. I know one thing and that is that thousands of us are bloody frustrated and not a bit weary with it all. Particularly when you throw into the melting pot the fact that in the Derby games the Dobbins always seem to want it just that bit more than we do.
Obviously we’d all love Hull FC to be a great team and as loyal supporters we have to also accept it when we are not good enough, however I don’t know what you feel, but for me when we’re one thing one week and something else the next, its bloody soul destroying. Still we did what we had to do yesterday and although there were a lot of really tired legs in the FC line-up we ‘did’ the Bronco’s in every department. The atmosphere was shocking although it was a better crowd than I expected, but everyone was still in trauma and as the fans just looked on, still numb from the Derby, at times you could have heard a pin drop and for the players for long periods it must have been akin to playing in a cathedral.
What a difference a week makes and boy how many times have I used that expression in this weekly blog!?
But, for what it’s worth that was for me, our best performance of the season.
The difference that made it stand out was simple really, we got the basics right we played the game at a high tempo and we rolled forward every time we were in possession of the ball. Plus, we kept the errors down and didn’t give away any soft penalties. But most of all we showed a great and solid defence and backed that up with a good kick and chase game, we played the ball quickly and, with lots of dummy runners, the acting half back options were varied and aggressive. In fact looking back to the Cup game, I now think that we were unlucky; not on the field so much as with who we were able to select, because had Ellis, Whiting and Carvell been available, then we’d have won. After Thursday I have little doubt of that!
But, the Cups gone and in a week in which we saw a game of musical chairs at Salford, watched the same drop goal attempt from every angle, for dozens of times and when Neil Hudgell and Sir Adam both received hefty fines for telling the truth. However last Thursday we witnessed an exciting game full of endeavour and some great attacking play!! In fact some top stuff to round off another strange old week!
“It’s a really flat dressing room and I haven’t had to say much after the game. Some of the efforts were really top drawer from some of them tonight and probably enough to win two games, but certain areas of the field are really costing us and the same players are making the same mistakes week in week out, and cost us the game!”
Thus said our Coach and so ………we’re out of the Cup!!
Some folks complained about his ‘criticism by implication’ of certainly players in his post match comments, but bloody hell guys, he only said what we were all thinking!
If I had to précis the whole situation after a pretty disastrous night, then I would say that it’s quite simple really; you score 36 points at home you should win but if you concede 37 you don’t deserve to. It was a fabulous game of rugby but there was just one reason the FC lost and it was our defence, not all of it, but some significant bits of it! The attack was generally good and even pretty dynamic at times and the two young half backs I thought, looked to have something that can perhaps be nurtured in the coming months. The game was good entertainment, as have been in all fairness, all but one of our matches this season. We are certainly good to watch now, but the thrill a minute, end to end nature of that entertainment can’t mask the serious flaws in certain areas of our defensive play.
Believe me I wasn’t as dejected as I was after the Widnes match because I have over the years developed a real ‘saddo’ way of dealing with Cup football (which I will for the first time share with you later). However when you look at the game outside the fixation that is our obsession with the FC, it was an absorbing and nerve jangling encounter in which some of our players turned up big time, but as Radford said afterwards, the same few players making the same mistakes at critical times let us down again, and that for this fan is really hard to take.