The circumstances of this week, when we’re just two rounds into the competition with no game this weekend, certainly engendered that Groundhog Day feeling I had when I approached all the barren news weeks of the closed season.
However at least we all had time for a rest and a break from the week in week out stress of what is already turning out to be a much more high pressure campaign than we have seen for years. We had all better enjoy it too, because in a season when you have to rely on getting knocked out of the Cup for a week off and when at times there are 3 games in 8 days, looking at the fixture list the next break will not be until after round 23 at least and that’s a long, long way off.
Still it looks like, (if not a Hull v New Zealand match), we at least have a Test Match at the KC to look forward to at the end of the season, Joe Arundel is gone, we already have a few injuries and Jordan Rankin is still undecided, so at least there’s still plenty going on off the field to mull over!
We lost and that’s always a bummer, but after that’s said you have to admit too that it was a blooming good game!
If you’re going to lose and there is little doubt in this league everyone is going to do just that at some time or other, then that’s the way to do it!
Let me say from the off that I always want to win; there’s no doubt about that! When we get to the business end of the season and we’re fighting for position, winning will be absolutely everything and all I want every week! However for now, if you can’t win, then give me games like that one, it was tight and yet so tense, stifled and yet so compelling. It reminded me of those games in the 70’s under DDD when we fought and fought to stifle expansive teams and stay in it! It was simply a great match and one that should see every one of the 12,000 that attended, returning for the Leeds game. It was a real spectacle that had everything except of course the result.
We battled against what was without doubt a great Warrington team who could just not ‘put us away’ and we hung in and hung in until we could even had won it in the end. It was certainly for me a game that we would have lost by a much heavier tally last year, against a Wolves team that have only been kept under ten points five times in the last four seasons. So, we move on, we have 2 points from 2 games, with just 3.5 points a game being conceded against two usually free scoring teams and all that plus just one try ‘leaked’ in 120 minutes of rugby. Timing and attacking sharpness comes with playing together, but good seasons are build on stoic defence, a strong ‘middle’ and a never say die attitude, so for me there is undoubtedly a deal of hope for the future.
“We are top of the League I said we are top of the League!”……………….well at least we are for now, so however much of a false situation it is after just one week, lets enjoy it!
At last the season has begun and it did so with a pretty unbelievable ‘bang’! That came in the form of a focused and gritty performance that produced as good a start as anyone who was there could have dreamed of!! Having fretted a bit about the outcome, it was simply beyond my wildest dreams anyway and a great afternoon out for us all. Add to that the fact that it was also the first time Huddersfield have been nilled since 2011 and the first time we have nilled a Club away from home since 2004 and it was pretty special all round.
But nil them we did, through as fine a game of controlled rugby as you will see, when all of a sudden the much maligned ‘Game Management’ was there in abundance. No-one panicked, few tackles were missed, we held the defensive line perfectly, kept possession and didn’t force the game. Instead we waited for the chances to present themselves, took then and the result in the end looked after itself. It was certainly as good a performance of complete rugby as I have seen for ages. After about an hour we were winning by two tries, a situation we have encountered so many times in the past, before invariably we fell apart. This time we didn’t, in fact we didn’t look like we would do anything but win; that has to be a big step forward!
Lee Radford said after the game, “I think I’m second favourite now to get the sack!” and it was good to see him as relieved as us lot! Friday night is a different beast however, because the Wolves play a lot of open rugby, which could see them force a more expansive game, but on this showing it should be a cracker!
And so it begins…(and this time, it really begins!!)
On Sunday the talking will finish, the rhetoric will be over and the hats, scarves, smelling salts and worry beads will be out, but until then excitement and anxiety will vie in equal parts for the emotions of the average FC fan. Of course there is optimism, everyone across the game has aspirations for their own team and we all start with a clean sheet. But at least now the waiting is almost over, as the 2015 campaign is just 6 days away!
‘Cool dude’ Yeamo and Jordan (Sorry I was late but it took me ages to get these trousers on) Rankin meet the fans with the Super League Trophy in St Stephens on Friday.
This is the moment when all the new signings, pre-season predictions, the posturing and the aspirations come down to just one thing; the first game. We are all excited and daring to dream, however what we’ll feel like on the way home on Sunday evening is anyone’s guess, but, that’s what being an FC fan is all about really…because it’s that uncertainty that ‘kills’ you! Still, it’s that time when hope springs eternal and we all pray that this is the season that the ‘Sleeping Giant’ awakes. That’s been an annual state of mind for us lot, but invariably, for the last few years at least, it’s one that hasn’t stuck around very long. We can only dream that this year it will be different.
It’s going to be a real battle but we’re all in it together, it’s our Club and we’ll all bust a gut to help realise that dream! Currently we sit proudly in 4th position in the League (alphabetical order) and those past disasters and the sceptic in me, indicate that if I were you, I would enjoy that lofty status while you can!!!