Another week, another game we should have won, another great turn out of fans and yet ANOTHER DEFEAT!!!!!
It bloody breaks your heart doesn’t it eh? It really, really does!
As the weekend unfolded all the excuses were trotted out, but don’t kid yourself we should have won! We are just incapable of managing a victory and by managing I mean carrying through the plan that will bring us the result! For me standing there watching a group of blokes who look to be on the verge of victory, but who then let it all slip away….again, is soul destroying. But in real time on the terraces, we just shook our heads in acceptance, because we somehow knew that would happen again, because it always does!! As my friend Al said “You know things are bad when a set of Hull FC fans behind you start singing, “Que Sara Sara whatever will be will be we’re going to Dewsbury, Que Sara Sara”.
There is little doubt that walking back up the street afterwards, it all leaves a sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach and it’s a pain that’s only eclipsed by getting home and having to write about it in all again in here.
Still there was another magnificent turn out of fans on Friday and what a great ground it is! The old stand was rocking again to the strains of ‘Old Faithful’ as we appeared to wrestle the momentum and initiative from a Cas team that had little else to offer other than resolve and a will to win at any cost. However once again it was all ‘Sweet Caroline’ by the end of another disastrous outing! The bloody infuriating thing is that they didn’t score a try that wasn’t assisted by us.
Is the age of miracles past? Well I for one sincerely hope not, because otherwise if Rovers cut loose, then Thursday will see us mullered!! If you don’t want to hear some more home truths and what I feel is the actual depth to which we have sunk as a Club, then don’t read on because this week’s Diary is certainly not for the faint hearted!!
What a star, what a reception and what a hero, straight over the barriers and into the stand to meet the fans. He doesn’t look any different AND boy how we could do with his leadership now!
As for the game on Friday well it was patchy at times, torrid at others and even dare I say in flashes, quite enterprising!
For us lot sat on the edge of our seats, it still proved to be a really anxious time, but in the end a win is a win and boy did we need it!! Our Coach said we could build on it, but on that one the jury is still out, simply because so many variables come into it for me like, just how crap were Catalan? Why did we spend so much time in their half and yet on so many occasions not score? Why did we gift them two tries through ‘brain-farts’ and would a ‘good’ team have absolutely blown them away? On balance I might have agreed it’s a start, well I would where it not for the catalogue of injuries we sustained which with a packed programme of 4 games in 15 days coming up, has to be an additional worry.
Let’s face it, we just had to win and thankfully after a frustrating and at times dumb first twenty minutes we saw a second quarter of quality that took the game away from Catalan. Would a team that looked pretty knackered at half time capitulate again? Thankfully this week the answer to that one was no! But don’t kid yourself that it was in any way a comprehensive drubbing, because it certainly wasn’t and despite the margin, there was always a distinct feeling around the KC that it would only take another slip up, for Catalan to be back in it again!
But it WAS great to get a win!
Bottom of the league, rock bottom…..have we ever been there in our Super League history before?
Yet, victories, draws and even one point defeats are rare indeed at Wigan and in the end on Friday we went so close to a pressure relieving win didn’t we? But, even if you were there, you knew deep down, if you’re honest, that it was never going to happen!
Back in January I said that if we could get 4 points from our first 5 games we would be doing OK and of course with one 4 point reversal, two one point defeats and a nilling of Huddersfield we have come very close to attaining just that, which I guess for the uninitiated has to be commended. However, us seasoned campaigners know that the Huddersfield game is now an age away and if we were to be anything like contenders for the top 8 we should have beaten both SaIford and Wigan and been up there in the top 4 or 5 at present. But, we didn’t beat them and we’re rock bottom.
In fact in all three of those games, we didn’t do the one thing we had aimed to eradicate this term and that was get over the line in these close encounters. In the old scheme of things, with no relegation or just one or two teams down, to go to Wigan and lose by a point would be hailed as a good result. In the modern idiom where 4 teams are threatened with the drop, it’s just another disastrous opportunity lost!
Make no mistake, this was a battling and valiant effort, however sadly that only tells a fraction of the story, because we were still disorganised and clueless too. It was a shocking showing really and what makes it worse is that Wigan were little better, but stuck to a plan and toughed it out. Once again for the umpteenth time….we couldn’t and our lack of smart plays and focus was again our downfall! So, the casual observer will point to a close game and nearly a win, Mr Radford will take ‘positives’ from it and the ‘hype busters’ in our marketing team will pump it up for Friday, but for those of us who were there it was two more points lost in what was compared with the previous four games, the most winnable of them all. Looking back in the cold light of day, Wigan were crap and we should have won.
Can you have a crisis just 4 games into a season?
Well at Hull FC you bet you can, as for me we might just be approaching one and perhaps it’s even crisis point already! We can’t pussy foot around it, or say its early days, because in two weeks time when we meet Catalan, we will be over a quarter of the way through the regular rounds and likely bottom of the league. Some of you will say I’m over reacting but for me to be in the bottom two or three, having conceded 43 unanswered points in the second half of a game at home, when you have conceded none in the first half, is at any time of the season, a problem of pretty critical proportions. The issue with the smaller league and the standard of the teams in it, is that once you’re down amongst the bottom 4 you have to string a run of wins together to get out of it, but everyone will be picking up wins here and there and there are no gimme’s as far as teams being guaranteed to finish near the bottom is concerned.
This certainly wasn’t the plan at all! 2015 our 150th Year was the last chance saloon for so many reasons, the fans had lost patience and only decided to give it one last go because of their support for that celebration and the owner of the Club. This was crunch time, as across the Black and White Army many had lost faith in our ability of ever turn it round and it was obvious even back before Christmas that only a good season on the pitch could save Adam Pearson’s bacon and maintain the Clubs enviable supporter base. Anything less and we would be destined to simply haemorrhage fans during the season and then, when next year’s passes go on sale, thousands would vote with their feet; we all acknowledged back then that those were the basic and irrefutable facts. That was the deal and everyone in the Club and on the terraces knew it was!
Isn’t there a cheaper way of storing empty seats than building a new stadium for Salford?
7-25pm Saturday night-5 minutes to go to the start and the Salford fans are packing the place!
There are few occasions when you can say that the visiting support outnumbered the home one but on this occasion I think it just about did, but that loyal travelling army, turning out as we all did on a wet Saturday night, deserved so much better than the display we witnessed. As I walked into the ground I counted 10 FC coaches and Hull fans were everywhere in the bars and the ticket office. We certainly turned up in big numbers, while for the first 15 minutes the team didn’t turn up at all!! I guess after the Steve Michaels stuff of late last week all I wanted to see was some decent rugby and a continuation of the sort of form we had seen in the first two games.
However if the missed tackles, stupid penalties, dumb play and inability to kill teams off we saw so often in 2014 is weighed against the focussed all action, 100% effort stuff of our first two games of this one, then for me the scales have tipped firmly back towards last season, as many of the old failings returned, much to the dismay of all of us that attended.
With Leeds, Wigan and Catalan up next, this was our chance to consolidate our start and for us to keep ahead of the stragglers; if we ain’t careful after that display, we’ll soon find ourselves firmly back amongst them!! We simply have to win on Thursday but after that showing it’s starting to look like a big ask!