The Dentist’s Diary – 498th

Every 12 months or so I have a health check mainly centred around how my heart is doing, however this year I won’t be bothering……… because I’m convinced there’s nothing at all wrong with it!!!

If there was, the old ticker would have packed up during the last few games, because once again yesterday’s match was a real ‘nail biter’, our fifth victory by 2 or less points and it was once again blooming hard work watching, I can tell you!!

However on a serious note the issue is of course that despite winning that performance just isn’t good enough if we want to finish top 4, because like it or not we are getting progressively worse, not better and teams will start to find us out. In that last desperate 20 minutes yesterday, lacking the leadership of Ellis, Manu, Talanoa and Mini, with ball in hand the rest of ‘em had brain fart after brain fart. In the end it was sheer bloody mindedness, some amazing tenacity in defence close to our line and perhaps the steadying hand of Pryce that kept them out and JUST got us home with another two precious points.

Castleford will feel badly done by, but tough!!! We have been there so many times before and few had any sympathy for us!! And of course in the end as my pal Tommy always says, goal kicks win you matches! Despite us playing pretty crap at times the way we have stacked points up of late is quite amazing, but the desperation and wanting is there and of course as I said last week, winning does become a habit!! So, in the end, we made it 14 wins in our last 15 matches in all competitions.

However if you weren’t there, then believe me, we made bloody hard work of it and for that winning habit to continue next week against the Dragons, we will need to be ten times better with ball in hand!!

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The Dentist’s Diary – 497th

‘Winning is a habit’ said the great NFL Coach, Vince Lombardi, and of course he was absolutely right. In this ‘topsy turvey’ new league format, success before the split to the ‘Super Eights’, is all about working together, believing in each other and simply accruing the points however you can.

Stylish play is great, but first and foremost it’s really all about getting the points that position you for the upcoming battles in rounds 24 to 30. On Friday, we won and in the future that’s all that the record books will show!!! It was an ugly, ugly game, but a fabulous two points, we played poorly at times, but so did the ‘Wire’ and in the end we prevailed through sheer resolve and fortitude, so who cares?

Frank was back and put in a good shift!!!

In the end it was guts, effort, the ability to put a string of mistakes behind us (and never let them get to us) and a deal of sheer bloody mindedness that got us home again on Friday night. In Gareth Ellis we had the leader, whilst with 40 yards more ‘go forward’ than anyone else on the pitch, in Talanoa we had ‘the difference’, as the rest of the lads fell in behind those two, dug deep and came away with the spoils. However, it was hard to watch and neither side really valued the ball at all, the Wolves only scored two fortunate tries, while all of ours were well worked efforts, in a performance that saw our defence so good, that the games top scorers made not one clear break all night!

OK in between those tries there where errors a plenty, but both sides made them and it was Hull FC that mastered a visibly flagging Warrington pack and found a way to win.

As I say all you have to do is get the points and now with five games to go to the ‘split’ and us 10 points clear of the 5th team, we will have to be ‘very careless’ indeed to not finish in the top 4, a position that brings with it the advantage of 4 home games in the final 7 matches. So, as we look at the league table this morning, we have to say that for our 2016 campaign, it’s definitely a case of so far, so good!

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The Dentist’s Diary – 496th

Two more points, still top of the league and despite a pretty abysmal first half when we just couldn’t get going, it was in the end, once again, job done. What’s more after what went on before in that now almost infamous early season game at Widnes, it was also just what we needed; a bit of retribution!

So, it wasn’t pretty and was certainly a bit flat at times, but once more from somewhere we built up a head of steam and found a couple of back to back tries to simply kill the opposition off. It didn’t have the finale of the Catalan game, or the style of the Wigan win, nor did it have the drama of last week. However once again, after a half time score of 6-4 had us perhaps twitching a little, it was in the end job done, as another smash and grab twenty minutes saw the game over by three-quarter time! We simply ran over them down the middle in that third quarter of the game and several of the Widnes players were ‘out of it’ by the end!!

One thing’s become very apparent of late too; being top brings new challenges, because everyone wants to beat us now…….!!

But let’s stop all this ‘will we get to a final’ or ‘will we win something’ stuff eh? Because the answer to that is ‘We probably won’t’, because at Hull FC history dictates that sooner or later it’s all likely to go ‘Mammary’s Skyward’. Whether that happens now, later on or not at all, the fact remains that as the indefatigable ‘Mrs. B.’ said on a message board this week, “Nothing can detract from the brightest three months we have seen as FC fans, in a decade” and I couldn’t agree with her more about that one; like her I’m just loving it!!!

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