Out played, out smarted out enthused and alas, for once, out coached as well!
I love Hull FC to bits, I always have and I always will, but sometimes when you’re a fan you have to be honest with yourself and on Friday there was simply no getting away from it; Warrington came to the Kcom played a ‘blinder’ and completely spoiled the party. In here I can only write it as I feel it and it can’t be all happy, clappy all the time and for me in the words of Jackson Browne we appear at the moment to be a team that is ‘Running on Empty’
There can be no excuses because for me last Friday, there were no excuses.
As I walked across West Park before the game deep in thought and perhaps visibly nervous, an old guy walking beside me said, “Don’t look so worried mate whatever happens tonight, when the cupboard is opened tomorrow the Challenge Cup will still be in there!” Sound advice eh? Well maybe, but despite all that and me saying in here time and again how happy I was to have just won the Cup, you want more, you can’t help it and so I was upset at the end and I guess now looking back, I’m bloody mad with myself that I was so disappointed. You know, as a ‘fickle fan’, I have such a short blooming memory!!!
AMAZINGLY, QUITE AMAZINGLY, ITS ALL TO PLAY FOR AGAIN!!!!!!!!
Sport never ceases to amaze does it? Last weekend it looked all over bar the shouting, but now Friday has become the biggest game of the season, after of course ‘The Special One’, and yet conversely it’s DOUBLE TROUBLE if we fail!!! Win and the ‘hub cap’ is ours and we have a home semi- final, but lose and a third place finish beckons with probably an away play-off game at Wigan to follow!! It’s certainly going to be another tense old night for all of us!!!!!!
If it’s the hope that eventually kills you, then it’s your sports team tying you in such knots that, in the meantime, completely buggers you up!!! But wow after what has gone before isn’t it bloody great!
Who’d have thought it eh? This last weekend the drama wasn’t at Wakefield or indeed that much at Warrington, great though the spectacle of that mighty encounter was, but it was rather in the outcome that those two contrasting games threw up for next weekend. Despite one being a sloppy, listless, barely workmanlike affair and the other a great exhibition of grit, determination and stylish rugby, (I’ll leave you to decide which is which) both played their part in setting up a magnificent finale to the regular season. It was all certainly pretty unbelievable when at 10-00pm last Friday the two points we somehow managed to rescue from Thursdays game of mistakes, brain farts and near calamity became so, so significant. It was I think simply written in the stars.
The RL and Sky lads couldn’t have arranged it any better had they wanted to! They’ve got the two top teams in the competition all year creating a rematch of that brilliant Wembley final and bashing it out on the last weekend of regular rugby in the best Stadium in the competition, all to win the League leaders plate. No helicopters flying about with the ‘hub cap’ this time guys, because all the drama will be played out at the KC!!!
SO THIS FRIDAY IS GOING TO BE MASSIVE!!! As the excitement packed 2016 campaign for Hull FC that keeps on giving, just goes on and on and on!
Boy…..what a blooming wonderful season this is!!
“Such setbacks are the stepping stones to greater things.”
You can’t win ‘em all and if it’s important that you use the lessons of such games as Fridays to gain knowledge and strength and move forward, then they are certainly not the time for wasting energy despairing at an opportunity lost!
On many occasions this season it’s been us that were sneaking those last minute wins or just seeing games out, but in an outstanding match that we dominated for 60 minutes we ran out of energy, our go forward disappeared and then just as the tide appeared to be turning, a couple of unforced individual errors saw us slip to a disappointing defeat.
This time fortune did not smile on us and yet that tackle in the corner by Fornua near the end deserved to ‘favour the brave’, before a devastated Hadley was robbed of the ball and the inevitable outcome manifest itself in pretty heartbreaking circumstances.
You know I was disappointed at the end and after Wembley I didn’t think I would be saying that again this year, because I simply thought that it wasn’t going to bother me anymore. The Challenge Cup Final was meant to burn bright in my memory and carry me through any tough times that came, as they inevitably would, in its wake! Yet I saw the heartbreak coming at half time as I mused on the amount of chances we had blown in the first quarter. We could well have had 18 points on the board in that period but in the end, despite going along with a post Wembley ‘open mind’, this supporter got a bit too emotionally caught up in a game that was great for the casual viewer but excruciating to watch if you were totally immersed in it. It was that sort of match wasn’t it and you simply couldn’t take your eyes off the action for a moment, however at the end, despite still basking in the afterglow of that final we were all none the less, pretty disappointed.
I guess that just goes to prove how short lived and fleeting are the best ever moments of your life!
Predictable, expected and what always happens after a Cup Final win? Well I guess so!!
However for me, last Friday’s exploits didn’t tarnish what had gone before one bit and it was in the end a game that brought a really big effort from some of our fringe players and if you’re one of those fans who won’t be satisfied unless we win all three trophies, then for you, despite Warrington’s heroics in the sun, our fate is still very much in our own hands.
OK we lost 31-10, but despite the score for 60 minutes it was a great performance from a scratch team in the week after Wembley, when the winners always lose. No doubt it looked to all the neutral supporters picking up their papers next morning as an easy win for the Saints, but we fought hard for long periods and just lacked the grunt going forward and the sleight of hand in attack to control the middle of the field. It was I guess as well just an indication of what might have been, had we been cursed with a bigger injury list this season.
There were mistakes a plenty but we also got some shocking calls and were really unlucky at times, particularly in the way we were treated by a referee that I feel missed a lot. The difference for me between the referee at Wembley and the two pedantry officials we saw on TV on Thursday and Friday was immense, but more of that later.
I’m pretty sure that had we fielded a full team and not had to play a rested Saints outfit in the week that followed the biggest game in our Clubs history, then we would have won. However I take nothing away from the lads who played, because with Pryce and Feke in the side we were obviously down to the ‘bones’ of our squad. Everyone had a real go and the big worry for me, Washy at acting half, never really materialised because he gave a non-stop performance and with Watts and Manu really ran his socks off.