The Dentist’s Diary 575th

You know me by now, I hate losing at the best of times, but some defeats are easier to take than others, and perhaps in hindsight on Thursday, as far as Hull FC were concerned that was the case, but as far as the officials were concerned it wasn’t easy to take at all!!!!

A great showing of resilience and fortitude under pressure by the lads saw a late fight back almost get us the points, we had Leeds on the rack, but just lacked the final ball needed to put the game to bed. So, in the end, we fell just short and as far as the pundits and papers are concerned apparently the ‘Headingley Hoodoo’ continues!!

To go there, once the scene of some great FC victories, (but where in recent times we haven’t won since 2007), with 6 first teamers out, was always going to be a big ask. Leeds, with no game last weekend, looked fresh in the first quarter, however what a fight we made of it. It was easy to see that afterwards and be disappointed, whilst feeling really positive about the future, but the officials were just crap at times and I think at the end we had every right to feel badly done to by the video referee last Thursday.

I’ve just about had enough of some aspects of the game at present and the officials are one of the reasons I feel that way. But that’s my problem and we should certainly take nothing away from our lads at Headingley, because the spirit and fight was amazing. We could as a group of players have got really disenchanted with it all and a few years ago we probably would have, but we fought and fought, took whatever was thrown at us and kept on trying right up to the end.

The game was lost through a few patchy periods of play and some poor and contentious decisions in the first half, but we never gave up and we never gave in. We battled and battled and at 20-6 and playing Leeds and it would appear at times the officials as well, most teams would have thrown in the towel, we didn’t and although we tried manfully to snatch the points, we just couldn’t get over the line. That meant that we got no return from a game we should have won, but although that was disappointing as I say, you have to give top marks to everyone involved. I was proud of that effort, it was a battling and fighting performance and short of not winning, I have no complaints with the lads at all really.

As for the state of the officiating, well that’s completely another matter for me!

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The Dentist’s Diary – 574th

Well, that bloody weather was awful wasn’t it?

I was under the weather myself all week and just about everyone else I knew had a cold or worse! The conditions were nothing short of horrific by Thursday and I can’t remember so many Super League games being postponed for ages can you? For this time of the year, it was a rare blast from the past, harking back, for me, to winters I remember as a kid living down Airlie Street. As an aside I certainly don’t agree with that crowd at the BBC either, Spring hasn’t ever started for yours truly until 21st March, perhaps now they’ll believe me!

As for the game, well I’m always honest in here and for me first impressions afterwards indicated a scruffy display against a bang average Warrington, but, I guess as well, it was pretty typical of a lot of the fare we get served up these days in Super League’s televised games. However, I’ll take the points, because quite frankly looking at how we’ve played so far this year and the luck we’ve had with injuries, we might just need them!!

The team spirit is certainly there and we work so hard for each other and yet we are so bloody undisciplined at times and give away far too much ball at the wrong end of the field. The stats show that we are one of the worst teams in the league for this and whilst Watts’ ‘nut job’ was terrible, so were some of the stupid penalties we gave away. In addition, we witnessed a mini collapse, conceding back to back tries, again, and there were some poor reads as well at times.

However, grumble over because we won the game and got the points, we looked pretty much in charge at 18-0, despite the stuff I cite above, but by the end I concluded that I had seen little to be that excited about either really. It wasn’t a night to be getting excited anyway, but rather one for getting the job done. Why was I a bit disappointed? Well, I guess it just wasn’t the FC we know and love was it? Still, that sort of grinding performance is how we have got back on the horse in the past and I guess in the end a wins a win and points are all that really matter at this stage in the season. To have had only two points after four matches would have been a real concern, but at this time of year I believe that a 50% return is about where you want to be if you’re not to peak too early.

One things for sure it was a blooming freezing night, but we’ve played in colder conditions ….. just! So, more of that one later!”

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