The Dentist’s Diary – 588th

Talk about the tumbleweed connection ……Boy last week was a quiet one!!

 

Over the years I have been through some becalmed times particularly in the closed season, but last week was one of the least interesting that I can ever remember, well it was from an FC point of view anyway. With the players being given their first 5-day break for ages and much of the focus on the Denver international, it was hard to find much at all to discuss this week which got me thinking that perhaps it was a time to reflect on our Club, where we are and indeed where the game is at the present time.

 

Fridays hit up against Widnes is certainly an important one if we are to keep in touch with the top four and finally secure our top eight safety, so we can at least look forward to that. But, as for the International, well it was great to see two of our lads out there, before then, our only ever present player in a difficult season, gets an injury when vying for man of the match and whilst not even playing for us! Such is 2018 at Hull FC!!! However, let’s hope, for a change, that this week the news on Jake Connor is good.

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The Dentist’s Diary – 587th

Oh Dear, It’s the first home defeat of the Season.

 

Still, it was so close in the end and on this occasion, rather like against Saints in the Cup, some dumb decisions, our inability to steady the ship in the last few minutes and a big stroke of luck going the way of the opposition in those final moments, did for us. It was a valient effort and well done to everyone who went along and created what looked to be a great atmosphere.

 

I had thought all week it was to be a big ask simply because all the endeavour and passion in the world will, sadly, see you one week come up short, particularly when you are missing your top quality players. Against a wounded Wigan, who had been under the cosh from their own fans, it was always going to be tough and I just somehow thought that circumstances dictated that this could well be that week. So it was, but there is no shame in that performance and it was certainly nothing to be too down about with just two tries each; their first being fortuitous and their second down right jammy.

 

Wigan had lost three successive games in league and cup and they were the team under pressure, while we were amazing everyone with our resilience in adversity, but a stroke of luck brought their poor form to a conclusion and compounded our issues with regard to catching up with the top 4. Short of a miracle it is now a fact that a couple more defeats and we could be adrift before the top eights even start.

 

We have a week off now, a time to regroup both on and off the field and then we simply have to beat Widnes, but that’s for another day and for now we just have to learn from the mistakes, curse our luck and dust ourselves off to go again! Don’t be too disheartened for that was just a case of ‘tough luck and not quite smart enough!’

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The Dentist’s Diary –

WOW!!! where did that come from???

 

Again, for the second week running, this is a Diary that is not that easy to write, because in it I will be trying to describe and explain a performance that is perhaps best defined as unfathomable. On Friday those of us that were privileged to be in attendance witnessed what was quite an amazing victory for a bashed up, bruised and injury hit FC side, which none the less featured the best half of rugby we have seen all season. That shows, if nothing else, that we must live by some of the best values in the game, in a culture that runs right through the extraordinary group of players that we are so lucky to have at the club at present.

 

Salford were poor, no one will contest that, but our young guns took apart a team that had been sat with their feet up last weekend, whilst we had, just last Sunday, experienced one of the most intensely competed defeats we have seen for years. It had been a game that left us mentally and physically drained, and with just 5 days to turn things around. Furthermore, I guess in the context of a need to surge back again after that disappointment, Salford was a must win game.

 

Last week after a Diary that indicated my concerns about just how we could get back up for this match after that heart-breaking Saints defeat, I met lots of FC fans who didn’t disagree with me and although in the pub afterwards on Friday there were a few ‘smart arse’ after the event comments like, ‘Just what I expected’, the almost surreal and subdue acclaim the team got as they left the field after 40 minutes said it all. For on the terraces ‘shell shocked’ and ‘amazed’ were the best adjectives to describe the effect the 37-0 half time score-line had on the ten and a half thousand fans that witnessed that first half. Unexpected; you bet it was!

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The Dentist’s Diary – 585th

DEFEATED, BLOODIED AND YET UNBOWED!!!!

We are out of the Cup for the first time in three years and so the incredible journey is ended, but it concluded with a fittingly incredible finish.

We have had some unforgettably happy moments of late and now in the cold light of ‘the morning after’ we have to learn to ‘meet with disaster’ and accept it humbly.

The passion within our Club from the owner at the top, right through to those at the bottom, is simply staggering and not a little humbling, we already knew all about it, but on Sunday that amazing culture was set out for all to see on national TV; OK we lost but ain’t you proud to be an FC fan?

However, you can’t just be proud of a display like that, for there is so much more to it, and yet no doubt for you, like me, it’s not possible to animate just how you feel, because it’s impossible to put it into words. As the final hooter went I was gutted and in tears, because I guess if I’m honest I could have accepted it better had we been blown away by massive favourites St Helens, but the sheer guts and wanting to keep hold of that trophy was exemplary in every department and perhaps deserved more. Yeh, our discipline was off at times, and trial by TV played its part again too, however no excuses, because we wanted it so much and that unique spirit of 2016 was there for all to see, even in defeat.

Of course it’s all about winning and the plethora of fine words about us from the opposition players and Coach are all very nice, but will not linger for long, as the Saints go marching into the semi-final and we try to pick up the pieces and face Salford on Friday.

But for old timers like me, it’s about the buzz I still get when I realise that I’m associated with that ethos and that philosophy. For it displays such a will to succeed for the fans, through a real never say die attitude from everyone who pulls on the shirt. Decades of watching a team that has been at times stuffed with the “We’re only here for the beer” boys, have taken their toll on this fan, but boy we have some strong characters at our Club at present don’t we? Our coach did a terrific job in the week and everyone’s ‘head’ was just right and our game plan spot on. Perhaps ironically it was our absolute focus and will to win at any price, that cost us with those sin-binings.

Friday is now another day and we have to get two points against Salford, but if those FC players are feeling anything like me at present, I wonder how we will ever get ourselves back up for that game. Proud yes, gutted yes, but glorious in defeat? Abso-bloody-utely!

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