The Dentist’s Diary – 693rd

Our Season is Over! 

Well that’s what we were told by the Sky Commentators on Thursday ….. at least twenty times!! 

For me and many of you out there, the fact our season was over was never in question weeks ago, when the virus struck a dozen folks in our camp. However, on this occasion I did turn the sound down after 60 minutes of the game, for the standard of the commentary was simply appalling. Still enough of that, because although we got closer than I thought we would get on the score board, we’re all disappointed again; disappointed but, if were honest, not completely surprised.  

We love our club and the game, but whether it’s the state of the virus epidemic, whether its winter coming on, whether it’s the economic climate or whether it’s the continued frustrating of the attitude and form we see week in week out  Hull FC I don’t know, but if the rest of the supporter base is anything like me, then you’ll all be losing interest in a season that doesn’t seem the real deal at all.  

After that win against Cas. my enthusiasm started to flicker back, but I felt deflated after our game with Wigan, because although the spirit was there, we dropped back into bad habits and never gave ourselves a chance. I guess us all needing a lift, but ending up going out of the cup, was something that left me pretty fed up, but there was no time to dwell on things, because these days, games come around very quickly. 

Against Salford it was a case of the ‘same old’ again. We gave it a go, of course we did, we usually do these days, and I guess had a couple of passes not gone to ground, we might have won. We got in front but the hard truth is, we let the Red Devils back into it and once they were on top, they took charge and easily held out to win. Structure wise, defence wise, mistake wise and just simply nous wise, we were second best for long periods of the game. For me, it’s not about lack of training or Covid, or indeed anything like that, because we simply don’t have the structure of other teams, at times we‘re all over the place, from some our attitude is wrong and we just make too many mistakes. 

Being a fan is very subjective and so it’s rare a Coach can encapsulate in one comment what everyone else is thinking. However,  Andy Last said after the game, “I am fed up of hearing how good we are on paper, because on paper is not where you win games, it is on the green stuff where they are won. We have got to get more of these players filling this ‘so called’ potential week in, week out.” He went on to say that Gareth Ellis had played over 400 games and Danny Houghton over 300 and always given their all in every one, implying that wasn’t the case with most of the rest of our lot. Vis a Vis; too many players believe their own publicity. 

For a coach that was scathing, but it was honest and animates something that has been steadily growing for two years and mirrors what we have all been saying for ages!!

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The Dentist’s Diary – 692nd

Well, that was disappointing wasn’t it??

And … it’s another tough Diary to write.

Out of the Cup, in a year like no other, when a place at Wembley would have really raised all our spirits and given us the distraction many of us need at present. However, there are times in the life of a sports fan when, no matter how fanatical you are about the team you love, you have to admit that on the day you were beaten by a better team. This was, without doubt just such an occasion. For we were pretty much outplayed throughout. 

We began the game with an unusual starting front row with no doubt the objective of toughing it out in the first quarter and then bringing on the bigger lads to wrestle the initiative and move us forward there on in. Wigan, (no doubt having read our lot were so knackered after last weekend’s two doses of heroics, that we had had hardly trained and even had an extra day off this week), came out to pressure us from the off and got right into our faces. Their line speed was first class and their spine moved us about  from minute one. They weren’t brilliant, but they were far too good for us, as sadly a few of our old issues with the ball started to rear their heads again. We started slowly and made far too many mistakes, whilst they were at us from the first whistle and in effect, they had the game won after 15 minutes. 

The one thing I will say that might not make me many friends is that for me there was for me one plus and that was that we never gave up and we showed some great spirit in a second half when we could have completely capitulated. I think that it was a situation that would have seen the FC team that was defeated by Warrington in Radders last game, go down by at least 70 points. Yeh, we were inept, clueless at times and so profligate with the ball, but we scrapped to the final hooter. 

In the bigger picture, the virus closes in on us all again and even relatively safe havens like Hull and the East Riding are being threatened with possible lockdowns. That must mean  that crowds attending matches again in numbers looks even less likely to happen now and the very existence of the rest of the season must be in doubt, I really do worry for the game it’s players and our club. If ever there was a good example of things being more important than winning or losing, in our game this is it. What a bloody mess it all is eh?

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The Dentist’s Diary – 691st

That Was A Great Weekend!! 

I needed the lift yesterday brought, but then again I think we all did. 

So, welcome back at last to a more upbeat Diary! 

…..and to a bumper two game edition in a week that threatened to defined our season as a Rugby League Club in 2020, lose both games and the season was in effect over, win one and we had a bit of hope for another week, win both and it would have been pretty unbelievable. But believe it, we did just that!! 

The league still looks a massive ask, for we are certainly bashed up a bit, but on Thursday Wakey were in a bit of a mess as well, we were nervy and it was error strewn, but a wins a win, under whatever circumstances it comes and at least it was a gritty and fighting performance. Lasty, the man with the most difficult job in rugby league, should be applauded too for giving the kids their head, for their enthusiasm and spirit got us through. Then on Sunday another master stroke from the Coach was again his selection and his tactics and what a heartening and great win that was over Castleford. Who knows what the future holds, but one things for sure, it’s been a great few days for all us FC fans. 

In these strange times when we seem to have more alcohol on our hands than in our stomachs, the virus gets more and more worrying and the RL season, more and more bizarre. We are living in a strange, scary and different world and a weekend like that was just what we all needed.  

It is then hardly surprising I guess that this is a season, when many of us were becoming pretty ambivalent to the whole thing. Admit it, who hasn’t looked to see how many games are left till it’s all over? 

Yet it’s a time our club, if it is to even survive, needs us all more than ever before and as Jacuzzi showed so brilliantly this week with their continued support, we’ll all always be there for it. The whole 2020 competition is becoming a log jam of games, based on simply keeping Sky happy (important though that is). That said, we needed a lift as a group of supporters and by gum we got one. 

For various reasons, this season has so far been a strange one, particularly when it came to being as involved with it all as we were before lock down, which is something that I’ve tried to address from a personal angle later in here! However, I was very proud by 5-00pm on Sunday and for the first time in months, I went to bed with a real smile on my face!

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The Dentist’s Diary – 690th

Well it was never going to last was it? 

Firstly, let me say that we had a real go on Friday and though the score wasn’t that much different, there was a lot more fight and a much better attitude than we saw back at the KCom on ‘the night of the long knives’, back in March, when we completely capitulated to the Wolves. 

However, on Friday we were out muscled and out smarted on a night when absolutely nothing went for us. We were very unlucky with a prop dropping out before the game, several injuries, two players going off for head checks and the way that everything that could go against us, did!! They had loads missing as well, but they had the template and the systems and their replacements just dropped into them and make no mistake about it, the best team won by far, our indiscipline and poor pass and play selection did for us and there’s little else to say I’m afraid. 

However, for Hull FC, with a ridiculous schedule ahead next week and now both Sneyd and Shaul missing from our spine, it’s hard to see where we go from here really. I guess in a nutshell Warrington controlled the territory better than us and instead of panicking, they just slowly turned the screw and put us under more and more pressure before we inevitably cracked. We then panicked and in the second half ran out of steam completely. 

As I say, we had bags of heart and tried really hard, but already with still 3 months of games to play, when you watch Hull FC out there on the field yeh, we look tired, but we are also unbalanced and unstructured and perhaps already a massive over-haul of the team is needed before 2021. Lee Radford is gone, but some of those players appear to only be able to play his way. We never gave up and the effort was there, but in the second half we faded badly and didn’t have the nous or guile to get back into it. We have to learn to exert pressure on teams, simple as! So, it was certainly disappointing, yes there are mitigating circumstance, but it was all pretty predictable too.  

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