The Dentist’s Diary – 698th

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World !!!!

One minute I am writing two Diary’s in a week to accommodate games coming thick and fast and the next, when other clubs are playing two matches in one weekend, I have no game to report on at all? One minute we are strapped for cash, the next we are chasing the most vaunted and hyped Coach in Super League …allegedly! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; this is the craziest of seasons we will ever see in our life-time’s and, who knows, perhaps the last one for our game in its current state. For, as with most things these days, predicting the future with any sort of certainty is getting rather difficult. 

It’s Derby week but who would believe it and indeed for many, who cares? For everyone inside the game and out there on the ‘terraces’ have bigger issues to worry about really. I simply can’t see this current set up in our game going on much longer without there being casualties amongst the Clubs. A couple are apparently already in dire straits and the rest must be looking to winter and wondering just how they will pay their wages, because it’s simply impossible to see when they will ever be able to get fans back into Stadiums to restore at least part of the sports much needed cash flow. These are tough times and tougher ones are perhaps just around the corner. 

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The Dentist’s Diary – 697th

The Best So Far? Or just an abysmal Castleford, making us look good???

Well perhaps it was a bit of both really! 

With two editions in one week, welcome to a shorter, interim, Diary as I try to negotiate the fixture list, as in this ridiculous season the games come thicker and faster and so I guess, the Diary has to do the same. What’s more it’s great to report on a big, big win, particularly when I fear what might happen on Thursday in France. 

Good old positive Pete eh??? Still, it’s a long time since I have sat back with 30 minutes to go and decided that we couldn’t lose. I wasn’t completely relaxed, but as reader Richard Kirk said on Monday Morning, “It was only my perpetual pessimism that caused me any anxiety at all”.

We looked so good and as a team, (as opposed to a group of players), we played for each other, didn’t get sucked into the obvious defeatist demise of the Castleford players and scored some impressive team tries. Cas. on the other hand, were abysmal and looked a beaten side from their first carry. Their overall disposition looked to me to completely reflect the rationale of their Coach, who has totally lost it as far as having any sort of optimism at all is concerned and it looked like that raison d’etre had rubbed off on a lot of his players!! 

We have battled through two outbreaks of the virus and numerous injuries, yet after all that adversity, we look a better team now than we did when we restarted the season. I’d like to say that it is the Andy Last effect and I hope it is, for he should take a lot of the credit, but a group of players that looked down and out before the virus struck and have indeed looked lost at times since, suddenly seems to have found it’s mojo. 

However, perhaps a group of guys who looked as if they couldn’t be arsed at times earlier in the season, have embraced the problems and the trauma of it all, used it to motivate themselves as a group and that has welded us into a unit again. From adversity has come steel and determination? Well who knows with Hull FC? Where that performance came from is hard to say, but it was certainly nice to experience it!!

As Diary reader Mike in Cheshire said afterwards, “I feel a bit cheated by a performance like that in an empty stadium, after all the crap we have had to sit through at the KCom in the last few seasons.” And I guess we all felt like that!!

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The Dentist’s Diary – 690th

Well, we all needed that one!!

That warm glow you get when you finally sink back in your seat as a game like that one is won, is still a great feeling to have. I fretted and fumed and even shouted at the TV and it was just like the old days again. Our lot really do exasperate us all. They looked to be winning it, looked to be losing it and it was certainly hard to watch at times. We should have been 24 points up at the break but we blew chance after chance. Yet, in the end it felt good and the relief was palpable, because at times we were good and at others still so bloody frustrating! Good old Hull FC eh? World beaters one minute and egg beaters the next! 

However, in the bigger scheme of things to have had reality suspended in that way for a couple of hours, was still a blessed  relief as well really. 

 As I say, we should have won that game by a country mile and that’s no reflection of a handy Huddersfield outfit at all. Fact is we made enough chances, had enough ball and commanded enough territory, to be out of sight! But as always with Hull FC it was a real arm wrestle right up to the final hooter. We blew chances, dropped ball and made daft mistakes that invited a ‘wobbling’ opposition back into the game, but we fought hard, dug in, our middles stood up and we didn’t let our set-backs get to us and anyway let’s face it in the end we won and it’s always great to win ….always! 

After a tough week on the virus front when no doubt many of you, like me, must have wondered what the hell is going to happen to us all, we needed a lift and that’s what we got. In Marc Sneyd we had the guy who again orchestrated the best stuff we produced. As I said last week, he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but for me he organised the line all night, before he coolly stroked over the two points that won us the game. Plus, in Joe Cator we had an absolute machine who chased and harried the Giants into the ground. What a signing he’s been. 

So, once again as FC fans, we experienced the whole remit of emotions on Tuesday night and it was harrowing to watch at times, yet at the same time, such a relief at the end. 

But, we have got used to that over the years for that’s the enigma that is Hull FC, isn’t it!   

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The Dentist’s Diary – 695th

In Any Kind of Weather!!

A committed and spirited performance saw a depleted FC go down fighting, but for once, the game itself was bigger than the result! 

Occasionally as a fan, you are really proud of your club and your players. When that happens, it’s usually because of some brilliant fighting performance or for some magnanimous gesture towards the community. However, sometimes your heroes do something over and above what anyone could expect, which makes them shine out as an example to everyone. 

Those times are pretty rare and yet we saw one this week. What’s more when we got out on the field we didn’t let anyone down at all. We might not have won, but boy, playing the Cup Finalists, ill prepared and 13 men short, we had a real dig and everyone at least had a go.   

I know that every Club agreed that they would standby to step in at short notice and Castleford did the same for us when we had that outbreak in the early days, but we now have cases in camp again ourselves, so the reality was a lot different to the original principle, made as it was in less harrowing and less testing times. 

We played Leeds in a home game, yet did it at Headingley with one player having being diagnosed with the virus, three more isolating through the games track and trace set up and 9 out injured; all that in a match that was only re-arranged 22-hour’s earlier. And, after everyone at the Club had taken a pay cut from day one of the crisis!

To stand in was a great and magnanimous gesture by the whole organisation and in honesty, looking at some of those who took to the field carrying injuries, it’s pretty unlikely that we had any more ‘fully fit’ players than Castleford, but the call came, we did the selfless thing and the club and especially our players have to be congratulated for that. What’s more, as I say, once again we were poor in some aspects (the same old aspects) of our game but we had a go and I was proud of the lads at the end. 

But man do we need to get this bloody season finished. 

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The Dentist’s Diary – 694th

Just when you thought it would never come back, how great it was to be a smiling FC fan again come 10-00pm on Thursday.

On any given night the Hull FC of late would have lost that in those last few minutes…. but some real resolve and a bit of pure magic got us home. 

As the players left the field, one things for sure, the strains of ‘Sweet Caroline’ weren’t heard echoing around the Stadium! For although we had witnessed one of the more brutal games since lockdown, we battled and came through and although we still made those mistakes that put ourselves back in danger time and again, it was a determined and gritty performance. 

Of course, as a display it was certainly flawed and far from perfect, but the spirit was back and some brilliance from Sneyd and Connor got us the win with two minutes to go, and how we all needed that!!! 

Never ever underestimate what Marc can do if the forwards are performing in front of him, as on so many occasions before, a win snatched from the jaws of defeat, was down to his vision and execution. A bit of a prophet in his own land is our Marc, yet one day in the future we’ll all look back on him and realise just how good he is! 

It wasn’t exciting because of the rugby we played, for we made  the same old mistakes out of yardage and in defence near our line, but we showed spirit and a never say die attitude which made for some real drama. That’s all any of us want to see at times like this. As fans we needed a lift and I for one did feel my heart beating faster, I was watching through my fingers at times, I did think we had no chance at the end and I was out of my seat when we scored that final try; in short for this supporter, the roller coaster was back, there was a bit of tension again and boy did I need that lift!! 

So, mistakes, yes, bad options, at times of course and several other teams would probably have beaten us on that form, but for once who cares, for we won and those players certainly put a grin on everyone’s faces again. 

What fired us up? Well perhaps it’s something about us playing Castleford and of course, don’t ever discount the X factor effect of their smiling Coach.

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