The Dentist’s Diary – 703rd

Welcome to Hull FC. Brett Hodgson.

The waiting is over, the result didn’t appear to suit everyone at first, but at times like these I have always said in here that whatever you think as changes are made, we should never forget that Coaches come and Coaches go, Players come and go and owners come and Owners go but the fans go on forever!

That said, for me this is an important moment in the history of the club and the most important thing Brett said on appointment was this, “Whether it’s a win or a loss, I think the effort is what fans want to see and what fans and supporters will appreciate at the end of the day. It’s a big part of English rugby and we’ll be striving to make sure they’re happy”.That’ll do for me, for a start!

So, as predicted in here 4 weeks ago, Hodgson’s got it and as always, the Diary is (and will be) 100% behind him. That said, I’m a fan and as such allowed my opinion. So, I have to say that, as an unproven Head Coach it was still a bit of a surprise and a lot of fans reading this will have shared a bit of an initial feeling of being a tad underwhelmed when the announcement was first made. 

One or two on social media went spare, but some would go on a rant if we won the Grand Final, but no one had polished the trophy properly beforehand. However, what I would say to them is that there’s been an expression around the place for years that goes, ‘In Adam we Trust’ and after what he’s done for all of us that’s just how it should be. It’s his money and his risk. Furthermore, taking on board the year we’ve all had and the state of the game in general, Hull FC can in many ways be described as being in, if not the last chance saloon, at least a bit of a worrying state. So, we all have to do just that! Trust our Owner, for he has been pretty canny over the years and in many ways at present he has a lot more to lose than any of uslot. 

Now the new Coach is in place and good luck to him, he’s looking good and making all the right noises, so let get behind the bloke and move forward again together. 

To the sceptics I would just say no-one had even heard of Brian Smith before he came to the Club, but I can to this day still see him leading his players to the adoring fans at the Boulevard as we got to our first Premiership Final for years, as  ‘Keeping the Dream Alive’ rang out from the stadium speakers. Let’s hope that Brett can emulate that.

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The Dentist’s Diary – 702nd

What a Difference a Week makes eh?

We were outplayed at times and pretty well mastered throughout and that by a Wigan team that simply out thought us! Had we been neutrals watching, we would have been full of praise for how they controlled the whole game, but when you’re the ones being done in a semi-final, it’s hard to have an objective view on things at all really.  

I think we all dared to dream and got a bit carried away with it  all and perhaps in the end it was all that we as FC fans should have expected. Wigan had all the play-off experience and were simply far too good for us at managing the game. Of the 4 that remained, they’re the best team in such situations by far and they proved it last night. 

They came out to control things from the off, went toe to toe with us when both sides were fresh, took their chances when they came and then just contrived to disrupted our game throughout. They held that stranglehold to the end, grabbed a couple of late tries that flattered them on the score board and so ran out easy winners. 

We gave it our all, never shirked a tackle and tried so hard to get right in their faces, but we didn’t get the breaks when the margins were fine, or the rub of the green when it was close, nor could we change our game once we fell behind. All through the last three seasons, form has come and gone, but we have never had a ‘plan B’ once the other team got on top. 

So, for us the season was over with what looked on the face of it to be a bit of a whacking. We know that it wasn’t like that, but that’s what the record will show!

I was so sorry for everyone who has anything to do with Hull FC and particularly for Adam Pearson. These are tough time and although someone had to lose, with all that is going on around here at present I just wish it hadn’t been us. 

None the less, we all awoke on Friday morning with a very different Christmas ahead of us and another four months before we see the lads play again. However, last night, you just couldn’t fault the effort or the passion, we were just beaten by a better team who turned up intent on stifling and frustrating us, before they clinically finished their chances. 

What’s more, as the seasoned play-off contenders that they are, they executed that plan perfectly!   

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The Dentist’s Diary – 701st

“Best performance in the last two years!!”

That was a text I received from reader ‘Ian DesForges at the end of the game and who can argue with that. Man, I was so proud!! It was such a relief to see a FC team playing with so much passion. For in our most complete showing for years, everyone was simply outstanding!

On the day that Hull went to the top of the infection tables in the country we needed a lift, …..boy did we need a lift and hell did those 17 hero’s give us one with that performance. 

All over the West of the City and indeed across the extended worldwide FC family people were on the edge of their seats again and watching through their fingers but in the end were all so proud. Even with ten minutes to go I said to Mrs. R. that whatever happened now (and something often does at that point with us) we should all be very satisfied. I also said that perhaps at the end in the post-match interviews, we were looking at our next Coach.  

I’m a big ‘all change’ and scrap ‘Club Hull’ advocate, as you know, but man Ian was right, for the passion and will to win for each other was there for all to see. Our interim Coach has believed in himself, picked players on form (and not on who buys him a pint in the pub) and made some brave, brave decisions and most importantly the players have bought into his beliefs. All of a sudden our overall shape and attitude is so much better. 

It’s the first time I think, that we have seen an FC team going into the play-off’s getting better and better, we have actually peaked at the right time and weren’t we all proud of that showing, for it was just what all of us who were worried and concerned about everything that is happen around us needed.  As another reader Ian Middleton commented, “It was like we as supporters would want to play” 

How anyone can still doubt Sneyd’s ability beats me. Once again just as in two semi-finals and two Wembley wins, ‘cometh the hour cometh the man’. All the plaudits were flowing for Jake again and what a player he is now becoming, but Marc simply controlled everything, managed the team brilliantly and with a pack on the front foot against a big Wire six, he was the master. What’s more unlike most of the other things that happened that didn’t surprise me at all! 

Incidentally as a footnote, I still couldn’t help wondering what ‘Mr Watson’ was thinking, as he watched that performance!!! 

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The Dentist’s Diary – 700th

No game this week, but after a crazy season when without even playing we are back in the play-offs for the first time in three years!!!

As episode 700 of this drivel arrives, it’s certainly a milestone for me and in a lifetime of watching Hull FC and indeed in that period of writing this rubbish, I’ve certainly been through some strange times. Yet in over 60 years of regularly watching rugby league, I have never seen times like these. Look for instance at the 7 days since the last Diary!

In just a week we have seen Toronto refused in their application to re-join Super League, because we presumed the game wanted to save money for struggling Clubs, before we put out an open invitation for another Club to join the competition next year but with half the Sky money. Next, we curtail a season that was already being decided by win averages rather than points and devise a bigger play-off competition to take its place. Then, all of a sudden a season that was fizzling out sees Hull FC in there with a chance of the Grand Final which is quite unbelievably being played at our own ground; bizarre or what??

As the crazy stuff continued, that revelation was quickly followed by us finding out the almost unbelievable fact that the RFL didn’t actually go through the necessary due diligence when Toronto joined Div. 1 in the first place. Next up, Rovers dropped out altogether three games short of the end of the season, ditto Castleford who now have 20 people infected, the current Salford club are docked three games (6 points) for reneging on a CVA that dates back to 2013 and that is charged to a Salford City Reds company that no longer exists anyway and finally the new Ottawa team have decided to drop out of next season. 

I started the diary three editions ago with the headline, it’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and guess what? I do believe it’s getting madder!

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