The Dentists Diary – 441st

The 2015 back to back wins edition!
(Enjoy it; it might just be the last one!)

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So Ok before we get to analytical about it all, the first question has to be, who would have taken two wins from the three Easter games? Rovers was a disaster and Saints a real freak of a result, while Widnes targeted us as ‘easy beats’, and pinned all their hopes of a second Easter win on our game. They even rested 6 or 7 players from their trip to Catalan to ensure they rolled us, but somehow we managed to scupper their best laid plans and we turned them over…quite easily in the end! Ha, Ha Suckers!!!

Friday wasn’t pretty and a lot of the time it certainly wasn’t smart, but we got home and over the line…for the second time in a week.

Although a lot is still wrong, after Friday night I was just relieved to have a tally of 4 points over the holidays and whether wins come as classy performances, or (as we have seen), desperate scrambling arm wrestles, it makes little difference. In the new Divisional format, pleasing the fans with attractive rugby is way down the agenda as sadly now only one thing matters and that’s points!!

However as thankful as we are for those two victories, Cup weekend approaches, in fact its Sheffield’s Cup Final and there can be no slip ups at all on Sunday. We should play a full team and not rest anyone although in reality we only have around 17 or 18 fit anyway. If there is a slip up, as well as the Coaches job being back in the melting pot as far as the fans are concerned, there is little doubt that for many of the Faithful, the season will be over, almost it seems, before it began. With Adam Pearson’s unwavering loyalty to our at times beleaguered leader, a win will, I’m sure, see our coach’s tenure secured. However should we lose, then as perhaps our only chance of any glory at all in our 150th season disappears over the horizon, I think it’s hard to see our coach’s tenure not being very far behind it!

But we’ll worry about that later in the week because after a good five days, this week’s offering is a bit more upbeat than of late, although I have to admit that I have seen nothing to suggest that, when we are back playing opposition that has had a full week to prepare, we’ll have turned a major corner. However in adversity, with a lot of injuries and two short turn rounds our desperate scrambling style has seen us come through with 4 precious points, although the Dobbins game was still the one I wanted most to win and that reversal will live long in this fans memory, for all the wrong reasons!

So please bear with me this week as I try to give my angle on not one but two games, as they came thick and fast over the holiday period. Quite frankly, it’s been a hectic and at times quite un-nerving Easter and after the Dobbins debacle I was so desolate last Saturday that I rushed out a scratchy Diary to try and plicate my depression and do my upmost to get it all out of my system. Boy I was down, but then again I don’t suppose I was on my own was I?

However the bi-product of that dejection and the subsequent hurried edition of this rubbish was the fact that it meant I went to Saints more relaxed and safe from the thought of having to then write up another harrowing defeat straight afterwards. Of course this is Hull FC and it’s impossible to plan anything, or indeed have any sort of rational about what they will do next; and, right on cue, they threw the script and the form book out of the window and we won!!

However at least I can now report on two victories back to back in the strangest of weeks I have experienced for some time. Although we all waltzed out of the KC last Friday smiling and happy with a second win in 5 days, we were still scratching our heads a bit as we felt bemused by that victory and completely baffled by the officiating, but all the while as well, mightily relieved at the outcome. I think it’s safe to say that although we lamented a scratchy display, we were so, so thankful for the points. That Widnes match is still very much to the front of my mind and my thoughts are pretty set about it, whilst I am more wistful and reflective when it comes to the trip to the Champions, that none the less had every single fan that attended wallowing in that most unlikely and pleasurable of outcomes.

The trip to Lancashire last Monday was, as I say, a strange one and at Saints it was an uphill battle from the off! While the Widnes game saw us get a bit of luck at times, that was certainly needed to balance some really rough calls from an appalling referee. Against Widnes the casual observer who was not emotionally tied up in it all would say that we always looked like winning, while at times, sat there and suffering, we all thought we were still threating to throw it away. However, although a lot of our attacking was dumb ….again, and our game management was poor…again, throughout both fixtures there was a tremendous amount of effort, wanting and team spirit and for the first time I can remember in the modern era we won them both with three hookers, three full backs and a rag bag of players playing out of position. So, when you stand back from it all, those 160 minutes of rugby proved to be a really fine effort that produced two priceless wins, one of which was against the current Champions….away from home!

So firstly to Saints and the most pleasant Easter Monday I can remember for ages. It was a sunny journey over the Pennines, however for this fan the dark clouds of depression still loomed large as I continued to suffer after a Rovers defeat that as I said saw me steeped in doom and gloom. In fact I have to admit that as I looked down the remaining fixtures last Sunday, I simply couldn’t see anything but losses from here on in. What the hell do I know eh?

Everyone I met was talking of boycotting games and never getting a season ticket again and I have to say that I concurred with all of that myself. In fact, when you consider the rock bottom demeanour we all found ourselves experiencing, then the actual numbers that made the trip over the Pennines was quite amazing!! Why should I be surprised though, because as FC fans that’s what we do best!

Beforehand poor Adam Pearson was a picture of misery too and as for Lee Radford, well on that steamy Lancashire afternoon he must have been feeling the heat in more ways than one! I expected just a couple of hundred to be assembled on the away terracing at Saints and yet with getting on for 700 basking in the unusual Easter weather, it was a testament to the brilliant FC fans who once again proved to be the best supporters in the game.

This time the loyalty of those who travelled and their dedication against undoubted odds was rewarded a hundred fold, as they witnessed a scrapping, tenacious and at times gripping performance that was tempered throughout by the tiredness and fatigue of both sides. But don’t let that detract from a smashing day out that Mrs R and I both really enjoyed.

After the game Lee Radford commented, “The supporters were unbelievable today right from the get go. Danny Houghton actually asked me to give the fans a mention after the game because they really played their part in the victory today. I appreciate we come in for criticism on a result to a result basis, but for the die-hards and the Old Faithful that turned up today, that win was for you” Thanks for that Lee, but it’s worth adding that there were many, many fans who (for reasons aside from being totally pissed off) couldn’t make it and they were just as tense and just as hyper as they no doubt switched their radios on and off at home, as the game ebbed and flowed. However for us lot there on the day and out there in the sunshine of the away end, it was I have to say, a victory as unexpected, as it was welcome!

On the positive side we scored some well worked tries and Shaul’s last one was worth the journey, particularly as he was running towards us. I’ve said before that you get a completely different aspect when you watch from behind the posts and so we clearly saw Shaul power into acting half as he spotted two Saints forwards blowing a bit. As he came through the middle and dissected the Saints line between those players, he ran on, stepped the cover and arced back towards us to finish up next to the posts, where he put the ball down before vaulting the boards and joining us on the terraces to celebrate. There is something really special about moments like that one, for they become etched on your memory as something you remember for ages afterwards!

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Shaul wins it, to be mobbed by his colleagues and his fans!

Afterwards I mused on the fact that with three hookers playing, it was quite ironic that it took a full back running into acting half to grab that unlikely winning try, still it took some scoring and was a fine finale to the match. Earlier in the ‘piece’ Saints had found it very easy to score their first two tries and it looked like we would be routed even after we had surprisingly and unexpectedly taken the lead. However whether they were more tired than us and the extra day’s rest was on our side I don’t know; and quite frankly who cares? We went on to dominate for long periods and although we didn’t pierce their line as often as we should, we battled on and got a late break. Let’s face it, that inability to get through the line is something we are all getting used to isn’t it?

You know Houghton comes in for a lot of un-necessary stick from some fans and the twits on twitter who had hounded the players for the period between the Derby and the Saints game had obviously got to a usually calm and placid man as he said with a deal of honesty on Saturday, “I think if we had played another 40 minutes against Rovers we still wouldn’t have scored any more points. There is a lot of work to be done”. After the Saints game he was obviously relieved and went on at great length to thank the fans after what was, all in all, a very good win and a pretty decent performance in difficult circumstances! Westerman shone throughout and appeared to be playing a game that I had envisaged him playing when he first came to the Club he was full of passing and play making, which saw him give the opposition problems throughout, basically because for a change, he promoted the ball.

Their pack was much bigger than ours, of that there is little doubt, in fact at times we were packing down the first six who could stagger to the scrum while Walmsley was amazing for them at times. On one occasion I counted not a single first choice forward besides Westy in our 6 and he was in the front row, while they had Walmsley, Masoe, Roby, LMS, Amos, and Richards in there against us. However we still managed to stay in the game and in the end the class of Shaul and Pryce, ably supported by Westerman, got us home. We had picked ourselves up off the floor and playing with a real rag bag of out of position players we scratched a win and capped it with a terrific try, right at the end, just as so many Clubs have done to us over so many seasons. Wins at Saints in any circumstances are rare indeed, my pal Rich witnessed his first win there since he started supporting us in 78, so I’ll take that win and remember the crowd, the sunshine and that Shaul try for a long time.

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Happy faces at Saints….for once!

Expecting a gimme as far as the outcome of the game was concerned, there were plenty of Saints fans there and plenty of subdued ones at the end too. They fit perfectly the ‘Big Time Charlie’ persona that I have discussed in here of late; it’s certainly not something that is unique to us lot at the KC. The Saints fans just sat there quietly all perhaps blasé about the ease by which they would despatch us after their own Derby defeat at Wigan 3 days earlier; who knows what they were thinking but there was a definite air of inevitability about it all as the game kicked off. Whatever their reason, they could hardly raise a cheer, even when their heroes were in front. Beforehand too little was any different to any other trip there, and as we walked to the Stadium past the most enigmatic of local landmarks the biggest Tesco’s you’ve ever seen, they observed us with their usual ‘holier than thou’, supercilious and even haughty attitude.

However as our heroes battled on and ground out an unexpected but amazing win against the Champions, the ‘Red V’s’ just sat there in the sun and watched it all in silence. The Saints weren’t even ‘Marching out’ as few even walked before the hooter, in fact many just sat there and watched and pointed as we danced and pranced around the terracing, as if we were some strange travelling freak show from the mystical East (Coast); who know perhaps we are just that. Strange lot them Saints fans really, never satisfied! But for us lot, just for a short period of respite in a torrid season and what at times seems like a lifetime of angst, it was just good to be amongst those great people who go everywhere, do it every week, and do it in any kinda weather, whatever our demise!

The game and our performance was all, I’m sure, tempered a bit by our now almost inbuilt realism and as I say it certainly wasn’t a great performance by any means, but the feeling of temporary liberation amongst the Hull fans, determined to enjoy the moment, was so meaningful you could almost taste the relief! We all just loved that moment, but I think we all agree too that it’s not a good idea to get carried away with anything Hull FC wise, well not if we want to preserve what is left of your future sanity anyway!

So onwards the only fit 17 players on our books ‘marched’ (or should that be limped) to the game against Widnes and a match that the opposition had made no excuses for targeting by resting 7 of their first team players from their trip to Catalan last Monday. That seemed to me to be a strange one at first glance because I have always thought that as far as League games are concerned its best to take one game at a time. However what it does prove is that already the jeopardy of the new structure is getting to teams and we find a Club willing to sacrifice two ‘possible’ points in one game, to give themselves the best chance of getting two ‘probable’ points in a more winnable one the following weekend…..they thought!!!!

That master plan from James Rule and Co at Widnes didn’t however take into account the tenacity and will to win of a Hull team under the pump and struggling to get 17 bodies on the field. A crippling Easter schedule that surely has to be looked at in future, meant that Friday called for a good and solid display with no frills, which of course ensured that there were few clear cut chances for either team in general play. That was down as far as the opposition was concerned to our tackling and harassing and the best sliding FC rear guard I have seen for some time. We waited and waited on the fringes and didn’t get sucked into a game that was dictated from the off by Widnes trying to get round the outside of our defence. On the other hand our inability to get over the line in normal play was down solely to once again our blunt and at times rudderless attack.

All the tries in fact came from ‘freak’ occurrences in a game in which once again the referee was the biggest talking point for most of the night. I don’t think, as far as off sides go, I have seen such a shambolic attempt at policing the line for years, and all round as far as his officiating was concerned Mr Silverwood was just crap.

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Jordan and Richard or Dick as he is better known these days at the KC!

His general decision making was at best bemusing and at times just a joke! Twice he went to the video referee when it was not needed and then he allowed an obvious knock on to be over looked for their first try and when Rankin broke through and was on his way to the line in the second half, he blew up and brought him back for a ‘pat down’ of the ball in the tackle. He couldn’t go to the video referee on the first occasion but on that second had he allowed the play to be completed, then the video referee could have reviewed it and given us a try. Those two incidents provided a potential match changing 12 point turn round. He really was shocking and it’s easy to see why many pundits point to the fact that our refereeing is ruining the game. Look at the incident when he gives a penalty 35 yards out and we opt to go for goal, we can’t change that choice, but a whisper in his ear (no doubt I’d guess from Mr Cummins) and Silverwood moves the penalty back another ten yards, we are clearly then a long way out and from our vantage point we all saw Pryce ask to change our option and go for touch, but we are not allowed to and subsequently we miss the goal! He’s bloody priceless!

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Back to his best, Tom Lineham is flying again!

Radford hinted at a big bust up in the changing rooms at half time as I’m told Pryce and Mini laid into the team bemoaning the fact that we blew three clear cut chances and should in effect have already been out of sight. That’s a massive problem for us, because although we toiled and scrapped, our game management at times is woeful. It’s hard to say anything else of a team that just stretches things to what looks like an unassailable lead then fails to catch the kick-off, it bounces into touch and they score from the scrum. Again Pryce was into Lineham and really giving him the rounds of the kitchen because our winger should have caught the ball.

Catch it and its game over, leave it and they have just a sniff, its schoolboy stuff with which at present we still seem to struggle. Our last tackle plays were shambolic too. On countless occasions the opposition got an easy 20 from a 20 metre restart, with Danny Houghton in particular at fault by taking the wrong option a time or two. Although I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on some, because perhaps he was saving a chase and opting for a 20 meter restart that would give our lads a blow.

You know, I hate the expression ‘game management’ but it’s a real issue in our matches because it’s all about being tidy, taking the safe option when you’re in the lead, finishing your sets well and just being bloody savvy! Call them slips, errors of judgement or simply ‘brain farts’ it’s a fact that too often we are imploding and screwing up at critical times in games and we must do everything we can to put that right.

However a win is a win and when you actually stand back from our concerns about the quality of what we produce with ball in hand we controlled the game throughout. It was good to see that at one side of the field at least our attack is looking to be getting there and how good was it to see Tom Lineham (the Flying Pig) back at his imperious best. His hat trick started with a great crunching dive in at the corner and then featured two carbon copy interceptions deep in our own twenty from cut out passes from Brown and Handbury. These saw him revealing again that brilliant running style where he just keeps the opposition tantalisingly out of reach. That second interception try, was for me in the style it was scored, reminiscent of that great touch-down against Warrington in the Cup semi-final at Huddersfield, especially in the way that despite a chasing player on his shoulder he still manages to turn inside at the end of his run, cross the line of that chaser and then end up closer to the posts. Great stuff.

So, my grumbles aside, it was job done and we can’t really complain because we got what we needed and as I said right at the beginning, it might not have been the wins we wanted or indeed expected, but at the end of the day 4 points from 6 over Easter is, in anyone’s book, as good a return as we could have hoped for.

A really low gate reflected that Derby disappointment and was not helped by a very poor turn out from the Widnes fans, but with 150 still stuck in France after the latest air strike, I guess many of the ‘diehards’ found it hard to get there and/or had just about had enough of travelling that week .

So, what else has been happening then? Well the news that we are talking to Mickey Paea about a new contract is good for the Club and I just hope that he signs up again. He’ll tell you he wants to if you ask him, but talks are stalling at present as the Club wait for Motu Tiny to return from Australia and New Zealand as he pursues a prop and a centre. Of course the fact that we have already signed the in-form Scott Taylor, who is currently on loan to Salford for 2015, means that we already have one new prop in the Club for next season. In addition to that Diary readers in Australia are telling me that the prop who we are hot on the trail of is David Shillington, so that chase could be the reason we are stalling on getting Mickey sorted. I like Paea though and he’s a player I would dearly like to keep, he’s an honest grafter, a nice bloke and our best forward thus far this term.

He certainly isn’t without his suitors but the Tongan has no intention of leaving the Club, something he confirmed when he said on the Press Association web site last week, “I’m definitely happy at Hull. They’ve been very good to myself and my wife. They’ve been a great club for us and I’ve really enjoyed my time here, I’m definitely keen to stick around and it’s something I’m looking to sort out over the next month.”

There was also last week an interesting insight into an ‘understanding beyond his years’ of young Curtis Naughton when on Thursday he said in another excellent James Smailes interview, “We definitely did it for Radders at St Helens and I think we went out and showed everyone we are not a bottom of the league team. We showed we can match it with these top-four teams. Every one of us knew in the back of our mind that we had to go out and get a win for Radders. He’s a terrific coach who I really get on with. He’s a great bloke and he’s the one who gets it when we lose, so I am happy we got a win for him and for the fans.” Some of you I know wouldn’t altogether agree with Mr Naughton, but it does show a togetherness and a backing for our Coach from with the squad, which is apparent when you go down to training. Radford however, could do a lot worse than to employ Young Curtis as his PR consultant!!

Obviously rocked a bit by some very un-necessary personal insults and criticism that the players received on social media after the Rovers game, the playing staff have very commendably closed ranks and then apparently at Saints they ‘did it’ for the coach! That of course is something that can get you through most things in the short term, but in the long term it’s the ability, flair and tactics that a team embraces that makes it really great; that’s certainly something we have to aspire to, but with Curtis also saying that he was never phased or disappointed in having to wait his chance, at least we have now seen exactly what Mr Naughton is made of. I like his loyalty and by the looks of that performances against Saints and Widnes his has some ability too, I hope he does well myself!

I often bang on in here about Sky TV and their broadcasting and coverage of our game but it’s about time they did something about the rest of their coverage too and in particular the pretty appalling Boots and All. This week I happened across an intriguing article on the Guardian website related to Sky Sports’ only RL magazine show, and boy its viewing figures are shocking. According to BARB – the organisation that compiles such statistics – it is watched by only 22,000 people. Only a few more than were at the Derby at the KC the other week. What a shocking indictment of their coverage of our game that is eh?

Well Leeds have landed the warm up game against the New Zealanders that we were promised and is anyone surprised? One of the oldest and most famous Clubs in the RL is 150 years old this year and so we award the match to Leeds so they can offer ‘brown noser’ Kevin Sinfield a farewell party as he leaves our game for more money in Union!!!! Quite frankly it stinks but as I say…why are we not surprised??

In this week Codgers corner I thought, with talk of a battle to avoid the Championship next year, I would jog a few memories and have a quick look back at the places that I used to visit to watch the FC, and believe me I have been to some unusual grounds to see my hero’s over the years. One of the nicest was the Bramley ground, The Barley Mow, which was situated next to the Brewery and where up to the end of the 60’s the team’s used to get changed in the room above the pub of the same name at the front of the ground. The players would descend along the whitewashed back of the building, down a steep wooden staircase to the pitch! It was a really friendly club, run on old fashioned lines, and we were always made really welcome at the Barley Mow pub and I remember well Mabel the bar maid too!!

Then there was that trip to play the Mansfield Marksmen at the Alfreton Stadium, in 1987. Remember that one? What a place that was. The club was the RL’s attempt to introduce the East Midlands to Rugby League, and was named after their sponsor’s premier beer. The Marksmen had started their time at Mansfield football ground but moved north to Alfreton after their first season. The ground featured one dilapidated stand and grass mounds on the other sides with rough sleeper terracing in places. There were around 1600 people there that day if I remember rightly, which made for a big pay day for Dave Parker and his board at the fledgling club, and we ended up winning 38-7, on a freezing cold afternoon.

In fact I had a long chat about the Club with Peter Gentle who played for them for a season; it was all living in a boarding house with a hole in the wall and training on a car park stuff that really showed just what a state our game was in back then. In 1989 the club changed its name to Nottingham City and played at the Harvey Hatton Stadium, which I visited in that year to watch us play a Yorkshire Cup preliminary round game. It was like playing at Costello Stadium!! A Yorkshire Cup game in Nottingham, only in the Rugby League!!

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The freezing cold at Mansfield, makes me reminiscent of another regular, but long, trip we used to make, this time to Fulham. I remember best of all a day we played them at Craven Cottage on the banks of the Thames. It was a long haul in the car back then, but thousands used to trek south whenever we played the London outfit! The game in question was a John Player Trophy game in November 1984 when we again won, 36-14. Although it was only November the pitch was frozen over and it was probably only the fact that so many had made the trip from Hull that saw the game played at all!

Perhaps the most bizarre adventure when watching rugby league was when I ravelled up the coast a time or two during the short existence of the Scarborough Pirates. This team coached by Len Casey was set up as another of the RL’s ill-fated attempts to spread the game away from the M62 corridor. We did not play them in a competitive first team game, but the Pirates, in an attempt to protect the pitch which they hired from the local football team, decided to play their “A” team games at Goole of all places!!!!! These games were played at the Victoria Pleasure ground in the shadow of the old water tower on Friday nights. I went twice and was surprised to find that they got good gates too, and there were regularly 1000 people in attendance.

Huyton’s Alt Park was a ground I visited on two occasions and was probably the worst place I have ever watched Rugby League. Set in one of the toughest areas of suburban Liverpool the ground was an absolute mess, litter everywhere, and the old joke about men going to the loo against a wall was lived out to perfection. The Gents was a wall!!! It was there, I believe, that Dick Tingle leaned back in his seat in the press box and fell through the back of the stand!! If you ever went there you will never forget it. The club struggled for years and was kept going by the ubiquitous and balding Geoff Fletcher. For what seemed like years he was groundsman, fundraiser, toilet cleaner and player/coach, and his wife even washed the shirts. He was bald when he played the game, but had a full head of hair the rest of the time. It was a running joke in those parts for months after one wag took a picture of his “syrup” hanging on a hook, in the changing rooms during a game!

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Finally, in this visit to grounds that have long since stopped welcoming RL supporters there was the fantastic, antique, and dilapidated, Watersheddings Ground in Oldham. As our club’s supporter’s coaches climbed up the hills to the highest ground in the Rugby League, the weather always seemed to get wet and drizzly. I have been about 7 or 8 times but the sun never seemed to shine! The fact that as you entered Oldham you went under a bridge which announced on its advertisement board “Oldham home of the Tubular Bandage”, should have prepared you for what was to come. It was like the land that time forgot.

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The Watersheddings

There was a stand, the nearest I guess to the “Threepennies” at the Boulevard, called the “Penny Rush” which dated back to the 1890’s and I doubt if it had experienced a lick of paint since then. The surrounds where made up of short stands which seemed to have been added and joined together as they were needed, probably built as the club got the finance to do so! It was always an experience watching the FC at Oldham!

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Sky arrived but little changed at Oldham!

This diary does not give me the space or the time to talk about, Crown Flatt at Dewsbury, Station Road at Swinton, Thrum Hall at Halifax, or many other grounds which are now sadly no more. They all have their stories too, but I’ve enjoyed just revisiting my memories of hose unusual places where the game has been played and perhaps I will revisit some of those others in a future Diary!

I was indebted this week to be reminded that it’s the same for all of us fanatics really when my pal Richard sent me a web blog about Queens Park Rangers were a fan was going through exactly what we were, in an article entitled “Hope rekindled or agony prolonged” In fact the author one Clive Whittingham was closer to our plight than I at first realised when he wrote, as he lamented the likely demise of his beloved QPR in the Premiership, “No point running off to the Rugby League either. Hull FC’s season is well ablaze as usual, and relegation seems a more likely outcome than any other. An Easter defeat to bitter rivals Hull KR is as good a reason as any to switch off entirely and do something else with my time”. It’s little different who you support or where you live really and who’d be a sports fanatic eh? Clive is the Editor of C21 Magazine and certainly seems to ‘get it’!

So there you are two wins and a bit more of an upbeat Diary as we look forward to a nice departure from the cut and thrust of the new Super League structure and a cup game at Sheffield. It’s their big game and a chance to test their credentials against opposition that they might well feel they will be meeting in the middle 8 play-off games, so they will be so up for it won’t they? Woe betides any complacency or ‘the right to win it’ coming through at Bramall Lane, because if that happens we could be out of the Cup before we even begin. We only have 17 fit players so it will be same again next week and we have to treat it as importantly as we have the last two league games, heads have to be right and everyone needs to be switched on for the full 80 minutes. That’s the principle but the practise at Hull FC is so often completely the opposite isn’t it?

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Bramall lane; quite an impressive place and very big!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again the game is changing and for me the new format dictates that more and more it’s not going to be about expansive play making, or exciting risk taking and creative, entertaining rugby, it’s going to be all about two points; nothing else, nothing more just grinding them out as often as you can! We have got them twice this week and that’s job done, but I honestly still think that the new system with 4 teams potentially relegated will kill the game as a spectacle and make it just a wrestle to get points at any cost, even if it’s at the cost of taking risks to produce attractive rugby for the customers! Still the Clubs voted for it so we as fans have to live with it and on that pretext alone its job done and 4 more points, but I don’t care what anyone says Super league is certainly bloody boring to watch at times this season, whatever team you support!

Thanks again for some great feed-back and some smashing E Mails and texts about the Diary. As I say it isn’t so much how you win these days just as long as you are victorious and the league table end column keeps ticking over. We have a few more points and a bit of a smile on our faces so let’s see what next week at Bramall Lane brings. Thanks for sticking with the last two rather fragmented editions and here’s to a win in the Cup next week. The Diary will be back in its usual more sedate format next time, so see you then!

Faithfully Yours

Wilf

AND FINALLY, All you need to succeed

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Two heads, four arms and six legs!!