The Dentist’s Diary – 453rd

Oh Dear, Oh Dear Oh Dear!!!!

Next up it’s the Super 8’s and if you can see where a win is coming from for the FC in the next 7 games, then you’re a better man than me!

Talk about ‘after the Lord Mayors Parade’; what a come down that was on Thursday and what an indication of just how far we have to improve our mental approach to games too! We were quite simply outgunned and outclassed by a team who, from the kick off, wanted it so much more than we did.

As a weekly chronicle of an average fan these Diary’s seem to bump along through periods of mediocrity and flat-lining, before suddenly peaking with great moments of hope, as was the case over the last two weeks. Then of course they are invariably thrust back down again into the mire. It’s not just the Diary’s that suffers that way either, because it’s the lot of us fans too isn’t it? But that’s the ‘crack’ when you’re an FC supporter and it has been that way for years. They simply build you up, to shoot you down!!

Despite all the pre match talk about us stepping up and ‘hitting the trail to the top four running’, we all probably suspected that it was never going to happen, because we came up against a team that was better prepared, more focussed, mentally stronger and much better drilled. Every Wigan player knew exactly what to do and when to do it, every tackle had three men in it, every break had at least two supporting runners and as early as the first couple of minutes, it was painfully obvious that we just couldn’t hold the incessant ‘push’ and movement of the visitors. You could sense their single-minded approach to it all and almost smell their enthusiasm and you know, I believe it’s a fact that, as was the case against Leeds in the Cup a few weeks ago, we can’t compete with teams with that sort of application, when they’re on their game.

We have instead to hope that we catch them on an off day, when we might just have a chance of slowing them down. However if we can’t do that then we’re stuffed and that’s just what we were on Thursday! Stuffed!! In addition I would add that judging by that showing I think we should all prepare for more of those type of ‘stuffing’s’ in the coming weeks.

Thank goodness we put one over Rovers last week to assure our Super League survival for 2015! As things unfolded against the Warriors I was struck by the thought that at least as fans we didn’t have to worry about this game too much and by the end I concluded that it looked as if the players weren’t that worried about it either! On that showing the next few games are going to be tortuous to watch, because 6 of the top seven other clubs will be capable of cranking things up a notch or two for the run in, while all the signs are that we’ll be going into our usual late season decline. I have a sneaking suspicion too, that perhaps that 48-12 reversal will not be the biggest we see. But boy, that was to say the very least, a ‘lacklustre’ showing.

However ‘every cloud’ I guess and if we are to see that usual end of season decline then at least it is to be played out at the bottom of the Super 8’s and we don’t have to approach the middle eight’s in the same frame of mind, because if the pressure of being in that dog fight was added to that sort of mindset and the loss of two of our most critical players through injury, it would be a frightening proposition for us all. At least that battle to stay up is out of the way and for that you have to be thankful. We should now however be looking upwards and targeting some big scalps and a place as close to the top of the ladder as possible. I guess as well, we’ll probably say that’s just what we intend to do, but to me we look incapable of actually delivering the wins needed to do it. I don’t envy the Club as they attempt to sell season tickets against the backdrop of what looks to be just around the corner in the Super 8’s, because I think it’s shaping up to be a very big ask, in what could turn out to be a really torrid conclusion to the season.

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A lot of huff and puff but outplayed in every area of the field!

On Thursday, after that magnificent Derby win and rather like when we pitched up for the Cup game against Leeds, there were initial signs amongst the supporters of a bit of hope and a bit of anticipation. In fact several fans said to me beforehand that they were really looking forward to the game. If we weren’t exactly at the point of enjoying our rugby again, then after the win the previous week we were at least all up for being convinced that we should be.

There was a buzz around the place which reminded me of the pre match in that Cup game v Leeds and I hoped against hope that this time we’d learned and could deliver the goods. Not everyone agrees I know, but there was definitely a feel of the pressure being off and I hoped that would breed some flamboyant rugby which when added to the tenacity we showed at Caravan Park, might just give us a chance of another win. We were, we knew, facing a quality outfit, but one that had none the less only beaten Wakefield away from home in the League this season.

As the Super 8’s unfold, past experience proves that Wigan, Leeds, Warrington and Saints will now be aiming to crank things up for the final weeks of the season as they look, as they usually do, to find another gear for the run in. This was the big opportunity to assess our chances of doing the same against one of those teams. But we came up short, so short that it was back to normal and as I say, for me, more thumping’s could well be on the horizon in the coming weeks.

It showed, if nothing else, just how far behind those clubs we are and after last week’s showing at home to us lot, the Dobbins must be lagging even farther behind. I simply feel that we are not, before such games, prepared properly for the challenge. When like last week’s Derby the circumstances make it a ‘self motivator’ with the old enemy to beat, the middle eight looming and therefore perhaps jobs on the line, then it’s ok, but when it’s not then 9 times out of 10 we fail to deliver. As I say, I went along on Thursday hoping that this time our usual flat final few weeks, (when we perennially run out of energy and see a tailing off of any sort of form) was a thing of the past. However, despite arriving at the KC still a little light headed and elated from that Derby win, I left the game realising that little has changed and once again tough times are ahead.

A flat and perhaps over confident Wigan were beaten in the Cup by Hull KR, but they have then shown since that they have learned from the experience (their Coach has made sure of that), while we were beaten by Leeds in the same competition and have shown no sign of learning anything about the importance of our mental preparation for such games. In fact at times on Thursday we looked way off the pace.

It’s doesn’t take long in these sorts of games for reality to kick in for us fans and so it was, as we watched our heroes outclassed in every department by a talented outfit that wanted it more than we did; they had us in the tackle, on the floor, in the collision and in the brains department. Ok we were perhaps a bit unlucky with a couple of decisions, but that would have done nothing but narrow the margin of defeat a tad in a game when we were light years away from being competitive. OK, Houghton tackled like a demon but lacked the creativity needed from acting half, Talanoa tried hard, Abdull probed and pressed the Wigan defence with little success, Whiting looked dangerous at times and was possibly our best player and Watts got 4 great off loads out, but otherwise it’s hard to comment much really as our players were at times totally eclipsed and in the end we were well beaten.

Ok we played a team that fielded almost the whole of their starting 1-17 while we were severely affected by the loss of Pryce, Ellis, and Feka, plus the loss of a rotating forward in Bowden early on, but it was still a massively disappointing performance. Another trait of this time of the year for us is that we always seem to lose critical players and suffer a lot of injuries whilst the teams I mention above as well as stepping up their performances, also somehow seem to avoid injuries and even by and large get players back.

In defence Wigan were superb, as in each tackle they slowed the play down with 3 men in the contact, while we persisted for the most part in just using two men, which simply meant that they could play the ball faster and get a roll on more easily. I often wonder why other teams get straight away what the referee is ‘soft on’ and act on it, while we never do.

Couldn’t our players see that Thaler was preoccupied around the tackle and subsequent play the ball, as Wigan got away with the ‘extra second hold down’ and ‘the late man coming in’ time and again? Did we try it? Did we hell! On Thursday we had too many players going through the motions and not putting a shift in, we looked lethargic like it was already job done and seemed to be treating the game as if the last seven weeks of the season were to be nothing more than a ‘going through the motions’ exercise. Wigan, on the other hand, just wanted to win and they certainly showed the sort of execution that puts them right up there as far as attacking flair is concerned. Last week at Craven Park we looked like a group of players that were playing their hearts out because their careers depended on it, while on Thursday we played like a team that’s future careers had now been assured and so it was back to business as usual!

I said last week that a senior member of the Club told me that the merger was happening because we all had to face the fact that the days of 12,000 gates have gone forever and we had to cut our cloth accordingly. That lack of ambition disappointed me considerably, but you know I believe that if we had a team that played as Wigan did last Thursday, then for me at least, a large part of the 20,000 who went to Wembley two short years ago would come back to the Club. The other 12,000 are out there somewhere and some, at least, would be back were we performing regularly with the passion, class and effort of that Wigan outfit, because although pretty excruciating for us lot, to the neutral it must have been great stuff to watch. So, for me that’s what we have to aim for, rather than accepting that we will never achieve it and cutting our cloth accordingly.

As I said earlier, if we play like that in the rest of our games we won’t be winning any of them, that’s for sure. There will be no respite and certainly no time to catch our breath in easier games either. Although it’s safe to say that the 6 teams above us will probably see ourselves and Catalan as just that, the gimmi’s of the play-offs. At least Catalans have the benefit of their obvious home advantage and all that ensues from that, while we have to simply work really hard to be anything but Cannon fodder for the top Clubs.

But, all that’s nothing new and yet we can’t go on year in year out like this can we? Let’s all be honest the ability to raise the ante in a match or two but not sustain that for any length of time through consecutive games, has been a malaise at our Club for years. If I’m honest and a bit if you like, brutal, then I think that sadly somehow a club in our position has perhaps to identify the players that regularly raise their game for a couple of matches before slipping back into their old way and perhaps consider moving them on! Easily said I know, but over the years rather than it being down to just one or two failing players this inability to focus for more than one or two games has become a culture running through the Club, whoever the players have been.

To weed out certain player is hard I know, particularly if they can pull a really brilliant game out now and again, but it’s what the top teams do!! If a player doesn’t have the mental strength to do it week in week out and we have a coaching staff that can’t seem to change that scenario, then perhaps the only solution is to part company with that player………. or the coaching staff!

Look again for a moment at Wigan. I think that the reason there are so many of their ex players playing with other Clubs across the British game is perhaps because they produce loads of talented kids but they only keep the ones that possess, not just the ability, but also the mental strength and personal application to perform at a high level week in week out; whoever the opposition is. How often do you hear of Wigan allowing young players to leave for other Clubs and wishing them well? It’s all part of their selection process and a sort of ‘We don’t want to lose you but we feel you ought to go’ scenario isn’t it?

However you never hear of their ‘Lineham’s’ or ‘Briscoe’s’ wanting away, because they never want to leave unless it’s for Australia. AND that’s the difference really because at Wigan there is no room for sentiment or the old pals act, you shape up, week in week out, or you’re shipped out! Produce the goods consistently in a focussed manner and you know that you’re in. It’s like that when you sign up at 15, because it’s the ethos by which the Club is run. Every young player who enters the youth ranks at Wigan knows that’s the case so from day one, they are just focussed on winning and doing it at all costs. In addition, the Coaching staff adheres to that policy unswervingly without fear or favour. As a group the players know that if they drop their game day intensity, they are in for a tough week but when they play like they did on Thursday they are rewarded.

For me as a fan looking from the outside in, at my Club unlike at Clubs like Wigan, it sometimes all seems to appear to be a bit too cosy really; we don’t have any coaching staff that haven’t been players at the Club and although the ‘dynasty’ approach is perhaps good on paper, it must surely create a more comfortable environment than is created when you bring in staff from outside the Club.

When asked about the possibility of importing an attacking coach the other day our owner cited the talents of Richard Horne. That’s the problem for me, because we don’t have anyone at present behind the scenes who isn’t originally from our playing ranks. In fact when in the case of Peter Gentle and Andy Hay we had a couple, it appeared at least to us outsiders that forces within the playing group transpired to get rid of them. That says it all for me and that’s why as an average fan sometimes it all looks just a bit too ‘pally, pally’ at Hull FC. The thing that the Wigan game and so many other such performances over the years proves, is that for whatever reason we simply can’t be arsed to get up for some games when the motivation is just one of simply winning a match. For me it appears that with our lot there has to be more on the table such as livelihoods at stake, a big Derby, or the end to an embarrassing run of defeats, before we raise it a notch and get the mental toughness right!

On Thursday I believe that we ran out thinking it was just another game and we could win it, while Wigan took to the field scared stiff of losing!

For me, Hull FC needs a fundamental looking at and overhaul! I have banged on in here about the mental state of our players all season and I’m still convinced that it is the single biggest problem we have; well that and the coaching staffs inability to change that culture and inherent mindset! Wigan were a good team and they are without doubt a Club with a playing roster and level of ability that has to be something for the rest of us to aspire to, although for me we seem to still be light years away. So it was that on Thursday after a couple of good wins that once again instilled a bit of hope, a ‘Big’ Club ‘had us’ in the enthusiasm, skill and mental toughness stakes….again!

So to the week past and hot on the heels of the owner stating on Radio Humberside that some high profile Aussies were coming in, on Saturday we announced a signing which took many of us by surprise. The Mail reported that the capture of Carlos ‘Los’ Tuimavave’s, ‘is understood to be the first of two new additions to the outside backs for Hull, with a deal for a second recruit nearing completion’. Although hardly the ‘household name’ we had expected, Carlos is a utility player who is at home at both centre and stand-off but who is still seen as a bit of a risky signing by some. He’s also a player that’s a bit of a maverick who can make things happen and boy do we need that! I’ve watched the tribute to him on Youtube and he’s really fast out of the blocks and onto the shoulder of the breaking player, has good hands, a good cut out pass and he certainly looks sharp. Most of all he’s a finisher and boy do we need one of those. His best position for me is however not centre but rather in the halves.

You know on transferring players into the Club, it’s a fact that if you are to progress season on season (which we seem to struggle with) then at least you have to replace like with like when players leave. Taylor replaces Paea and Pritchard is a real ‘bonus buy’, but this signing is certainly no such replacement for Lineham and so I hope that the other one we have been promised will be. Making his NRL debut in 2012 Carlos was a player ‘ear marked’ for a lot of success in the Aussie League and was in fact named as one of the top ten young players in the competition.

Harry Tyrone a readers in Australia tell me that, “He is a competent off-half who can play centre, a very athletic guy who works hard for his team mates and someone who can pull the big play out at times whilst at 6ft 2ind he pretty rangy too”. Now although I won’t say I’m underwhelmed with the signing I will say that he’s perhaps not what I expected, but in fairness neither was Jordan Rankin when we signed him. However what’s most encouraging is the fact that he has time on his side and a few years in front of him so he might just have a lot of improvement still to come. I would say that he looks a lot like Kelly did before he joined Rovers. I think he could well turn out to be a bit of a fans favourite myself and I certainly welcome him and hope that he settles in well and hits the road running next term. However now I await the next arrival and hope for a really pacey and proven back, who will sell season passes, because boy do we need one.

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Carlos might not be a Super Star, but he has a good record and comes with good raps from down under.

Talking of pacey backs, it was good to read on Saturday about Jamie Shaul’s desire to fight to get his place back and to hear that all the rumours about his going to Salford etc. were just that…. rumours. I feel he’s had a bad deal this year, but then again I don’t know all that has gone on behind the scenes; somehow his face doesn’t seem to fit does it? However for me he’s a very exciting player to watch. I think he is a great prospect and a talented back with a lot of pace and boy are we short of them in the ranks of our younger players at present. So I guess for me Jamie’s attitude is good news and I look forward to him getting a run at full back in the near future. Let’s face it looking at what went on last Thursday; we certainly have nothing to lose.

The news that Steve Michaels is about to sign a new deal at the Club will be welcomed by those who hail a player who in a difficult season has blossomed into quite a talent and who has forged a great wing relationship with young Jack Logan. Others however, who want big names coming in, will be disappointed and worried that the talk of high profile additions for the backs has been just that …all talk. Are the contract talks with Michaels a sign of a lack of ambition or simply an indication that he is being kept on to provide some depth in the backs and to compliment a flourish of new arrivals? As I said there is little doubt that we need some high level investment to compensate for the departure of Tom Lineham, which is looking, if we could get his head right, to be a big mistake and at the very least we would all hope to see some of the income raised by the sale re-invested in another quality outside back.

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I’m beginning to think that we’ll regret letting this guy leave, his application on and off the field just needs to be sorted. We couldn’t do that, so we took the money!

The Hull and Proud week video that shows the recording of a new version of Old Faithful by the players at the Hull College recording studio is a great idea and can be viewed on the Club site now. If you haven’t watched the video it’s certainly well worth a look and you’ll be able to make a donation to the Hull and Proud Charity which amongst other really worthy causes, supports Life For A Kid. However, I have to say that Yeamo is stood right at the front and looks decidedly uncomfortable, perhaps he’s about to audition for ‘No Direction’.

The video and arrangement does harks back a bit to 70’s and 80’s ‘Back Home’, ‘Blue is the Colour’ sort of sporting cheese, but I guess that’s part of its charm! Well done to all concerned and try and watch it and donate if you can.

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An unusual ensemble in search of the lost chord, but a nice Telecaster!!

This week’s quote of the week goes to the Hull Daily Mail Sports Department. After a well written article by Phil Buckingham last Monday about how disenchanted Steve Bruce was and how there had been an ominous and stony silence between owner Assam Allam and the Manager at Hull City, the paper put a strap line advert at the bottom that read;-

• Looking for a new job? Visit our Job Section to see all the latest vacancies.

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Here’s a great shot of Wattsy ‘shouldering’ a lot of the responsibility as we beat Rovers!

Rovers our noisy neighbours and academy partners are now confirmed as being part of the ‘Middle eight’s which are for me, a blooming daunting task. It’s hard to see how Neil Hudgell thinks it will be a good place to be, because it could all go wrong very quickly!. In there Leigh and Bradford are a real threat and itching to get at the Super league boys, whilst both Halifax & Sheffield have the potential to beat one or two of the Super League teams, which could see them in real trouble. Rovers could easily get off to a bad start, as they will be on a high or a low, depending on how they get on in the cup semi-final the week before. Either way, in the end those clubs in 9-12th all know that one of them, most likely Wakey, will be involved when fourth plays fifth in a one off match for promotion. You know I still think that Brian Smith is a wily old bird and given a wet sail I think I’d back him against one or two of the Super League coaches to scrape into the top three. Rovers should be alright but should they find themselves involved in that final £1m match against either Leigh or one of the other Super League teams, then I reckon the Neil Hudgell might well have wished that his team’s season had suffered the “slow, painful death” he alluded to when talking about us securing our place in the top 8. It’s going to be really interesting particularly when you’re not involved!

So to Codgers Corner and a request this week from Alan Beckett of Hall Road who lamented the ridiculous situation of some of the Rovers fans thinking we should get a couple of points deducted because a few fans got onto the pitch at the end of the Derby! He asked me this week to feature one such occurrence in the past that we should always remember before any FC fan thinks about climbing over the barriers in future.

I start with the question; what is so special in the history of the club about the date of Friday 17th April 1981? Well it was Good Friday and there were18,500 in the Boulevard for a Derby game that saw the old rivals pitting their wits against each other in an encounter that took place almost a year after that disastrous day at Wembley, that the ‘History Boys’ across the River still talk about as if it were yesterday. However it’s good again to feature this match if only to remind us all of just how bad it has been here in Hull, just in case we ever forget.

I have put off covering this game for years because quite frankly I am still ashamed about it. However now it seems the time is right. On that fateful day I settled in my place, which in those days was in the ‘new seats’ at the South end of the Best Stand, to join what was the biggest League attendance the British game had seen since the inception of the two Division format in 1973. However what makes it’s such a significant date is the fact that it was one of, if not the, blackest days in the history of our great club. What happened was nothing short of a riot and a disgrace to the game and the City!

The match started well with an exciting first quarter. From the kick off Rovers pressed our line but it was Hull who took the lead when Tony Dean picked up a loose ball ran thirty yards and set Graham Walters off to the line after just 9 minutes. Paul Woods was on kicking duty that day and ‘Psycho’ put the conversion between the post and we were in an unlikely 5-0 lead. Back came the Dobbins with two tries from Phil Hogan on 12 minutes and Hartley three minutes later. Both conversions were missed and Woods restored our lead and pushed us further ahead with two penalties. Leading 9-5 we were at last starting to get on top and pressed forward, when on 22 minutes the unthinkable happened.

In what was dubbed ‘The Long Good Friday’ by the national press and ‘The Battle of Bunkers Hill’ by the local media, all hell let loose at the South end of the Ground where in those days the score board was positioned. All of a sudden the unseasonal clear blue skies were blacked by a sudden hail of flying missiles as thousands of innocent supporters ran for cover. There was no real fighting just a bombardment of bricks, mud, rubble and wood from the ‘Building Site’ behind the embankment. It all seemed to me to start when 30 or so Hull and Rovers supporters stood in the middle of the South terrace started throwing missiles at the policemen on the Speedway track below. Some then descended the back of the embankment and started throwing rubble over the terracing and into the crowd. The club were going through some development work to increase the capacity of the Boulevard and the Police had been warned about the debris but that couldn’t stop a handful of idiots leaving the terracing and congregating behind it, to launch the onslaught.

As referee Laughton took the players off the field and down the tunnel, the St John Ambulance staff led old people, children, young people and women past us along the touchline. Many had head wounds streaming with blood, others staggered from the shock of its all. On the viewing area itself many fans from both sides desperate to escape, swept over the fence and onto the pitch leaving two small factions of idiots battling it out on the terrace. Then, a policeman went by on a stretcher, obviously unconscious and elsewhere mothers shepherded their children away from the melee and out of the ground. Little did they or we looking on realise that they were all part of what was later described as the game of Rugby Leagues ‘Blackest day’

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The point where the bricks rained down on a shameful afternoon!

In the 14 minutes the teams were off the field 40 people were hurt and 13 arrested as the place took on the look of a field hospital. In fact I remember that the possibly inexperienced St John staff, although doing a great job, used some outlandish bandaging techniques as some unfortunate fans passed us with the whole of their heads bandaged like the invisible man, but we were just all shocked and could not believe what we were seeing. Amazingly, slowly but surely, the Police got control and shepherded the fans back onto the terraces and the game restarted when referee Laughton brought the teams out and ordered a scrum to Rovers on the centre spot.

However, if we fans had lost our appetite for the game on the pitch we had as a team lost all the momentum we had before the stoppage. We all just looked on at a surreal scene of a game going on with people still being treated behind the posts at the Gordon Street end. The incidents I describe here were I suppose a shameful blot on a game that, looking back now, had many exciting pieces of action and some nerve tingling moments. Rovers had used the break to collect themselves and tore back at us for the rest of the first half. Within seven minutes evading both Norton and Woods, Hubbard crashed in at the corner.

The conversion was missed and at half time the scores were tied 9-9. Tony Dean almost got over after just two minutes of the second half and then we saw Hulls best move of the game. Dean beat Sanderson to the ball when Rovers had won a scrum and as he was tackled he got up quickly played the ball to himself and shot in under the posts and as Woods converted we were 14-9 up and in command again. Rovers International second rower Phil Lowe crashed through two tackles and despite a valiant effort from Mick Crane, scored and Hubbard landed his only goal to level things up again. A high tackle by a very young Steve Crooks on Steve Norton saw Woods edge us ahead again and with ten minutes to go it looked like we could hang on. Unfortunately with seconds left on the clock Lowe broke through again and as our defence came across, right in front of us, he kicked through and touched down in the corner and the Dobbins were victorious 17-16.

If the defeat was not enough imagine the shock we all felt when the ‘riot’ was the first piece of news on the BBC National 6-00pm Good Friday Bulletin and we were there in ‘all our glory’ for the whole country to see. Next day the headlines in the Hull Daily Mail read ‘Hull’s Revulsion in wake of Riot’ and there followed a catalogue of local politicians, MP’s and all, decrying the actions of those few idiots that had brought our game, our City and my club into such disrepute. Much retribution and condemnation followed, as did a RL enquiry, but for me it’s a memory that perhaps we should all put to the back of our minds, but I feature it here as a warning ‘lest we as fans ever forget’ and if you were one of those who went on the field at Craven Park think twice about it next time mate.

Now, over the past few weeks a couple of readers have seen my lamentations about the state of the game and they have since challenged me to say what I would do to improve it. So, next week when we haven’t a game, I’ll make a few suggestions as to what I would do with the great old game to help make it a better spectacle to watch for the initiated and easier to understand for the newcomer. You might or might not agree with me, but at least it might get us all thinking about it a bit.

So we enter a final run in, with no Salford’s or Wakefield’s in there as a respite, but 7 more games that could well resemble that disastrous showing against Wigan, or worse. If we are to sell many season tickets at all for next season, then as well as getting over all the merger stuff and the feeling of ‘same old same old’ that could well now descend upon us, we have to believe as I said earlier that we have a future hope that one day we will be as good as that Wigan team were on Thursday. If we are to sell those season tickets in any numbers, it won’t just be all about some ‘wonder signings’ from Australia, because the supporters have heard all that before, they now have to be convinced that next season we will be more competitive and that we will move forward. On Thursday it appeared to me and no doubt most of you lot that as far as the players are concerned our ambitions don’t extend any further at present than to getting into the top eight! After a couple of improved performances that somewhat papered over the cracks and ensured our survival in the top flight for next term, we are back to ‘as you were’ and the number of fans that remained in the Stadium at the end indicated to me at least, that the supporters of Hull FC has precious little faith or confidence that better times are just around the corner.

As for this year, well we are six points adrift of the top four, with Huddersfield in 4th having a massively better point’s difference than us. That leaves us to win four more games than the Giants in the 7 Super 8 matches remaining, if we are to make the top four. We can forget that right now, because it simply isn’t gonna happen, in fact we’d need about as big a miracle as the Dobbins were clinging onto before they played Saints last Friday.

So there we are, another week, another Diary and after a really upbeat offering last time out, it’s been back to the usual stuff I’m afraid. Thanks so much for sticking with me at a time when many Hull FC fans seem to be losing the will to live! Thanks too for all the post I received this week most of which was about ‘You know what’ (the M subject) but you know my views on that by now and with our kids beating Cas 44-18 away in a great display on Thursday night, while Rovers Academy were stuffed 68-0 by Wigan, it’s easy to see who is benefiting most from all the current merger shenanigans isn’t it? I still think Mr H is conning us and I always will! Still until we hear more I had best leave that alone. However try and get to Bishop Burton on Thursday (7-00) if you can. It’s a bit of a monumental occasion really, because it’s probably the last EVER Academy local derby and, after what’s been foist upon us, one of this fans last ever visits to the College to watch junior rugby as well. I still can’t believe I’m saying that, it’s just so disappointing.

Still, with no game next week we’ll have to see what develops in the next few days, but you can bet at Hull FC something will!!!!

Come on Warrington!!

Faithfully Yours

Wilf