The Dentist’s Diary – 482nd

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it!!”

….and we should by now have learned our lessons with regard to turning up over confident of our own ability, whilst at the same time under estimating that of the opposition. On that score the first few minutes on Thursday was certainly back to the future time wasn’t it? Some still look at anything other than a big win against Castleford as a bit of a disaster and yet they are a really class outfit and deserve a lot of respect.

How many times have we seen it eh? Getting our heads right from the moment the whistle went was always going to be the big test of our new found confidence, professionalism and focus and yet it transpired that there was, as we have seen so many times before, too much ‘self belief’ and too little application! In the end we weren’t bad and the game was a good one but we just weren’t as effective as we have been.

So,it certainly wasn’t a disaster and the breadth of skill and power in our current team will, I’m sure, see us win more than we lose this term! I’m convinced that it is going to be an exciting season and we will see some great games and indeed some superb rugby. For our part as fans, expectations were also running far too high; particularly for a team that has only been together for 3 games. However it was disappointing that in front of the biggest Thursday gate we have ever had at the KC, we were back to not rolling our sleeves up and doing the hard yards first and in the end we were beaten by a better drilled and more clinical outfit. However, as their fortunes ebbed and flowed, the cavalier approach made by both teams made for high octane entertainment, that kept everyone on the edge of their seats though-out the game.

When you take a utopian view of sport, the best teams should play every game (whoever the opposition), as if their lives depended on it. On Thursday I would argue that perhaps Castleford did and that they wanted it just that bit more, so that in the end the best team won. “We’re not as good as we thought we were” said Gareth Ellis and he just about summed it up. Now we move on and look for a response against Wigan!

After 4 weeks of really, really positive Diaries I’m writing this straight after the game and want, this time around, to at least explore a few of the more negative aspects of what was no doubt for the uninitiated and uninvolved viewer a top game to watch. For the rest of us suffering on the terraces, it was tough. I mean to say who amongst you, by the middle of the first quarter when we were already 12 points behind, hadn’t said, “Just calm down and complete a blooming set” It was all run and pass and ‘look at us’. The halves, particularly Pryce, were actually passing before they even got to the line and it looked to me that, as was the case in the old days, we thought we had it won before we had even started!

Beforehand I had looked for the signs and feared the worst. I scoured the media but for the first time this season Lee Radford never once alluded to how well they had trained, as he has done before every game thus far and in the warm up things didn’t look right and we appeared, as we did last term at times, to be lacking some ‘enthusiasm’. Perhaps 4 days off (in Barcelona for some) took its toll on the focus of the group, but for me that bit was all a bit circa 2015.

On this occasion and for once (and only once) I perhaps deserve a bit of credit, because what unfolded was pretty much what I had warned against last week and although we fought hard to get back on terms by half time and saw a couple of quite amazing tries from Shaul, when your mental approach isn’t right from the off and your oppositions is, then usually you’re in trouble.

The winning formula thus far this season has been to play the first quarter in their half, grind it out down the middle, finish our sets and make the opposition start theirs from way back down the field. Then in the second quarter bring on the big men and break them down and go for the throat. It was all to be about ‘game management’ This time a very different scenario was set as early as the fourth carry, when Sneyd kicked early and put the ball straight into the full backs hands, and so the die was cast.

Last week, I described this game as a potential banana skin, I based that comment not on a dodgy skill set or lack of nous, but rather on our inability to get our ‘mental approach’ right. I said that Cas have a brilliant coach, not just tactically but also psychologically and he would have them prepared just right. Week in week out he has them flying under the radar. As they approach these big games, he’s always playing everything down; complimenting the opposition and making out that Cas are just the ‘other’ Club. That just went to confirm our belief in our own publicity, whilst our over confidence completely precluding the fact that Cas are a blooming good team.

In many ways we should have expected what happened as pretty predictable, but then again, who does actually know what will happen? So volatile is the life of the average FC fan that one week tends to just role into another and the ability to predict what happens next is something that has been for years an art not often practised by many of us and completely given up on, by most.

Yet, before the Cas game, (and after Rovers, Salford and France), on the terraces there was a hint of a fragile confidence starting to creep into our disposition as fans, we were all starting to believe again. However we should have known better than to even contemplate such a thing, because the eventual outcome went to prove that we can never be really confident of anything at Hull FC!

Of course when we have got over our disappointment, in the bigger scheme of things we should read absolutely nothing into that result at all, but the folks who spoke to me beforehand saying, ‘we’ll put 50 on em’ will perhaps have realised that it’s best to sit back, expect nothing (so at times they will be pleasantly surprised) and just try and enjoy the ride. I say that because there is little doubt that, as far as games go, when you take the emotion out of it, as a spectacle Thursday’s encounter was blooming good entertainment and a game that the neutral would have found both enthralling and exciting. There was tons of drama and more twists and turns than an Agatha Christie thriller. We saw disallowed tries, let off’s, brain farts and mistakes a plenty and some great expansive rugby, some dubious decisions and some massive hits all of which made it the stuff that the neutral, the TV company and the RL would have wanted, particularly after some tedious and predictable World Club challenge games the previous weekend.

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All the talk this season around our signings, was about big personalities and their ability to get the team up for matches like this one, so that they could help their colleagues through the close encounters we invariably lose. This time we started sloppily, made stupid mistakes throughout and ended, rather than in composed mode, in total panic!! I guess we had all simply come to expect too much and as well as the team regrouping and refocusing in the coming week, as fans we have to take a reality check and perhaps lower our sights a bit too.

That’s being picky though and there were still some fine performances as Ellis, Minichiello. Thompson, Washbrook and Shaul didn’t deserve to be on the losing side. Minichiello produced some great runs and one massive break down field that should have brought greater reward. Thompson ran really hard in his two spells and if we had 13 Ellis’s out there we’d never lose! Shaul demands another special mention because he is developing into a very good player who is extremely exciting to watch every time he gets the ball. It was for the most part a thoroughly absorbing game, which again, is something that you do tend to forget when you lose.

An issue several mentioned to me was Jack Logan jumping out of the line and getting caught out, which didn’t help Michaels at all as it left him on at least two occasions, badly exposed. But, he has to learn and he certainly shows a lot of promise with ball in hand, so we have, I think, to persist with Jack. The ensuing criticism of Michaels was I think a tad unfair because although he is at times caught ball watching, at others he has to come inside to cover Logan when he goes ‘missing. Talanoa too was skinned for pace a couple of times and those instances just added to something we ain’t that used to; a poor defensive showing.

For the third game running some of our tackling was again suspect. Last season we used to pride ourselves in our one saving grace; our defence! Now, this time around, it’s as if our flamboyant style and exciting attacking options have come at the cost of that facet of our game. Still, on attack we look very good at times and we’ll get better once our half backs make more of the platform the pack provides; just look at Luke Gale if you want to know what can be done!

For me, another of our major issues throughout the game was our inability to regroup in the line after a collision. Players seemed at times to amble back into the line after a tackle or just stand out of position and again, as they know instinctively where they should be, that must have been down to not paying enough attention to what they were supposed to be doing. We too often let Cas run at us rather than our tacklers going out to meet the ball carrier. All just small issues in the bigger scheme of things I know, but without wishing to be negative in any way, all I believe too, worthy of discussion.

The question is now, what does Lee do next week if everyone is fit, does he ‘stick’ and give everyone another chance or does he ‘twist’ and make a change or two?

For me he could start with Ellis (who had a great game on Thursday) put Bowden on the bench or even bring Feke or Green onto the bench and drop Watts who for me, when judged against his own high standard’s, has had a quiet start. He managed a couple of really telling off loads against Rovers but since then he’s seemed to go into his shell somewhat and lacks a bit of the edge you expect from him.

Then there is the major defensive worry I have already touched on, our left flank defence. This is a concern for me, but less easy to solve. Logan has to stay but he has to stop that jumping out of the line I mentioned earlier. You could drop Michaels I guess, however, the alternatives of Lancaster and Naughton, whilst also great on attack, do pose questions defence wise too. That’s frailty out wide is a harder one to solve for me, but that said, I ain’t grumbling and I wouldn’t be surprised if we go ‘same again’ against Wigan. At least with the Pies in town there should be no motivational problems this week however that said I expect they’ll be back for Wakey on 18th March; if we’re not careful!

I wrote up these thoughts on the game straight afterwards so they are no doubt tinged with disappointment and perhaps a bit as I say ‘picky’ but I’m not going to be negative because although at times we were patchy and we’re all a bit downhearted there is little doubt that we are still a long way ahead of where we’ve been in previous seasons. The comments afterwards from around the game go to prove that. We still did a lot of things well and this result will probably help us in the long run, because it will bring the fans, the players and the whole Club back down to earth and get our feet firmly back on the ground.

For me personally it was a disappointing outcome, but I surprisingly don’t find myself down hearted at all, in fact I still think that the future is bright but a lot will be now riding on how we respond this week. In such circumstances and at such times, we all just have to hold the line and Hope!! However, for me it was still two points we could have had, that were lost last Thursday!!

I watched the Rovers v Saints game on Friday and quite frankly speaking with no scruples whatsoever I saw two really poor teams, some really boring rugby and an at times a plodding game that couldn’t in any way, match the spectacle of ours on Thursday!

I went to Brantingham yesterday and sat in the sunshine with around 500 other FC fans and watched our first FC under 23’s game against Warrington. It’s fair to say that for the most part a Wire team featuring Stephan Ratchford, Ben Evans, Gary Wheeler and Mitchell Dodds dominated the FC side, but as a fan it was great to see some no pressure rugby. There were some bright spots in the game though and Curtis Naughton proved good under the high ball as he featured at full back. For them Declan Patton at half back with a superb short kicking game ran the show as they got the ball wide faster than we did.

SPORT with Story 28-2-16 Hull FC's Callum Lancaster during the under 23's Match against Warrington at Brantington. Picture: Simon Renilson Prints can be ordered from www.thisisphotosales.co.uk/hullandeastriding or telephone 08444 060 910

Made a few breaks; Callum Lancaster

I have to say that we looked a lot fitter towards the end and got two tries back at the death to make the score 22-34 and a bit more respectable, but all in all we were well beaten. Yeaman, Feke, Green (who had a good game) and Hadley all featured while Lancaster made some good breaks without impressing me too much with his apparent lack of that scintillating pace we used to associate him with. There lots of familiar faces there watching and we all had a good chat, I particularly liked seeing young Dylan Yeaman stood on the front barrier with Dad 24 on the back of his home shirt! It was all good fun, so get down there next time if you can.

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Mr Allam can certainly learn something about ‘proper’ rugby posts from our friends at Ionians!

Now to the rest of the week and it was great to read Adams programme notes before the game on Thursday where he admitted that due to our good start to the campaign, season tickets sales are now on par with last years. He said, “Our membership numbers have continued to grow over the last few weeks following the recent string of impressive results and we’re now comparable to where we were last season. I’m sure, with continued success on the field, we’ll encourage many more back to the KC Stadium” It has certainly been a struggle and despite the big signings we made, the sales of the passes had continued to lag behind last year, until that is we started to show some signs of life out on the field.

I guess that only goes to show that for all the rallying calls from the owner, off the field initiatives, ‘give aways’, memberships and fine words, in the end it’s only really what happens on the pitch that sells tickets. Still well done to everyone who has signed up for either a part or full membership this time around, it’s going to be a tough year financially and your actions guarantee that we have at least given it the best possible start.

A level of flair and application in any rugby player is a massive requirement in the modern game, without it a bit part in any good team is the maximum involvement that can be expected by even the most honest and hard working of competitors. Once a high level of performance has been attained by the group, then it is the individual’s ability and dedication that can often make the vital difference to the team. However with all players, attitude is something that has to be spot on. Otherwise however honest or skilful he is, in the high pressure modern sport of Rugby League, the fact that a player is not conducting himself as his team mates expect, will invariably create problems. There is no room for moping and sulking when the cards are dealt against you and that was, it appears, the hard lesson that Jamie Shaul learned last season.

On Wednesday our young full-back prospect said, “It only takes me to look back at last year and how disappointing that was and how much I was moping about, I’m just aiming to play well every week and get some consistency and do my part for the team. If I do that my spot will take care of itself, I don’t want that to happen again” I bet he doesn’t with some of the new team mates he finds around him.

dlphotos.co.uk copyright picture;Dave Lofthouse 07886650735

Washy on the floor puts Shaul away against Cas. He is playing superbly!

‘Shauly’ has, I believe, had to man up a bit and realise you don’t get anything in life by sulking. Sulky teenagers and young people are a part of everyday life and we’ve all come across it but in sport the spotlight is on you all the time and you have to grow up quickly. Last year he was probably, skill wise, a better full back than Jordan Rankin, but the latter’s selfless attitude, determination and application made him first choice as Jamie was marginalised more and more as his attitude looked to be overtaking everything. ‘Razor’ became a big fans hero, in fact he was a bit of a star for me too, probably because those qualities shone out from everything he did, while Jamie, probably the better player, was left out in the cold on the side lines.

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Jordan Rankin new car and boots from Adidas –doing Ok in Aus!

Now thankfully, things appear to have changed big style as the issue of Shaul going to France (instead of staying at home for the birth of his first child) and his acceptance of his poor attitude last season seem to indicate. Against Castleford he scored two more brilliant tries to seal the deal that ‘Shauly is back!’ There will be injuries and drops in form to come, all players have them and that’s when we will see if things have really improved, but half the battle with attitude is the ability to accept that your wrong, whilst having the fortitude to go about putting things right.
Playing with a smile on his face again!

For some the jury is out on Jamie, but he’s is showing signs of getting himself sorted and that’s reflecting in his play out on the field. Mentored, since the day he persuaded Peter Gentle to stick with him, by Lee Radford, I think he will turn out to be a massive hit for us in years to come, but I do add the caveat that we will only really know if that is the case, when something goes wrong form or injury wise and we see how he faces that adversity. One thing that the whole scenario has proved I think is that Lee Radford will drop a player, even if he is one of his favourites, if his attitude is wrong and that action has probably been instrumental in Jamie’s current resurgence.

Now, I got a great message from Diary reader Tom last week who had been to Catalan for the first time ever and really enjoyed it. He was full of praise for the French hospitality and I liked a story he told about how he was staying in the same hotel as the Pritchard family. He said, “….and what a lovely set of people they are, we asked his youngest if he thought we would win and the quote of the weekend was “My Dad needs to get mad”!!” Great stuff and thanks for the correspondence Tom.

Well it can’t have been a very regular occurrence can it? Few RL Clubs can have sacked their coach after just three games, of a season, but that’s the situation the Dobbins fans awoke to on Thursday morning. Seven games ago Chezzie led Rovers out at Wembley for their first Challenge Cup final since the 1980s and they have lost only two games since then, but I guess that, as so often happens, the statistic distorts the reality.

Of course it’s likely that if someone was no good after just 240 minutes of rugby, he must have been no good before the season started, surely the signs were there? To decide to stay with Chester and then sack him after just 3 games, is a really strange and almost ‘unhinged’ move by the board of directors at Hull KR.

To quote Shakespeare (and you don’t get much of that in here I’ll grant you) last Sunday in Chester’s post match interview it was very obvious that, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” and so it was by Wednesday he was gone. Obviously he had built a squad that was anything but impressive, but he had given some who perhaps didn’t warrant a Super league place a go and they should have been grateful, yet still he ‘lost’ the players and many simply weren’t trying. It made me smile when all this happened after they had sent their Chief Executive to scour Australia for talent and still they haven’t won a game!!

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Chris was always a great bloke to chat with when he was at the FC, but life’s just a learning curve and no doubt that will have taught him a lesson or two. What a mess it all is and what a black day for all at Hull KR……. (Here’s hoping there’s plenty more of those to come!!!!) It’s quite ironic really that just 3 weeks into their much lauded ‘5 year plan’ the board of the Dobbins sack their Coach, I wouldn’t want that lot running my business would you? I tried to find a picture of Chris looking happy to round things off, but I couldn’t find one at all, which isn’t surprising I suppose, after his tenure at Rovers.

There were a few raised eyebrows across the game, at other Clubs and at Redhall with such a high profile sacking so soon after the start of the season, but what do they expect. This action over at Caravan Park is a firm reminder of how Rugby League has changed in the last 18 months. Pre-Super 8s and the new structure, the sport was built on stability, financial consolidation and longevity. With no fear of relegation to worry about clubs were starting to really build from within, taking their time with things, promoting their youngsters and appointing young, hungry British coaches who had plenty of potential. Chester, although still green, fell into that category. It was a system that mirrored almost exactly the make-up of the NRL, which many hold in such high esteem, but here in Super League, it’s certainly a cut throat business now.

Just over 12 months since the new system (that is to be ‘the salvation of the game’) was introduced, we see academies being scrapped and merged, salary cap regulations being ‘fiddled’ (allegedly), players taking Clubs to tribunals and coaches being sacked off just 3 games into the season. It’s simply dog eat dog as every week all that matters is getting two points, with the aim of avoiding the drop at all costs. That’s all that count for anything now, as Super League becomes a pressure cooker of survival, whatever the price. In the short term this will certainly suit the TV and some of the fans, but in the long term it could ruin the game. With teams across the 12 participating Clubs in Super league so evenly matched, if I were you I would expect more knee jerk reactions and more casualties like Chester, before the season is much older! I certainly do!

Well its heartbreak time again and it seems that hardly a week goes by without me reporting the loss of another foot soldier in the wonderful FC Army. This week it is with the deepest regret that I read of the untimely death of a true gentleman and a real character the one and only Wally Barr. Everyone seemed to know him and he was always around when Hull FC were. Now he’s re-united with his wife Joyce, as we sadly lose another real fan of the famous Hull FC. My condolences go to his friends and family, he will be sadly missed. RIP Wally Barr.

On a happier note, how great it was to see the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, visiting the KC Stadium on Thursday evening to watch the game as part of his ‘Pilgrimage of Prayer, Witness and Blessing’ tour. He also went down to see the Boulevard Academy and visited the Boulevard Memorial that was provided there by the fans and unveiled last September. He then went on to meet the young people at the Hessle Road Network, a community centre currently benefitting from the club’s Cobus Communications Community Champions programme. As a head of the Anglican Church in the North of England he is certainly doing his bit and it was great to see him down at the Boulevard and at the KC! Well done to him because he sets a fine example as a great spiritual leader and I think a top champion of the community.

It was good to hear this week from Bill Speight who is from Hawthorne Avenue but at present working in Marseilles in the South of France and who reads this rubbish every week. He was telling me that the Catalans players have enjoyed a lot of fun and games off the field of late, despite back-to-back losses this year. The Dragons had a huge overhaul at the end of 2015 and it will take some time for the new players to gel, but that apparently isn’t helped by the fact that it’s common knowledge (allegedly) down there that they are hitting the bars with great gusto and regularity, which ain’t good news at all for their fans. With party animal Willie Mason joining Catalans, I think that things could get really interesting in the south of France.

. Time I think, this week, for a bit of truly great stuff in the Codgers Spot to cheer us all up a bit !! This week I want to go back just a short while and cover a game that everyone who reads this will remember as if it were yesterday. Richard Whiting certainly will and in tribute to our temporarily departed hero here’s a game in which he really did excel, but then again so did everyone in black and white that day. Our coach described it afterwards as ‘Near Perfection’ and Dick Tingle the writer for the Daily Mail said that in 34 years of covering the team it was, ‘The most outstanding performance he had seen from a Hull team’. Some accolades eh? But we’re not off to Cardiff, well not this week anyway, but to the game that got us there, that fabulous, fabulous semi final against Saints at Huddersfield on Saturday 30th July 2005.

It was one of the most memorable games I have ever seen and was such a polished and comprehensive display in the end that even the Saints fans had to agree they were totally out played. Of course travelling to the ground in that great surge of black and white that made its way down the M62 that day, we were all apprehensive because of course we had drawn the short straw and were up against the Cup Kings and the odds on favourites to lift the Trophy. No one gave us a cat in hells chance of winning and even the toughest and most hardened optimist’s around were thinking more of keeping the score down than getting a win that just wasn’t going to happen.

The media were telling us that no one since 1998 had broken the monopoly of the ‘Big Four’ in the final and it was back in 1936 when we last beat Saints in the Cup. Add to that the fact that Saints were also unbeaten in their last ten league and cup games and we had no chance, but no one told John Kear and the players at Hull FC. We sat in a traffic jam for an hour and a half and just got into the Galpharm about ten minutes before kick-off. However we could hear the ‘FC Army’ letting rip about half a mile away from the ground, as we parked the car.

Our selection for the game was an adventurous one too with Brough and Horne at half back, Richard Swain at Hooker and Cooke at loose forward giving us something that is much coveted by FC fans these days; four proper pivots between 6 and 13. No one talked about a ‘spine’ back then, but if they had then ours was as good as it gets.

From the kick off it was obvious that this was not going to be any sort of ordinary performance, as Dowes, Carvell and McMenemy took the big Saints pack to task in the first two sets and drove them back time and again. Then when the opposition got the ball, Brough went in well to stop a rampaging Wellen’s in his tracks. Sculthorpe tried to muster the troops but he was put in the shade by FC’s Stephen Kearney who led by example and from the front. Kearney ran headlong into a Sean Long tackle with such force that as we pressed forward the Saints scrum half bounced off him like he was in pin ball machine.

Then that man Cooke went down the field and executed a perfect delayed pass for Shayne McMenemy to steam in almost untouched. Cooke converted and added a penalty and although Sculthorpe added a penalty too after a foul by Carvell, we were heading for half time 8-2 in the lead. Then as so often happens with Saints just as we thought we were going in with an unlikely lead, Gardener shot down the wing with only Richie Barnett (Junior) to beat. As Gardener tried to get round him the youngster pulled off a miraculous tackle, that left him injured and lying in a heap on the ground, but the threat was averted and we maintained our slender lead.

We all expected a real tanning from the wounded Lancastrians in the second half and that looked on the cards as a mix up between Raynor and Briscoe saw a speculative Sean Long kick land in the arms of Jamie Lyons and he didn’t need an invitation to score the try which Sculthorpe converted to level things up at 8-8. However, Kearney mustered all the lads behind the sticks and rather than this unfortunate score opening up the floodgates, it seemed to re galvanise the FC effort as we started the next set tackling everything above ground with Kingy and Thackerey magnificent. Cooke kicked another penalty and we were back in the lead but only by two points.

The crunch came on 54 minutes when after we had forced 3 drop outs under the Saints posts, Whiting, who was having the game of his life, forced a fourth. As we retrieved the ball Richard Horne provided quick service from dummy half, Cooke and McMenemy worked a run around that Dave Topliss would have been proud of and Cooke sensing the drained legs of the opposition, backed himself when all looked lost and stretched over the line to score. The FC Army went Ballistic!!!! For the first time in the game we were two scores up and if there was still a long way to go the ‘18th Man’ on the terraces were doing their part. Saints were all of a sudden chasing the game and playing some risky catch up football. Time and again Horne and Broughy kicked magnificently to pin the cup holders back in their own half. In one desperate attack, four minutes later Saints spilled the ball, Richard Horne fly hacked it forward and McMenemy pounced for his second try, and the unthinkable started to become a definite possibility.

Of course despite being 22-8 up we all knew that we could not let up against the ‘Come Back Kids’. King, Tony and Carvell hit the advancing Saints line hard in every tackle and as the Saints fans sat open mouthed, every time we had the ball our formation, utilising those four pivots, saw us looking likely to score. As the clock high on the scoreboard in the stand seemed to be going backwards, hero of the day Richard Whiting made a tremendous break out of our line and Motu Tony who had done well after coming on to replace Barnett, went in to score and we were in dreamland.

The Saints supporters in the far end stood stunned before starting to head for the exits in ever increasing droves. Just to rub salt into the wounds Kearney who had been massive in the second row opened up the defence one last time to put Richard Horne in for one of his trade mark run away tries and with Danny Brough converting both our last two efforts a remarkable performance was complete. As the final hooter went the fans went wild and I just sat there and cried because it was one of those rare occasions that make all the trekking across the Pennines and all the getting soaked, abused and well beaten worthwhile, it was a cherished moment for every FC fan.

It was such a special time for those die-hard fanatics I knew, who never believed we would see again the day that we were back in a final. I was so proud particularly when we left the ground and the Saints fans got off their buses to stand in line and applauded us. I’ll always remember them for that, great sportsmanship! That wonderful feeling was summed up completely for me when sat in a traffic jam outside the ground a Hull City supporting City councillor who had been a guest of the Club and who had always belittle our club compared with his own football team, ran across the road tapped on my window and said, ‘Didn’t WE do well’. Yep WE had done brilliantly well but some of us had a special feeling, and a special reason to be overjoyed that day and it was a feeling borne out of what we had gone through to get there, but even those warm, tingly, proud, shivery feelings I felt all the way home were about to surpassed a month later at Cardiff!!

So that’s that, our unbeaten run (what a laugh that was; only two blooming games!) is no more, as last Thursday we were simply our own worst enemies, we didn’t turn up at first and made some big errors throughout, something that we have so far not seen from the FC this term. It was certainly a wake-up call for us all, but it’s still early days and having our bubble burst by Castleford was for me, as I said last week, all really in the Hull FC script and must serve as a reminder that every team in the competition is capable of beating you ‘on any given Sunday’, if the your not fully prepared.

For this fan Wigan just can’t come quickly enough and I’m sure the team feel exactly the same. Once again we have to do our bit on the terraces and get down there on Friday and sing the boys home. We were going to lose at some point, but if an indicator is needed as to how we will go this year, then it will be based around the response we get against a Wigan outfit that have a great defence and who invariably do well at the KC; that will tell us if we really have what it takes.

A win will see us back on track, while a defeat will see us setting off to a very good Widnes, wondering whether it was all just a flash in the pan. We simply have to win! I’m still confident and when you look down the list of players we have fit and ready to go so should you be! However it’s not all about ability, for we all know that we have that in abundance, for me it’s also about focus and mental strength in the build up to the game and about how we performing under adversity as a unit on the field. So get everyone you can down to The KC because despite the heartbreak of losing last week, the fact remains when you stand back from all the ‘win at all cost stuff’ that is inherent throughout the game these days, it was bloody good entertainment and a real roller coaster of emotions.

As I said earlier the lot of the FC fan is not to predict what will happen next because no one has a bloody clue, but the one thing I think that is guaranteed with this squad, is that some quality rugby will be on show at the KC Stadium throughout the 2016 campaign. We now have some players that can turn a break into a try and do it often, in spectacular fashion. We might not always win our games, but I think that one thing is guaranteed, if we turn up and back the boys we’ll certainly be entertained!!!

Get to the game if you can and Keep believing!!

ComeOnYouHHHuuuulllaaaaarrrrr!!!!!!!!
Faithfully Yours

Wilf