The Dentist’s Diary – 589th

A brilliant view of the KCOM on Friday from Joe Bennett at the start of the second half, as the clouds gather overhead and perhaps over our performance too.

Well that was a poor showing, but in the end we got the points we needed!

On Thursday Danny Washbrook said, “We have to be as close to the four as possible going into the Super 8s. Widnes is the start for that. This week is a big match and we need to set a marker down for how we want to approach the rest of the year.” No one could have argued with that, in fact nothing but a win against the Vikings would have been good enough. And we got one, but in the end only just!!!

That final quarter was certainly hard going… and indeed hard watching for us lot as well!! When your best two players are the only ones who actually played a game last weekend, it has to smack of a team that’s lost the impetus and momentum of weekly games, but in fairness when you look more closely it was our ability to see the game out and our game management, (sadly lacking against Wigan the other week), that was, in the end, our saviour. It was by no means a great performance but again, who cares, we got the two points.

What’s more we got them in a match that was a real watershed between safety in the top eight and keeping in touch with the top four (just) but it was a listless showing in which we got 16 points up without looking very interested at all and then let Widnes back into a game in which they didn’t look to have a hope and yet still we didn’t seem to be that focussed or involved, both out there on the field and on the terraces.

Once again a depleted squad, which was further disrupted with ‘in game’ injuries, (a situation that left us short of rotation from the bench and with Shaul a limping passenger on the wing), struggled to compete with a Widnes team that unbelievably, when you consider their situation, really smelt blood and a rare win.

Still we got home, the sun shone and at least Connor, Taylor Miloudi, Tumavive and a couple of others managed to come out of it all with a bit of credit.

We now move onto Huddersfield on Thursday, a game that will be a big ask indeed. But, it’s a match that offers a top prize of us keeping in touch with the leaders of the division if we win and a consolation prize of the fact that a Huddersfield do us, it will put a massive nail in the Dobbins coffin as well; it’s a funny old game isn’t it?

It had been a strange week for me, rugby wise I have wondered every day about the fitness of Jake Connor who got that shoulder problem in Denver and my concerns were not helped by the roaring silence on the subject that came out of the club. However, as a doddery old git, why should I be surprised, because as a nation in both sport and everything else we are always completely surrounded by such ‘Drama’s’

But, you know what? The latest national issue, the threat of a hosepipe ban, has bemused me completely! It only takes an inch of rain and the place is flooded, an inch of snow and Hull Trains are disrupted for the next month, a cold snap and we are faced with the ‘Beast from the East’ and a good stiff breeze and half the bridges in the country are shut to high sided vehicles. Now, as I go to print, with well over half the countries capacity to produce CO2 shut down at the same time for routine maintenance, beer is starting to become in short supply and after just two weeks of sunshine the hosepipes have to be put away and we are threatened with a shortage of lettuce!!!! What next, a countrywide dearth of speedo’s????? Amazingly no one’s blamed it on Brexit yet but they will!

When, after just two weeks of sunshine and after one of the wettest late winters and early springs on record, we are all threatened with such bans and everyone’s facing the prospect of getting bathed in a panful of water, it just buggers belief really! Boy, as I say, there’s is nothing relished more in Great Britain than a good old drama is there?

On the sporting front its little different either, the England cricket and football teams play a couple of games against greatly under strength or inferior countries and suddenly we are world beaters, whilst (as was the case from some in the East Stand on Friday), a greatly weakened Hull side play a team fighting for their lives and their self-respect, we managed to scrape a win under difficult circumstances and yet for some, its nothing short of a disaster. But, why not, like drama’s we’re into disasters too!

Once more and certainly not for the first time in the current injury crisis, we got two points and maintained at least our position in the League. Again it was a great tribute to not only our staying power and strength in depth, but also to the fact that we had listened to what the Coach had told us to do. Surely that’s worth bigging up a bit isn’t it? Well it is unless that celebration includes a few glasses of beer, a lettuce sandwich and a good bath afterwards!

You know, everyone talks long and hard these days about ‘game management’ and it was that which got us home on Friday. Against Wigan it was woeful, we threw away a lead and lost a ‘four-pointer’ that could in the end still have shaped our season. The players were this week told at length about what went wrong there and, as Lee Radford said afterwards, everyone to a man carried out the plan of how, in such circumstances, you get a game over the line and what’s more they carried it out to the letter. It might have been planned and a contingency that we had worked to sort out, but when we went for those two points to get us level again at 24-24, I really wondered; but not as much as I did when we went for and got a great drop goal from 40 yards out, with still 12 minutes to go. That was I believed much too soon for such action, but what do I know!

‘Boy we are certainly desperate here’ and, ‘They’ve got us rattled’ were comments that reflected the general unease around me in the Stand as the drop goal sailed between the posts, but we went on to score another try 4 minutes from the end and a great conversion from the touch-line, put us 7 points up and we were home. As I say, what do I know eh?

Jake Connor was not just involved in each element of that process but also almost single-handedly masterminded it and Lee Radford was well chuffed with it all afterwards. “They do listen” was his comment and it spoke volumes for what we witnessed, however it was still at worst a listless and somewhat bemusing 80 minutes and at best a bit of a gruelling watch.

The atmosphere was subdued and even three well worked tries failed to raise the audience above what seemed to be little more than some polite applause. So it seemed that it wasn’t just the players that were suffering after a week off and a bit of sun bathing. Whatever the issues, both on and off the field, to me it all felt a bit flat.

Mrs. R. has a few theories about Rugby League most of which I ‘Poo-Poo’ until one by one they have been proved to invariably be right! She had a take on Friday that surrounded the fact that we never play well after we have had a weekend off. With Widnes having played last weekend and looking sharper and less disjointed than us at times and with our best two players the only two who played last weekend, (and after an effort that also featured a 9,000-mile round trip), she appears again to have a point.

The switch of Jake Connor to half back at half time was an inspirational one, because in the first half at centre he was just not seeing enough of the ball, that said young Liam Harris is a great player to watch and his kick for the first try was only superseded by the brilliance of his own try, which featured as good a ‘show and go’ as you will ever see. But somehow without Jake in the middle of things it just wasn’t working and despite the fact that we are still missing Sneyd (and our on-field kicking game, is suffering from his loss tremendously), the Coach got the changes right and with no rotation and a limping Shaul on the wing, we just got home.

A couple of guys in front of me, were in full grumbling mode throughout and soon got on one players back, saying that they thought Minichiello wasn’t worthy of a new contract and that although he had been good, he was now well past his sell by date. Well we’ll see, but there is no doubting the work he does and how much of his personality and demeanour rubs off on the youngsters. He makes mistakes but immediately you will see in his next drive or his next running play a big effort to put things right. On Friday he engineered a half break and tried an audacious slipped pass to Kelly which went to ground. However, it has to be said that had it stuck it would have been a try at a very decisive time of the game.

As that happened a big groan went around the ground. Furthermore, upon seizing the possession Widnes drove down field and placed a brilliant sixth tackle kick behind the line to finish the set. As the ball bounced about 4 yards over the line who was there to clean up, yep it was Mini, who was perfectly positioned to grab the ball. Furthermore, as if to make amends for his error, he then beat the three chasing men and carted the ball out of the in-goal area and up to the ten-yard line. What an example that is to some of our younger players. I don’t know if he will get a contract for another year, but if he does, I can sort of see the thinking behind it.

So all in all we got two points from a game that was hard to watch at times and although we did well to curtail the penalties it was still littered with mistakes and wrong option taking. But. thanks to\ Jake we got home and move onto a game on Thursday that is a must win one for a Huddersfield team that have to quickly get back on the horse. It’s going to be a big ask that one!!

Performance wise I liked the look of Faraimo on the ball and Tumavive as I said earlier had a good game at centre. Miloudi was great and is looking really sharp since he has cut out the mistakes whilst Liam Harris in that first half, continued to impress with ball in hand and although he flattered to deceive at times Kelly really came good in the last quarter. Connor was joint man of the match for me along with Scott Taylor, whilst Houghton did OK without being as effective as he can be, Micky Paea complimented Scotty well, but both Fash and Matongo struggled on the rotate to have the same presence and impact as the starting props. Fash though really did put his heart and soul into it. Mini I felt went pretty well, but Manu was uncharacteristically off it a bit all night for me. Washy battled hard and did the hard yards and long minutes from the bench as did Logan, whilst Hadley was really solid on his return until he got a stinger and had to retire. So all in all a bit of a curate’s egg of a performance, with some interesting talking points but we got the win and that’s all that matters.

Now for a bit of fantasy island stuff as I reveal ‘the further adventures of the enchanted scarf’. There is a deal of superstition around sport and we all have our rituals and lucky omens to fall back on when times are tough. These range from where you park to where you sit and from pre match rituals to lucky underpants. Those who read these ramblings every week and have done for some time, or indeed who have read the last book, will know that I obtained the scarf in question in the pouring rain straight after that ignominious 2013 final when Stuart, our late great mate Tony, Ian, Sarah, a few other guys and I rescued a bundle of them as a disenchanted merchandiser was about to put them in the bin. It’s a tatty old thing, but since then it has accompanied me to semi-finals, Finals and the really important games and brought unprecedented good luck at all of them.

I considered Friday’s match a bit of a watershed coming as it did smack in the middle of surviving the bottom four and keeping in touch with the top four. So last Vriday the scarf came along too.

Losing 24-22 and looking to be in trouble against a team that had so far become the scrubbing brushes of the competition and who suddenly looked feisty and smelled blood, I slumped in my seat and cursed the scarf that had in the past brought such good luck. As I considered the fact that we were facing an embarrassing reversal, I realised (with the unusual heat) the scarf was still folded over the empty seat beside me and I hadn’t put it on. I quickly placed it around my neck and at that very moment we got a penalty and against mine and perhaps everyone else’s wishes, Connor went for goal and the rest, as they say is history. Afterwards I just thought what a stupid, superstitious old bugger I am and laughed it all off, yet when I got back from the pub in the early hours of Saturday morning, I placed the scarf carefully back in the cupboard, no doubt to bring it out again, when next it is needed.

The now almost mythological enchanted scarf continues to work it’s magic!

So to the week past and it was only in the last edition that I commented on the fact that Jake Connor is developing into that very rare rugby league commodity the enigma that is the maverick. It’s certainly a fact that his Coach, his team mates and indeed the Coach of the England team, all openly admit that at times they have absolutely no idea as to what the hell a player that at times is best described as a freak, is going to do next. And boy is that a rarity in the modern game, in fact I would add that maybe we have another such player in Miloudi but that’s a debate for another day. I was pleased, after reading the adulation for Jake radiating from the Aussie press last Monday, to see that he had another year on his contract, so I was over the moon when I discovered that now he has another 3!! I often say in here what would we want a certain player to say at a certain time and on signing this week Jake pushed all the right buttons for us all, when he stated, “It’s a massive relief to know that I’ve secured my future here at Hull FC for the next three years, because I love it here. There is a great culture going on behind the scenes here that maybe the fans don’t get to see. It’s like a big family. I’m very fortunate to have played for Hull at such a young age because I have learned so much and that was helped by how quickly I settled into the squad.”

It was a superb piece of business for the Club and hopefully it will now have seen off the clubs in the NRL who sat up and took notice of his efforts in Denver. As an ever present this season (our only one) and a player that must already be heading for the player of the year awards, I’m so pleased Jake has signed, for he is everything the game and our team needs, a maverick, a bit of a comedian, a real wind up merchant and a player of amazing ability and vision. That’ll do for me!!!!.

Well I guess the other big announcement this week saw the Club telling us all exactly how many signings we are going to make from outside the club before the 2019 season, and the answer was none, not a sausage, bugger all!!! I’m told the reason for Radford’s announcement this week at the weekly Press day was because the club has decided to try and sign up all their out of contract players (Manu, Mini and Washy) and go with the same squad next season. There will be some disappointed souls out there on hearing that, but over the last few weeks I have said was the plan and so it came to pass. The Club tell me that they really do feel that the youngsters have come on so much this year, but critically, that most of them still have a lot of improvement to come.

Lee said on Thursday, “The media people will decide when all that information gets released,” Radford added. “I would love to keep the whole squad”. When asked how much recruitment Hull are expected to do for next season, Radford responded: “Zero. Zero recruitment. If it’s working for you, retaining is the aim and if you are getting beat and are mid table, you want to make some changes. When we are fit we’ll compete. We are sat in fifth for a reason and that’s because we have not had the same team on the field twice and only one player has played every game. I am pleased with where we are considering what has been thrown at us”. So that’s that for 2019, as far as some big name players coming in is concerned, so I guess we’d best get on with it!

I said last week, that the thing is if you look back 6 year or so and compare the strength, depth and quality of the squad back then, compared with now, there is absolutely no comparison. If we are a little thin on cover on the wings (although Miloudi is certainly a prospect) we have loads of cover in the centres in the halves, the front row and the back three.

Players like Hadley, Fash, Matonga and even Connor are still growing and behind them there are around 10 other players knocking on the door. In fact, if we get everyone fit it’s hard to see how we will keep everyone happy and one things for sure with no injuries at the FC, then Donny will be fielding one hell of a team!! We have to trust the management that have done it so well of late but perhaps if there is a draw back in not signing a big name player it’s that it will make selling season tickets that bit harder. For history has proved that there’s nothing like a signing to boost some flagging sales, is there?

As for Mr Watts senior, well I’m sure this week you all saw his comments about Scotty Taylor and wondered a bit about several things none the least as to where all that came from. He said “I see Scott ‘one of our own’ Taylor has got another free holiday,”. Steve Watts continued in the League Express letters page, “If Wayne Bennett thinks he is the best replacement for the injured George Burgess, I don’t know what games he watches. And before people write in saying I’m annoyed Taylor is in before my own lad – too right, I am”.

What an absolutely ridiculously self-centred and ill thought out comment that is! I bet Liam is cringing at that outburst and if he isn’t then it says a lot for him as well. What’s more, if he ever opens a Fruit and Vegetable shop I won’t be buying any grapes from him, believe me!!!!!

There was an article this week in the Mail which discussed the possibility of Danny Washbrook retaining his tenure at the FC with a new contract. Some FC fans think that Danny is perhaps in line for moving out, but I think that’s pretty disrespectful to a player who has given his all to the Club over the last few years and without whom we could have well been in a bigger hole during this latest injury crisis.

Of course there is always a bit of a head over heart issue with such players and of late Danny has filled in across the park and done so really well, without fuss or drama but with solid resilience. So, a player that that would in most teams never be seen outside the back 3 has popped up in the halves, at hooker, in the centres and even on occasions in some games on the wing. I commented the other week that perhaps he had been a bit over zealous and got carded at critical times in games, but looking back I guess most of that was down to him trying too hard and letting the passion of the situation get to him.

Washy is never going to be a stand out hero that draws adulation from the fans but neither is he a big earner either. I guess I look back to Yeamo’s last season at the Club when he was given a contract on a reduced wage for a year against the wishes of many fans and we all know where that took us don’t we? He was restricted to playing at Donny on duel registration and ‘finished’ according to many, but he got a chance due to injury, he grabbed it and ended up playing a big part in our journey to possibly the greatest victory in the history of the Club.

With Washy it’s about the back-up he brings to the rest of the team and when you can draft in a player of his experience when injuries bite he brings a lot more no frills stability to the team, than a youngster does. That’s what we really lack back up of great experience and much adaptability as to where they play. So I guess that I’m thinking that we should give him another deal on a short term contract, perhaps on a reduced wage and I say that just because of his flexibility as to where he plays and his loyalty to the club he loves, whilst injury wise he’s a pretty hard wearing player too.

I said the same about Yeamo back at the end of 2015 and got pilloried for it and no doubt I will again over this, but I just think that he’s an asset to the squad in times of crisis and a big plus to the development of the young players. He may, like Yeamo, have to play on duel registration when everyone is fit, but I’m sure he just wants another year at his Club. Still Lee will make the final decision and as I always say, these are just my just my thought’s.

I see that Masi Masoe gadger, over in the ‘Land of Make Believe’ has signed a three-year deal at the Dobbins, scotching somewhat an ill founded rumour that we were after him. That was a rumour based I think on a throw away comment from one of our Coaching staff and the fact that he is big friends with some of our squad but it never had any validity and why should it, when we have Taylor, Paea, Green, Bowden, Masi Matonga and Fash, plus the best young prop prospect from the lower divisions on our books. Mosoe is a short minute’s player who has impact and can look quite good, but he has done nothing against us to make me feel that he is a Radford sort of player. We were never in for him although it’s a great deal for him, getting 3 years and as someone said on RL fans, his agent has played a blinder there. I wouldn’t expect that there are many out there reading this who are disappointed that we were never really in for him and good luck to the Dobbins during his three year tenure with them, they’ll probably need it!

Well after the dust has settled the American Test match seems to have gone down really well, but it was certainly difficult on more than one front. For a start it’s a long way to go and indeed come back from and boy it was hot, but the real issue was the thinness of the air at the ‘Mile High Stadium’. Scotty Taylor is probably one of the fittest guys in the game but he was really blowing after 10 minutes and all things considered I actually though England coped with the conditions better than the Kiwis and that was a factor in our eventual 36-18 win.

New Zealand started the game strongly and there were certainly signs that their new coach Michael Maguire will add something to their recent inconsistencies, but as the game wore on and tiredness set in, some of the Kiwis’ strengths became their weaknesses as they ran themselves off their feet and that was when we took a stranglehold on the game. I thought that Jake was pretty sensational when he came off the bench. To bring a player like him on in those circumstances when he can step a bit and inject himself into the line, is massive and he’s also got good line speed and that really lifted a flagging team.

Watching it back the Kiwi’s didn’t really know what to do with him. It was good to see an open and enjoyable game and hopefully the American crowd, both in the ground and watching on TV, got something out of it. With some of their star names hopefully back on board for the Test matches in this country at the end of the season, there was enough from the Kiwis to suggest they can be a threat and it has the potential to be a cracking series.
This week as the disagreement and confusion continued about the direction in which the game is going, there was a lot of light thrown on the situation concerning the distribution of funds by Ian Lenighan the Wigan Chairman. This is what he said and if you’re interested you should read it carefully,, because it does indicate that although there is a deal of equality, equity and fairness with regard to how the Sky allocation is given out in the Super League and Division One it’s not exactly the case in the Championship where the clubs have decided on their own system of allocation, which is anything but equitable to all clubs!

He said, (and it’s a long quote so I apologise in advance), “We should be working together now – all levels of the game – to ensure success in following the clear direction established by Super League with agreement in principle by the RFL. The noisy opposition by one solo Super League club and a small number of Championship clubs who currently take a disproportionately large portion of the Championship distributions should be left behind so that we can move forward as a game”.

The Wigan owner continued, “There is no issue or complaint within Super League or Championship 1 where all clubs receive the same basic distribution – Super League club’s basic distribution of around £1.7m and Championship 1 clubs £75,000. The talk has only been by and about Championship clubs where a view could be taken that the funding is distributed unfairly in favour of the top four clubs. There is noise about Championship distributions among some potential top four Championship clubs because clubs 1-4 currently receive £750k, £700k, £500k, £450k whereas clubs 5–12 receive only from £275k down to £150k dependent on finishing position. It is not surprising to see some of these higher clubs being publicly unhappy with any talk of any change within Championship funding and all clubs being made equal. To be clear, whilst Super League has the opinion that all Championship clubs should receive the same, it is our current position that that is a matter for Championship clubs to decide. Super League has committed to pay the same total amount to that Division”.

So in essence we have a Super League and a Division One where by and large player’s wages because of the salary cap, are paid by the Sky contribution and how individual teams fair on the field is down to how they perform in fundraising off it through gates, sponsorship etc. the harder they work the better the rewards and the better their facilities, training grounds, coaches and support staff are. However, in the Championship it’s not like that and the rewards from the Broadcast fees are linked to success on the field so the rich get rich and the poor get…… etc. etc. I think that all teams in a division should get the same from the TV money and then it is up to them how the raise the rest of the cash and thus how successful they are on the field. That’s what the Super League Clubs want but as Lenighan says, the Clubs in the top tier have no say over whether it will happen that way; that is down to the Championship Clubs.

This week in Codgers corner I’m addressing a request to feature a particular game that I was asked to revisit by Tim a fan I walked back across West Park with after the recent Salford game. So I’ll take you all back to the late 1980’s and pose the question Tim asked me when he said, “What is the strangest place that you have watched our first team play a game”.

Now back in 1986/87 we were having a mixed season really with the great team of the early part of the decade just about gone, but players like Kemble, O’Hara and Ah Kuoi were still around all be it now in the twilight of their careers. So it was that on a cold, drizzly February day we all made our way to the ground of Alfreton Town near Worksop, just over the borders of Derbyshire, to watch the FC play the Mansfield Marksmen in the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup.

The Marksmen, (another soon to be vain attempt to spread the game to other areas of the country), had several grounds in their short history, but had that season just moved from their first home at Field Mill Mansfield, and were, in a few years’ time, to end up playing in front of 200 in Nottingham. Mansfield Breweries who had bought a lot of Hull Brewery Houses were trying hard to get more of a footing in Yorkshire and Lancashire, and sponsored the team; in fact, Marksman Ale was a brew that they sold back then.

But, what a place that ground was. If I remember rightly it was called ‘North Street’ and probably the worst Tim and I had both watched professional rugby played at; and I had been to Alt Park the home of Huyton! The arena at North Street had three sides surrounded by grassed muddy hills, whilst we crammed into the one solitary stand. About 1000 of the 1,800 gate (the biggest they were to get at that ground) were from Hull, and their then Chairman Dave (Nosey) Parker (of more recent journalistic fame) stood inside the ground behind three dilapidated turnstiles, seemingly ‘Counting us in’. I didn’t see their President, Alvin Stardust (who hails from Mansfield) though, but by then he had probably become disenchanted with a club that was obviously not meeting the standards that had been expected by the good folks of the Derbyshire Mining town. Most of us were still rubbing our eyes at the place we found ourselves in as the teams ran out.

The stoic surroundings must have been a real culture shock to the Hull lads who had just returned from a few days, ’Warm weather training’ in Majorca. We also had a mini injury crisis at the Boulevard and that meant that ‘Porky’ Pearce moved to centre with Phil Windley coming in at scrum half, to partner Fred Ah Kuoi at 6. The game though was very memorable for me because although it was a second division team that opposed us, they only looked like scoring once, in the very last moment and our defense despite poor opposition, was simply magnificent and on top form throughout the game.

We kicked off up quite a slope on a pitch that was like a quagmire having hosted a football game the day before. The early exchanges were only memorable for a crunching tackle by Tomlinson and Lazenby on Mansfield centre Fletcher who crashed over the touchline and collided with the bottom of a concrete perimeter fence post. The game was stopped for four minutes whilst he came round. He actually soldiered on with a massive bandage around his head until the half hour mark before finally being substituted.

From the ensuing scrum we opened the scoring. Windley crashed into their line as he left the base of the scrum and from the play the ball Pearce took the whole defense across the field before feeding Schofield who stepped back inside and then shot off for the line. He was a very fast player off the mark and he left three players chasing but not making any ground on him. A conversion from Pearce made it 6-0. Then the forwards just ground down the middle and with Shaun Patrick giving us the lion share of the ball from the scrums, we were well on top. Mansfield huffed and puffed, but simply could not break our line and when Patrick fed a short ball to Tomlinson, our prop crashed in on the 23th minute to make it 10-0, and when Pearce converted it was in effectively all over.

Mansfield’s full back Edgington was the star of their show pulling off tackle after tackle as O’Hara. Eastwood and Schofield continually threatened to break through. Mansfield were getting frustrated and after 3 sets of 6 in our 25, on the back of three dubious penalties, in which the hosts made no progress whatsoever, in desperation standoff Willis dropped a goal. But we were not finished yet, and with three minutes to go to half time, Ah Kuoi and Windley moved the ball swiftly from a scrum and Eastwood galloped in at the corner, but too far out for Pearce to convert and as the hooter went and we went in search of a Bovril to warm us up, it was 16-1 to Hull.

The second half started in fine style when Pearce who was having a great game, stepped right and left as only he could and using O’Hara as a foil to his right he waltzed in next to the posts, for a try he converted himself. Ten minutes later Tomlinson knocked both Stevens and Hough off in a tackle before feeding Wayne Proctor for the second rower to rampage down the field brushing off two would be tacklers himself to touch down for, once again, Pearce to convert. Schofield got the next with a 30 yard run and then it was the turn of Eastwood again as Mansfield just could not get through our defensive line or indeed deal with ‘Porkey’ Pearce or our wingers when we attacked.

With just a minute to go Lee Crooks passed out and it looked as if he had put Eastwood in for his hat trick but Mansfield winger Courtney Thompson flashed onto the sloppy pass and ran 75 yards for a try that saw those of the home crowd that were left in the ground, cheering as if it was the winning try. The final hooter went with the rickety score board showing 38-7 to Hull. It was a good win but that was not what I or anyone else will remember best about that day, for it was great defensive showing on probably the worst ground I have ever been to!

So on we go and it’s off to the West Riding for a televised game on Thursday and as I said in starting, it’s a real conundrum of a game. Win and we do our top 4 prospects no harm at all, but if we lose then Huddersfield will have put a massive nail in the Dobbins coffin. It will be really tough as it’s do or die for the Giants, who before last Friday had looked pretty good for the last month. It will certainly be interesting to see what line up we field on the night, but whoever is out there, it is I think, quite a big ask really.

So that’s it for another one, in which I’ve wandered about a bit but I hope that you found something to enjoy. Your support of the Diary continues to amaze me and it’s always good to hear from you. Thanks to everyone who got in touch this week and everyone who had a word at the game. Who knows what the next week will bring our way, but one things for sure, I’ll speak to you again next weekend!

Faithfully Yours


AND FINALLY …..There was some great stuff about after Germany left the World Cup this week following a defeat by South Korea. My favourite was this one!