The Dentist’s Diary – 619th

Two on the trot …. Boy that feels much better!!!!!

It was in the end, great stuff again! Its almost two years since we registered back to back away wins and on a wet West Yorkshire Sunday, we were rugged and passionate and even a tad clinical at times. In addition to keep any Super League team to just one try on their own ground, is a fine effort as well.

The Giants ain’t the best team around, it wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t totally convincing, but it was the win we needed and now with 2 from 4, things look a darn sight better than they did just three weeks ago. On what was a difficult playing surface in Huddersfield, we squandered possession and were at times ineffective in that first half. Line breaks for either side were at a premium, but Huddersfield looked like they really wanted it. That said, we were potent in the third quarter and clinical in the last one! It was an afternoon for heroes in the rain and there were none more heroic than Marc Sneyd. He should have gone off, but instead, with Jake off the field already, he hobbled along and masterminded the plays that in the end broke Huddersfield’s hearts.

It was altogether a better week to be an FC fan though wasn’t it? That victory at Wigan Warriors last week has worked wonders chests were expanded, shoulders weren’t slouched and heads were held that little bit higher and that was just us lot the fans!!! It was a long time since we had all felt like that, but soon of course the psyche dictates that all our thoughts turned to this Sunday and whether we could do it all again!

As the rain poured down and we fumbled our way through that first half you certainly wondered if Wigan was a flash in the pan, but you know, it was team spirit and another great will to win performance from everyone that finally got us home. You could see what it meant to them and the fans at the end, so well done to the boys!  

Trips to Huddersfield are never that much fun and it would be good if one day that great old Club could attract a few more supporters, as playing at that cavernous stadium is often akin to playing rugby in a Cathedral. It’s such a shame, but that badly executed and cak handed move from Fartown to the new stadium all those years ago, spawned a massive hiatus which  provided a legacy that lives on to this day.

It’s a hard place to go to and particularly to win at, because of the earie atmosphere the whole place projects. Even in the great 2016 season it provided perhaps our worst display on the road after Widnes. But yesterday, with well over 2000 FC fans behind them the FC players must have felt like they were at home. It must be soul destroying for the Giants too and I remember when I bumped into Eorl Crabtree in a pub in Huddersfield, he actually commented that such a lack of atmosphere even had a big effect on the home team when he played for the Giants.

Of course, you can only play where the fixture list takes you so we were all set yesterday for another cathedral like experience although as I say the FC Faithful as always created an atmosphere all of their own and certainly raised the roof a time or two during the afternoon.  

Of course on arrival as usual the wide open spaces of the two Home Stands were contrasted by the number of seats that were inaccessible in the away end and my pals were texting me all afternoon about having to sit in the rain!! The weather was obviously a disappointment for the players as well, because we have looked at our best this season when playing a top of the field game that doesn’t particularly suit a wet ball and if the conditions for open rugby started badly, they just got worse. In fact, Lee admitted afterwards that we had trained for that ‘fast hands’ game all week and had to adjust things on the day. On the other hand, Huddersfield were always going to want to mix it through the middle with their big forwards revelling in the condition of the pitch.

In the first set Huddersfield laid out that game plan for all to see, as they attempted to steam roller us down the middle and those slippery conditions certainly aided their ambitions. Our first set ended with a poor kick straight to McGillivray which set Huddersfield at it again and we were struggling to keep them at bay and get out of our own half. It was going to be, you felt, dour stuff. Your always under the pump in those first few minutes when playing away, but Connor at Full Back was looking accomplished as he ran at the inexperienced Huddersfield half-backs, but, stringing passes together was proving hard. Soon we were knocking on the door with three sets on their line, which ended with a poor kick, that Grix easily defused.

Naulago did well after he had been caught out of position on the end of a kick, but we lost the ball, before they did the same much to the delight of the 2000 plus FC fans in attendance. Too much of that off the cuff stuff not suited to the conditions, saw us struggling to get to the end of our sets.  Then out of the blue Westerman got what can only be described as a real jammy try! He spilled the ball, but instinctively kicked it through and dropped on it over the line. As we celebrated, I mused on the fact that if you were a Huddersfield fan it was a case of ‘when it’s not going your way it’s not going your way’. We know that feeling only too well don’t we?

We hadn’t managed to get a hold of the game, but somehow we were leading 6-0. We started to look strong on our left hand side as Kelly started to ask some questions but with a ball like a bar of soap it was hard to sustain anything. As the rain poured down, the steam rising off the pack at a scrum took me right back to the 70’s at Boulevard. It was a real war of attrition as both sets of players went toe to toe in a game that was certainly no classic. We then had a brain fart as everyone stopped to admire a real crunching tackle by Ratu and the ball popped loose and McKintyre ran on to score. It was really poor stuff and as Captain Danny Houghton ranted at his team behind the posts, the conversion sailed over and the scores were level. At that point I reflected, it could go either way, with I thought the Giants perhaps just shading it.  

That thought was borne out when we then lost the ball on our own thirty and a penalty in front of our sticks saw the Giants take the lead. Errors had again led to points, as it looked that for us, no one could stamp their mark on the game. We ended the half pressing their line but they stood firm before Connor got that much talked about injury, bravely saving a try.

He tried to start the second half, but couldn’t, however before we had time to lament the loss, Westerman surprised us all with a peach of a second try and we were back in front and looked at last to have got that ‘Wigan roll’ back again.  Westerman, who was playing his 300th game for the club, is certainly looking good at present isn’t he? Then Gareth Ellis who was massive on the go forward front again, got a really quick play the ball after which Sneyd hoisted a massive kick which Grix could only knock dead. Back we came and as Griffin and Sneyd switched in the line, Ratu got free and taking a pin point pass from Marc he scooted in and in a game we looked at one point to be losing, we now started to pull away. Paea was having his best game for yonks and his yardage was impressive as he looked good every time he got the ball.

Another inspiring display from Gareth in the pouring rain.

But then disaster struck and Sneyd got injured as well and it looked like he was really struggling. Our luck injury wise was again draining away as we had seen two of our three half backs injured in just a twenty-minute period. Connors loss meant Marc had to soldier on, however, we were really controlling things now and although Faraimo missed a penalty, in fairness looking back at it, after the dust had settled, we were now controlling a game in which the opposition, were increasingly becoming a spent force.   

Ratu gets better every game great try again!

However, we still had lapses as again we invited Huddersfield into the game with stupid penalties, which they relished but thankfully, as the ball was spread wide quickly and we looked vulnerable, McGillivray dropped the ball when he could have scored. That seemed to re-energise the Hull line and Sneyd, playing on one leg, hoisted a massive kick to the corner, Grix dropped it and Griffin pushed it through and pounced to score and a great conversion from Marc saw us stretch our lead further. We battled really well in the middle but a rare sloppy kick gave them hope with a 20-meter restart. Thankfully that like everything else that the Giants could throw at us in that half, came to nought following some really tenacious tackling across the Hull line.

Sneyd, so brave, hobbling around and ‘hiding’ wide out on defence, flew out the line and put their centre off sufficiently for his pass to fly wide of an un-marked McGillivray who would have scored. As we all breathed again, that looked to be it, as the Giants body language spoke volumes. Matongo on for Ellis really was shaking them up, as was Paea, who was turning back the years in fine style, before Sneyd converted a penalty and trudging back to half way for the kick-off, Huddersfield looked completely out on their feet.

Then came the try of the game as Sneyd, (again) first brilliantly hobbled one way and then kicked the other, straight into the path of Griffin, it was so on the money and Griffin who touched down rejoiced with the crowd as he got his second to seal the victory. With Griffin at full-back we were in disarray injury wise, but he ran straight and hard from the back as we looked like a team who wanted to do it for their coach, their team-mates and the fans. That attitude got us through against a team that really wanted it and tried hard, but couldn’t match us for heart. In the end it was a great win against the odds in atrocious conditions and well done to every one of those 17 heroes who pulled on that blue away-strip yesterday!

Good to be Back and Firing, Albo grew into the game.

It hadn’t been pretty at times, but 20 glorious minutes of fast and furious go forward football at the start of the second half did it for the FC. In that period, we steam-rolled their big forwards, landed on our fronts and got ‘play the balls’ on the front foot. Kelly took them on, Sneyd was imperious, but most of all everyone kept it simple as we rolled down the field and they had no answer to it.  Huddersfield were dogged and tried to hold us, but in that period they simply couldn’t fetter our momentum and then in the last quarter on one leg Marc Sneyd did the rest with amazing kicks for two tries, that sank the Giants, broke their spirit and sent the FC Faithful into raptures.

At this point in the season it’s not about how you play but all about accruing points. These two wins against the odds have been massive for us and we approach Leeds, still in disarray and wondering what team we’ll be able to put out, but with great hope and a deal of pride in our hearts. We ain’t at full strength or firing on all cylinders and we ain’t the finished article yet, but the heart and the spirit is back and with it the FC I’m so proud to support. Well done to everyone who played yesterday and went along to watch the game!!    

Now stepping back a bit to last week and as that Wigan ‘glow’ subsided and the prospect of the wide open spaces of Huddersfield beckoned, I got to thinking; it’s a funny old business being a fan and hitching your star to 13 blokes throwing a ball about every weekend, isn’t it? The longer it goes on for me (over 60 years now) the more baffling and yet predictable it becomes! After that great victory at Wigan I was pretty ecstatic and was pleasantly surprised that, after 2016, 2017 and all that, I could actually feel so elated about a game of rugby again. In fact, next day I was still glowing and so pleased about ending that run. However, it never lasts long and as quickly as it happens, it’s history and all your concerned about is winning the next one, which was for us lot that game at Huddersfield.

While we were losing, one reversal seemed to run into another and I almost got to the point of accepting it. As defeat follows defeat, you sort of accede it’s the norm and just get on with it, but once you squeeze a win and there is a grain of hope back in your heart, one victory is no longer enough anymore and almost immediately the dust has settled and you’re looking for the next one.

That win at Wigan was certainly impressive and although some Lancashire based pundits claimed that ‘The Pies’ were not really at the races, watching the game back, there is little doubt that they would still have beaten a lot of teams that afternoon. However, in the end, our guts, tenacity and sheer determination got us through. It will go down as a great win and perhaps a turning point, but should also be classed as one of the biggest effort we have seen for months by all 17 players on duty. That’s not saying that they hadn’t been trying, because they had, but inspired by Gareth Ellis, we showed an extraordinary will to win. The team had trained for two weeks for an upset, and it had been carnage at times at County Road for the players, who had to get up to a new level, sustain it for days on the training pitch and then take it out onto the pitch in Wigan.  

Joe Westerman said straight after the victory that, “The coaching staff and everyone else has been up there for a fortnight and that has been really hard for them; it’s tough to keep us up like that. But we were awesome through the week and we showed it out there. We worked for each other. I know they scored late on, but we were in the game and we should have won before that. And, in any case; what a game to watch eh?”

So, we had trained for that game as if it were a cup final and its hard to even contemplate what would have happened to us had that conversion sailed through the post and we had lost. But, in training we targeted what was for many a match that was destined to be a record 14th defeat for the Club. That just shows you what can be done and the inclusion of Ellis was just a master stroke. Afterwards Radford commented that he showed the other forwards just what level they should be playing at and that it was a hard lesson for a few in the FC squad. Lee gets some stick, but there is little doubt that when push comes to shove he’s developed into a clever psychologist, but as we all said afterwards it was quite a game that victory was certainly a massive step up and welcome indeed and yet there has to be more than effort every week and two swallows don’t make a summer do they? We had to carry all that on to the game yesterday and quite amazingly we did.  

Of course how long Gareth can keep it up is a matter for conjecture. He said this week that he wanted to give it another go and you have to applaud his loyalty and boy do we need him. Realistically, I can however see him lasting until the next injury and who can blame him if that is a watershed and no doubt he might just find 5-day turn rounds like this next one a bit hard going too, but well done to him!!

Now, there is certainly an interesting dynamic developing around our half backs and the spine of our team which at present looks as strong as it has done for years and with our injury situation it’s a good job that it is. Danny Houghton is back in the zone again, Joe Westerman looks a revelation, Jamie Shaul has been on some of the best form we have seen for ages and then there is Albo, Sneydy and of course Jake Connor. It was certainly interesting last week at Wigan to see Jake Connor blossoming and thriving at half back and listening to Marc Sneyd saying afterwards, “I love playing with Jake in the halves – he’s such a skilful player and one of the best in the competition at the moment, so he’s always bound to come up with something special in a game and he did that with that pass out wide to Ratu, he was really key for us”. Of course we have that depth to cover in case of injuries and already it is being tested to the full.

Perhaps in the longer term its true what I have said in here for a while, in that we simply can’t ‘waste’ Jake out in the centres, when we have seen what he is capable of in the halves and at full back, in the thick of the action. Of course Sneyd is a must when he is fit, the win at Wigan and his performance yesterday on one leg proved that fact as well, not just for that drop goal but because of those great kicks to the corner he produced in the last quarter in Lancashire and the tries he made with kicks at Huddersfield.  Lee Radford said this week that, “The form players get the job”, and for me that is right, but moving forward there is no doubt that when everyone’s fit, at half back, three into two won’t go.

That’s a conundrum going forward for Lee, but the most important thing we now have to do is get Sneyd signed up with us for future seasons, because his contract is up at the end of 2019. That for me is a must, because with us on the hunt for big new forwards to come in at the end of the season, Sneyd is the man to work behind them and take us forward. For some reason, he’s not everyone’s cup of tea and I know what he tries to do doesn’t always come off, but man is he cool and is he organised and he’s just the man you need pulling the strings when the chips are down. Get him signed up FC ASAP!

Now, we are never short of things to talk about in the game and the groundswell of Championship and Division One Clubs concerned about the way the new company at Widnes have been allowed to step up so quickly by the RL, is certainly fascinating stuff. In fact, the Chairman of Swinton went into print in an open letter about it on Saturday. It’s certainly something I’ll be keeping an eye on for sure. However, something that has caught my eye over the last couple of weeks is the fact that I have noticed that a lot of fans in the Championship are getting more and more hot under the collar when squads are announced for their games.

That’s because of the skew that they perceive dual-registration puts on the team sheets. When I noticed their consternation I had a look around and I found a really good example in Leigh Centurions the week before last. They have a duel registration deal with Saints and had five of their partner’s players representing them against Featherstone, in a game which they eventually won.

True, Luke Douglas is currently on a one-month loan at Leigh from their Lancashire neighbours but Danny Richardson, Aaron Smith, Matty Costello and Jack Ashworth all played for John Duffy’s side in their 29-20 win over the Colliers that Sunday afternoon. I also noted that the likes of Josh Woods and Olly Russell, who are on season-long loans at Leigh from Wigan and Huddersfield Giants respectively, missed out on selection, due no doubt to those Saints’ players coming in. The sight of such a ‘none Leigh’ team, full of soldiers of fortune from Super League, really rattled a few Featherstone supporters, particularly after they had lost!

Some Clubs don’t have a duel registration deal, some have one that pays lip service to the idea when it suits the Super League club, whilst others like Leigh, Swinton and indeed Doncaster have deals that see four or five players joining them every week. Indeed, as we found out recently about Hull FC, clubs like Doncaster actually pay the ‘Parent Club’ an annual fee for the benefits of that ‘duel-reg’ coalition. What is the point the protagonists say, unless it’s a level playing field for all? Accepting the fact that there is no such thing as a level playing field in Rugby League, it certainly seems that the consensus is that some clubs are losing their identity, abandoning developing local players and evolving into feeder organisations for their big brothers in Super League. A lot of fans have been saying that and I guess they have a reasonable argument don’t they?

Throwing everything into a duel registration scheme is pretty dodgy ground for any club in the lower divisions, because even when the association is as good as ours is with Doncaster, it’s so unreliable. Some weeks it’s great for the smaller club because they get several players, but they can then be left in the lurch at other times when the bigger club is down on numbers. It’s pretty tough as well for the players at the smaller club who lose their places one week and are expected to step up the next.

So what is the answer? Well, the fact is that although at present only Wakey and ourselves realise that it is, in the long run, the way forward, as a game we desperately need a reserves league, but how many seasons does this strange set up have to go on before we get one?

If every Super League team had a second team playing in a proper and structured competition, then I think Duel-Registration would be liable in time to just fade away. Furthermore, the clubs that now use duel registration, would have to recruit new players of their own to fill the void it left. At first that would be tough and it would take a lot of work and a bit of investment from the clubs, but in the end more players would be coming into the game and Championship and Division One Clubs would have a much stronger bond with their emerging fringe players and their local communities. It’s not bloody rocket science is it? We need a reserve league and for it to be, as far as Super League Clubs are concerned, compulsory!

Then Clubs in the lower divisions would have to do what years ago they were good at; unearthing new talent from their own communities. Why is it so easy for ordinary fans to know what needs to be done, yet the RFL just hasn’t a clue? They blame the Clubs saying they can’t afford to do it, but if a governing body is doing what it should be doing to protect the integrity of the game going forward, then running a reserves team should be a contractual obligation for every Super League Club, it’s an obvious step to take isn’t it? 

Now into the past and last week we heard about the sad demise of one of the great characters of the 70’s and 80’s and a great servant to our game Peter Fox. Games need heroes and they also need villains and there was no bigger villain both as a player and a coach than Foxy. He was the consummate character!!! His passion for the game was never dulled and in his later years, he was renowned as a brilliant font of information on all things Rugby League. However, in his younger year’s whichever team he was involved with would see his exuberance and passion often spill over into the terraces, much to the delight of the Threepenny Stand, where he was affectionately the man everyone loved to hate!! He played 245 games for various teams and was a Coach for several others as well, including Bramley, Featherstone and Bradford Northern. In addition, he was for a time Great Britain Coach as well. He never played for us but he was a giant in the annals of the game in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s.

Here is one great memory I have of him as this week the Codgers spot takes you back to those muddy old days of the mid 70’ Boulevard, when ‘Foxy’ was always a ‘welcome’ visitor to the Boulevard!!! 

Neil Hague and Fox celebrate Winning the Premiership with Bradford.

Back then in the 1976/77 season it was really difficult for most clubs to make ends meet with falling gates across the game still a massive problem. Despite the best efforts of our club and the City Council (who maintained it that year) our pitch was still a mess. Although there had been some nice new grass to be seen at the start of the season, as the drains silted up with Speedway shale it soon left the usual morass of mud with very little green evident at all. In winter it was a mud bath and for the last few games in Spring it was usually as hard as nails, in fact on one occasion that year, Castleford even tried to get an end of season game cancelled when they arrived to find the playing surface made up of rock hard rolled baked mud.

On Sunday 28th November 1976, the game in question was one against Bramley who our A team had visited and beaten the Friday previously, the significance of which you will see a little later. The weather that month was shocking and the general opinion in Hull was that we would be lucky to see a game that weekend at all. Still as game day dawned, our desperation to generate some cash flow to keep the debtors from the door, dictated that the match was still on, and I watched from the Threepenny Stand with some pals that I had met in the ‘Eagle’ on Coltman Street for a pre-game pint. 4000 others hardy souls were in attendance that day which was a good gate for us back then.

As we walked down Saner Street and onto the Boulevard the rain was torrential although by we had got through the turnstiles it had all but stopped. The pitch was covered in small puddles and Fred Daddy the Club’s ageing Groundsman and several helpers were busy forking the pitch to ease the water away. It was a thankless task, as even the light grey and blue ‘invalid carriages’ (very un PC these days) that usually parked on the pitch, got stuck in the mud well before they could get into position behind the dead ball line at the Airlie Street end.

Bramley’s Player/Coach was the late great Peter Fox, who the Hull Daily Mail was described the night before as ‘a colorful character’. He was from the ‘Fox’ rugby playing dynasty of Wakefield (with brothers Don and Neil) and he always had something to say and where Hull were concerned it was usually derogatory. Peter got the usual rousing and abusive welcome from the Hull supporters when he walked out onto the pitch before the game, and although the conditions were dreadful and several bulbs were missing in the floodlights which were already on, the game started on time. The match itself was a nail biting tussle with veteran scrum half Keith Hepworth playing a storming game for us. Bramley though were a handy outfit back then and it was only through three great last ditch tackles by our full back George Robinson that we kept them from scoring in the first ten minutes!

However then, on the eleven-minute mark, from our first attack Hepworth, Hancock and Hunter linked to send ‘Super’ Alf Macklin skidding and sliding in at the corner. We continued to press until a long looping pass by Hancock was intercepted by Langton and the Bramley winger scooted fifty yards down a thin track of green on the wing, to score for the visitors.

Fox reads the riot act!

That mistake turned the game and with Fox’s canny ‘spoiling’ tactics behind just about every move they made, Bramley started to dominate in the sludge down the middle of the field. In fact, after Boxall had punched Jack Austin in the tackle anfter the later had lamped Steve Portz, it was their player-coach that stretched their lead to 7-5 with a penalty goal. Try as we may, we could not get another score and with the ball like a bar of soap, mistakes were to the fore as we witnessed 24 scrums in the first 40 minutes. On three or four occasions the respective scrum halves dropped the slippery ball before they had even left the back of the scrum and the players left the field at half time, muddied from head to foot, with that same close score showing on the score-board.

During half time as we went for a cup of Bovril and a hot dog, it poured down again and when we got back to our places we all had to move back up the Threepenny’s steps, just to get out of the torrential rain and to avoid being drenched. Both teams changed their shirts at half time and as the rain eased no further points were scored before once again it became really dark and the heavens opened. It rained so hard that the referee had to stop the game at a scrum as no one on the field could see a thing. Crampton and Crane both tried to get things moving in the wider areas, but after 56 minutes so muddy were both teams kits that everyone looked exactly the same and it was impossible to determine who was who. At that point the referee had little choice but to take both sets of players off the field to change their shirts again. The only players with clean shirts by then were Foulkes and Ibbetson our two subs who had not been used!!!

Unfortunately, our Chairman Charlie Watson, claimed that we had already gone through two full strips on Friday in the A team game, and now having used up two more strips that day, we had no more shirts left. Bramley had just brought two sets of kit and although the referee said he would play on if just one team changed, neither side had another strip.

As we stood on the terraces stamping our feet the tannoy interrupted a third playing of a very scratchy rendition of ‘Morningtown Ride’ by the Seekers, to announce that the referee had abandoned the game and we all trudged off chuntering about getting our money back and what a farce the whole afternoon had been. Foxy ran out of the tunnel and berated everyone he could find who was left on the pitch in fact he even gave Fred Daddy a mouthful although that was not a good idea to a Grounds man, with a pitch fork in his hand!

Peter Fox was pretty vociferous as well in Mondays Yorkshire Post saying that Bramley could have won the game and it was the responsibility of the home team to change their strips. He also refuted what Watson had said about changing strips at half time in the previous A team game and it all got a bit personal. However, the RL decided that the game should be declared void and it was replayed later that year when on a Wednesday night we beat Bramley 26-10.  As you can imagine, ‘Foxy, Foxy what’s the score?’ was the chant that rang around the ‘Threepennies’ that night!!! Peter, who was injured, just stood arms crossed and scowled all night on the touchline!

Looking back Peter was a great character who certainly felt passionately about any team he was involved with; I remember that he often had a running shouting match with the fans in the well when Featherstone ‘A’ came to the Boulevard. I guess it’s hardly surprising that the FC supporters never liked him for he was a bit of a pantomime Villain back then, what’s more he didn’t like us much either, something that cause a long running feud to develop between him and the fans in that famous old stand. Being an ex-Rover’s player didn’t help him much either!! Later in his career when visiting as a Coach and whilst sitting on the trainers bench in front of the Threepennies as usual, he was pelted with the usual rubbish including a bottle, which he immediately gently lobbed back into the Threepenny Stand.

Unfortunately, the bottle hit a stanchion support and shattered all over the crowd and as several supporters clambered over the fence to have a go, he was asked to leave the touch line by the Police, probably for his own safety. The next time he appeared at the Boulevard in charge of Bradford, he complemented his usual ‘pork pie hat’ with an immaculate, obviously new, sheepskin coat. One fan, probably with a long memory and fed up with his constant goading of the crowd, climbed over the fence and quick as a flash poured the trainers bucket of water over his head and right down his new coat. He was not impressed at all!! But Peter Fox was just the same the sort of thing that the game was made of back then.  It’s not difficult to see why the trainer’s huts were moved to the other side of the pitch shortly afterwards, because the folks in that famous Threepenny Stand were certainly no respecters of reputations and, as a player or an official, if you represented the opposition, you were in for it! Peter though was as I say a proper character, a great player and a brilliant coach. He was a real character though and an important part of the game went with him last week when he died.

R.I.P. Peter Fox!

So there we are another Diary almost over and after what seems like a life-time since our last home game, we face Leeds at the KCom on Friday. I’m really looking forward to it but the advantage Leeds get from an extra two day’s rest between games could play a significant part in what happens; as could of course the issues around our injured spine. I bet the Leeds lot are rubbing their hands, but we might yet surprise them. I just hope those two great away wins get us a decent gate. Leeds, haven’t started well but they always seem to have a  hoodoo over us at the KCom and on the back of that energy sapping game at the Giants, it will be a really big ask for the lads.

Thanks so much to everyone who has got in touch this week, to Ian Findlay, Dick Ollett, Rich Watson, Richard Hall, Jim Waring, Mike Jacklin, Harry O, Phil Beckinsale, Ian Middleton and the host of other correspondents who took the time to drop me a line.

So to Friday and let’s get down to the KCom and really make some noise, another win and our season will be turned around, although let’s not forget a great grinding win yesterday and enjoy the glow of it for a little while yet, until as fans always will,  we start to worry about The Rhino’s!!! Good Times!

Keep Believing!!!!

Faithfully Yours

Wilf!