The Dentist’s Diary – 638th

4,300 odd days of waiting!!!

How good was that victory at Headingley eh? Not just for us getting another two valuable league points but in the context of our build up to next weekend and the rest of the campaign?

Everyone played their part, but it was Marc Sneyd who for me took the accolades, as Ellis steadied the ship and Houghton tackled and ran brilliantly. Yeh, Leeds are bottom, yeh, they are poor, in fact from what I’ve seen in the games this weekend, it is only the poorness of the teams around them, that is given the ‘Lacklustre Loiners’ any sort of hope at all.

However, it was the dynamics of it all that was so pleasing, for to go so far in front of them, then lose the lead and the momentum, before we had to not only take on their players but the crowd as well, was one thing, but then we grabbed the initiative again and fought backs to the wall to hold that two-point advantage until the end; that was something else.

The in and out stuff was still there, but not as much as it has been, although we did still give away far too many stupid penalties which in turn gave the home side both heart and field position, but we battled our way back into it, we showed passion and fight and a steady hand in difficult times, plus we held our nerve and as the only Cup semi-finalists to win this weekend, we looked an accomplished team and that’s all that we can ask for really.

So for me, it was above all else a really heartening victory in the context of the season.     

Despite all that however, it’s back to reality and make no mistake about it we are going to be up against it again in Bolton, of that there is little doubt!

I think we showed at Headingley that we have the fight and the players to get us back to the capital, but we have to go into that game again scrapping for our lives. We might be slight under dogs and the Wire certainly have a few scores to settle from 2016, but it’s that sort of adversity that defines exactly what you are as a player and it’s the stuff that fashions the culture within a team. A deep instinctive desire to win, (like we saw on Sunday), that doesn’t fade in adversity, despite the odds or the situation, is what saw us prevail in 2016 and 2017 and that’s where we need to be again next Saturday.

On the terraces and out on the field we all have one ambition and that is to win, but in such games it is hard and sometimes the decisions of the few or even the individual, will dictate the outcome. We’ll certainly be up for it as fans and we just have to hope that once again the fighting spirit of the famous Hull FC prevails, it’s a real watershed game in our season and something, we’ve been told, that we have been building for all year; we’d better turn up for this one then!

If a year is a long time in politics, then, 12 seasons is a bloody lifetime in the ups and downs, the highs and lows and the glories and disasters of a sports club. So it was that we went to Headingley on Sunday on the back of a week of being told in every media outlet that you could find, that we have that unenviable record in North West Leeds. In fact, it was back in September 2007 in the year that Leeds won the Competition, that we last came away from there with a W in the fixtures column as we grabbed a 17-6 win. Since then we have seen massive defeats and close loses, we’ve been rained on regularly, showered with beer, despondent, chanted at and ridiculed. In fact, we all knew as well that the Leeds fans always see us as their yearly ‘gimme’ and don’t ever contemplate anything but a victory for the home team. I hate the place myself and I particularly detest that bloody band and the ‘fat boy with the drum’.

They’ve had a shocking season thus far, but our form hardly engendered a lot of confidence either. We’ve been brilliant at times when we were not expected to win and pretty awful at others when we should have. Plus, with the Cup game just 6 days away, our place in the premier division safe for another year and Leeds absolutely desperate for the points to help them survive, we all wondered whether we would turn up with anything like the resolve that Leeds would now have to show every week if they are to survive. We shouldn’t have worried really!

A rare Sunday afternoon game in the Leeds suburbs offered the FC fans a chance to look around the newly developed stadium, which is probably now the best in the British game. The home team were definitely desperate, because a week earlier in a real 4-pointer against Rovers, they had been shocking. Plus, with ex-FC supremo and many fans arch nemesis Richard Agar as their interim coach, bringing a bit more spice to the encounter, it was all heading up for a big game, all be it one where some FC minds, both on and off the field, must have been focussed down the M62 in Bolton. 

We are however, compared with some others, not in a bad place at all and one had to ask whether we are really so inconsistent or whether we are just winning the games (or as was the case last week the half’s) that we need to, as we attempt to keep in contention for the two competitions. One thing is for sure, it had been a strange old season for everyone particularly when a team sitting third had been so erratic but just needed three more wins from 7 games to guarantee a top 5 finish.  

Over in Leeds the local media went on all week about the pressure being on, but as if it was their god given right to be in Super league, they added that there was no need to panic. However, around here the local news outlets were, like the rest of us, simply wondering which Hull FC would turn up, just 6 days before the first really ‘Big’ one of the season.  

So it was that we took to the field and we all wondered what would happen next! One thing was for sure there was no resting anyone as we fielded perhaps, with the exception of the missing Albert Kelly, the strongest team we have available and as a group they now just had to turn up. Leeds were primed for it, the drums crashed and the trumpets sounded and what a din they made, but it was a great afternoon for rugby neutrals, as the scene was set for an interesting game, where everyone of a black and white persuasion just stood there and prayed for no injuries.

This was a game that warrants a closer look at the action for it was a stirring end to end encounter that we deserved to win, but could easily have lost. Straight from the kick off Paea forced an error and we got some early field position. Connor almost gave it away, but we benefited from a Leeds knock on as they looked to be really tense. We had all the pressure but couldn’t get over the line however, then we got the ball back and Seke Manu ran strong and straight to touch down and at last the early score our pressure had deserved, was ours. It was a good start but very early days.

A big kick was dropped by Shaul and then we were really under pressure. It was, after 8 minutes, Leeds first opportunity to press us on our line. However, good old Lunt dropped it near our line and we got out of jail. One thing was for sure, our attitude was OK and we were unlucky to not get Ratu in at the corner but he just stepped in touch.

Then Ratu gave away a daft penalty and we were under the pump, but Connor saved the day as he juggled and caught a kick under the posts and we got a penalty. A great kick in the next set from Sneyd saw Fairamo leap like a salmon in the corner, he rose unbelievably high to grab the ball and touch down in for an amazing try and Sneyd added the extras. The winger however landed really badly on his head but he got on with it and we were 12-0 up. Two penalties got Leeds up to our line and then Lunt dropped the ball again. We got it back but Mini then dropped it and the pressure was on once more. We then needlessly gave another penalty away and Hurrell got over to bring Leeds back into it.

They lost the ball from the kick off but we lost it through Griffin as well, as it all got really scrappy. We were giving too many penalties away and gifting Leeds who were poor too much field position, but our tenacity and their ineptitude was keeping us in it. We were doing the hard yards thorough Ellis and Bowden but we just had to stop giving the penalties away. Again we had managed to be in and out in this game; in for the first 20 minutes and out for the next.

A great long range try from Shaul at the start of the second half put us back 12 points in front. But then it again became a grind as we repelled a couple of sharp Leeds sortie’s into our half. We got a penalty and Sneyd took another two points from a long kick to make it a three score game. But Leeds had three scores at least in them!!! A Sneyd kick through went dead un-necessarily and we were under pressure from a 7 tackle set. That led to a Leeds try from who else but Briscoe and all the hard work was undone as the score stood at 20-12. However we went downfield and a great 6th tackle half back dribble by Sneyd got us on the end of a drop out.

We were pressing well but frustration reigned on the terraces as an interception by Handley from a pass from Tumavive to Ratu, saw them gallop down field and score to make it 20-18. It was tragic really because we were doing so well and Ratu was in had the pass found him. What’s more, despite Leeds gaining some confident we were still the better team. Leeds were on the rise and we were struggling to hold them and Briscoe was in to score his second Leeds in quick time. The Rhino’s were now on it big style as at 24-20 we looked out of it.

But this was the resolute never say die Hull FC we all love and after Leeds dropped what was a brilliant spiralling kick off from Sneyd over the try line, we just had to score from the drop out and Ratu obliged and got in stretching brilliantly in the corner, before Sneyd’s conversion from a steepling touchline kick under intense pressure from the crowd made it 26-24. Then it was backs to the wall stuff in the last 6 minutes, as we steadied it down, Ellis came back on and calmed the line and we just got home. What a hoodoo breaking win and what a great rehearsal it was for the big one on Saturday.

Everyone played their part but in a nut shell I guess, Sneyd won it for us again. Described by League Express as, “Simply sensational from start to finish, the ice man had it all. That kick from 45 yards in the third quarter that stretched the lead, his faultless goal kicking, his third (this season) uncatchable restart kick and at the death that ice cool conversion, for me proved the difference in the end; what a player he is. For many of those14 barren Headingley years we had lamented the fact that we don’t have a decent half back well we have one now and Marc is just a magician at times. What a great bit of business it was to tie him up until 2022.  

It was an exciting encounter and great to win there after such a long time, but as has always been the case with Radford teams, when they have their heads on, we were down, we were out but somehow from somewhere we found a way to win it. Great stuff and a tremendous preparation for next week. The intensity and the jeopardy was just what we needed and with Ellis out there you always know that whatever happens, we are always in with a battling chance. After over 4300 days of being beaten by them we at last got a win!

It was if nothing else really encouraging and not a little comforting too!

So, to the rest of the week and the reverberations of our signing Manu Ma’u have continued into a second week with a lot of Parramatta fans taking to social media early last week to bemoan his departure and in turn, him putting in a massive 80-minute shift in last weekend’s game, after which Andrew Voss chimed into the discussion when he said of Ma’u, “Hull FC have signed a beast and that is said with the greatest of respect. At 30 based on his current form with the Eels, although an injury disrupted the start of 2019, the bloke has never played better. What Hull fans will get with Ma’u is a player who can play big minutes. He has power, aggression, a strong go forward, ability to offload and good footwork. However, a word of warning. Don’t expect too much to say out of Manu. Loved by his teammates, he is known as a fairly intense character. When he’s wound up, one look could send a starving dog running out of a butcher shop.” Another pundit commented “He’s a scary individual and the sort of player that if you’ve opposed him all afternoon you’ll go home wasted, but always check that he’s not under the bed before you get in it!!”

He’s certainly an exciting prospect and one that I’m really looking forward to seeing in the ‘black and white’ next season!!

So, surprise, surprise, bloody Sky are buggering around with the fixtures at short notice again. The Wigan game, just two weeks off, has been brought forward to a Thursday night …again! I hope we give that broadcaster a real going over when we renegotiate the new deal for TV rights in 2021, because their needs always superseded any requirements of the longs suffering ticket buying public. Not happy in deciding that we will play the Dobbins in the biggest and most stressful fixture in the RL calendar on a Thursday just five days after we have flown home from Catalan, now we play Wigan just 6 days after a Cup semi-final, which is probably our most difficult game of the year and that, after Wigan have been given a weekend off!! There are games going on that weekend with more at stake, but no it has to be us!

The whole set up is so badly flawed against the clubs in the name of television (and I know all about the money they put in) however, as I often say in here, its bloody ludicrous when one team who has negotiated their own TV deal, the Catalans   Dragons, are allowed to play every home game on the same day, while the rest of us get buggered about in the original fixture list and then again at short notice like this to suit TV! It was scheduled for a Saturday, a traditional afternoon for rugby and I think that we would have got a really good gate, but now this; there is no consideration for the clubs or indeed just as importantly the players welfare, as long as they get the game THEY want! It bloody stinks for me?

Now for the return of the long lamented Wilf’s Whiffs and a bit of gossip! You’ll remember that we were all dancing in the streets a couple of weeks ago when Ratu signed up until the end of next season, what news it was concerning probably the games find of the season. However, I’m told that it’s not quite as clear cut as that. Apparently the story goes, his wage is jointly paid by the army and the club and perhaps for the forces the 2020 deal is not all they expected it to be. With Wigan, Saints, Harlequins and Sale all waiting in the wings with big money, his tenure could well still be decided by the army’s preference as to where he plays, where he gets the best deal and where he gets the most exposure. All conjecture you might think, but we’ll watch that one I think for we have to keep him!

Well the announcements about who was in the two ‘Train on’ squads for the full England and the Knights squads held few surprises I guess and perhaps for FC fans it was who was missing rather than who was in there, that was the main talking point. Scott Taylor, Jake Connor and Jamie Shaul were expected inclusions, however like most of you, I was surprised that Josh Griffin missed out, as for me he has been one of the best centres in the competition thus far this season. Then there is Danny Houghton who every year I feel for, as he always misses out.

I know with Clark and Roby we have two great hookers but the thing about Danny is that year in year out he is the competitions top tackler and as far as his form with the ball is concerned, his performances are consistently at a high level, so much so that his very best and poorest performances, (if he has any of those) are very closely matched. In othr words he is the epitome of consistency.

Thing is he is down the pecking order behind those two and the squad can only really cope with two hookers in the 27, so Danny again misses out. That’s bad luck for a player who has not got any recognition, but he’ll always give his all for us and so I guess we have to be pleased that he’ll get a good off season to prepare for 2020. As I say I feel for him though! 

So on to the Knights and after a season in which he started so well, grabbed a place in the starting line-up and looked every bit the Super League prop, Masi Matongo then went through some of the most difficult and tragic personal circumstances possible, which saw him given leave of absence from the Club, before he returned to training last week. So how good was it to see his early season endeavours rewarded with a call up to the Knights with another good player who has had a tough season Josh Bowden. Both players could easily have been over-looked for players who have been out on the field all year, but their promise and tenacity has been rewarded and I’m really pleased for them both.

While we are talking about Matongo, well done as well to the Club for giving the player time off, helping him along the way and looking after his welfare through a difficult time. That’s what good clubs do and they should be commended for their actions which no doubt will be rewarded when an honest hard working player like Masi, returns to his early season form and is back on the team sheet again. Well done to the Club for that!

Josh Bowden, admitted to being very surprised indeed to be in there. His potential to be a top player has to be epitomised by the fact that he is selected after 11 months out of the game injured. I did think that perhaps both Josh and Ratu Naulago might get the call and although there is so much more to come from the latter, I think that Josh is really unlucky to miss out, for he has been a standout player for us all year.

Over the years we have been lucky enough as supporters to find ourselves just days away from a semi-final on a good many occasions. What’s more we have been pretty good at winning these games over the years as well. This week then in Codgers Corner it seemed appropriate to take the reader back to one such game as we prepare to go to Bolton on Saturday. So its back to 1985 and a year when we had to play two semi-finals before we went off to Wembley to face Wigan in one of the greatest Finals ever.

On Saturday 6th April that year with Sterling at the helm we played Castleford full of expectation, believing that it was a formality and that later that afternoon we would all be preparing for another trip to Wembley. However, no one told Castleford all this and in a dour encounter we ended up drawing the game 10-10, with Peter Sterling who was truly outstanding for us at scrum half, scoring a brilliant late try. Two Final appearances that season were starting to take their toll and we were in the middle of a really tough fixture ‘pile up’ so much so that we had to play Barrow in between the two semi-finals where, despite sending a full ‘A’ team, we still managed another draw 12-12.

So, the ‘Mermaid’ bus was back on the road again the following Wednesday and I was back on it, having decided because of the abject fear and concern I had for the outcome, to break from my now customary car travel and partake of ‘pre drinks’. By 4.00pm we were back in the ‘Three Horseshoes’ on Otley Road, before taking our places on the East Terracing at Headingley in a crowd of over 20,000. There must have been at least 12,000 spectators from Hull, most of whom had learned their lessons from the traffic chaos before the Elland Road Final replay a couple of years previously and set off early. It was certainly turning out to be a season of replays after our heroics against Widnes in the previous round when a great win in Cheshire came after a Boulevard draw.  Castleford had obviously noted the important role that the wonderful Peter Stirling played in the first game and targeted him from the off.

However, it was Ian Orum, the Cas’ scrum half, and recent convert from Rugby Union, that literally drew the first blood. Whilst we had started slowly, Castleford had scored an early try, but then Orum took Gary Kemble really late with ‘a coat hanger’ of a ‘stiff arm’ tackle which left the New Zealand International Full-Back severally concussed. The game was stopped for about 4 minutes whilst Gary was carried from the pitch to play no further part in the proceedings, or the next four games. With the referee taking no action, we were ‘baying for blood’ and were not disappointed as, in the very next play, John Muggleton laid out their centre Hyde. It was then the Castleford fans’ turn to go ballistic!

Then began to unfold one of the most intense and brutal halves of rugby I have ever seen. The Hull players were clearly enraged by the earlier foul by Orum (for which, despite not being sent off, he got four games, when it was reviewed by the Rugby League afterwards) and tore into Castleford. Sterling started to dictate the play as Lee Crooks broke their line and passed to Dane O’Hara who raced in just below us for Crooks to convert from the touchline. Four minutes later, with Castleford concentrating on retribution; we were ahead from a great Peter Sterling try. This prompted Castleford to bring on their secret weapon, Mal Reilly, their veteran Player/Coach. This was only his second game of the season and although he could hardly raise a trot, at the very next scrum he ‘stiff armed’ ‘Sterlo’ as he broke away; the hit was of such force that you could clearly hear the impact echo around the Stadium. The Aussie’s feet left the ground and he was out cold on his back. Smelling salts brought him round before Timpson repeated the treatment a minute later and Sterling was carried off in a daze.

Back roared Castleford to equalize through David Rookley who shot through from Full Back to plant the ball between the posts. The conversion was successful and the game was ‘all square’. Miraculously Sterling returned to the fray ten minutes later as Crooks broke through and sent Muggleton away, he passed to Kevin James who scorched into the corner to score. Next, ‘Man of the Match’ Crooks broke again this time sending Leuluai through, to ‘shimmy’ around the full back and in for another great try, which increased our lead to 22-12.

It was almost half time, but the ‘action’ wasn’t over yet because after the hooter had sounded the linesman down on the touchline near us spotted a Castleford infringement and walked out with his flag held high. Hull took the penalty which Crooks dispatched into touch. He fell onto the ball after he tapped the restart and was immediately penalised for the very rare offence of a ‘voluntary tackle’ and all hell broke loose. Reilly hoisted a ‘bomb’ which Sterling caught behind the posts and six Castleford players piled in. There followed a truly epic fight behind the Hull try line which lasted well over two minutes and involved everyone, with the majority of the players openly brawling. Gary Schofield was pinned against the perimeter wall as two Castleford players pummelled him, whilst young Lee Crooks picked on probably the hardest man on the field Malcolm Reilly. The referee stood his ground to separate the teams and he was just happy to get the players off the pitch.

In comparison the second half was a ‘tepid’ affair as Hull’s fine defence restricted Castleford to a couple of breakaways and it ended as the first had begun with a solitary Castleford try leaving the final score 22-16. So, singing “we’re the famous Hull FC and were off to Wembley, Wembleeeeeey Wemberleeeeeey ” at the top of our voices, we all danced back to the buses, having witnessed one of the most brutal games most of us had ever attended, but looking forward to Wembley and Wigan. It had been a dour, but sweet victory, with a fracas the scale of which made for a lasting memory.

Great memories of a great semi-final eh and now once again, in a far more complicated, confused and divided 21st Century, the big day is nigh and between now and Saturday it’s a time when we all have to be a bit up beat and confident. We’ve spent, plenty of time this year, apprehensive and wondering as our beloved FC have been up one week and down the next, we’ve seen false dawns and big defeats and we never really know which team will turn up from round to round. On Sunday we saw the fight and determination we need, it was flawed but we just have to hope we can continue in that vein into the Big game.

None the less, it’s hard to be confident in such circumstances isn’t it? But, this is the big one, the biggest game since 2017. It’s just bloody massive!!!

As the big weekend gets closer, I asked myself the question, “Would I ever when approach such games feel about them the way I did in those glorious years when we went on to win at Wembley?”. And, “Will I ever be that edgy and nervous and yet confident again?” Well, you know what, I’m nervous already and after this weekend a bit more confident too. That game got me to thinking about just how well prepared we are (as fans and as a team) for the challenge to come? I soon concluded that looking around me and talking to loads of other supporters it is obvious that in the light of those last two semi’s in 2016 and 2017 as a fan base, we are up for it, but perhaps not as confident as perhaps we were back then.

We were all pretty ‘gung ho’ in those days, with a team that usually played at the top of their game and could defeat anyone on any given weekend. If this time around we are all a little more uncertain, then it has to be, I think, because of our almost unfathomable inconsistency this term and because in 2016 at least, it was all a brave new world, a magical experience and at times just like being in a dream.

However, this time around reality is biting a bit and few would argue that this one is going to be tough, for this is different Warrington, who I’m sure, still think they owe us one for that Final defeat. They have a good coach, some match winning players in the halves and out wide, and they’re a real scrapping team. However, I believe that Lee and his staff, benefiting from what they have learned about such situation in the past, will still bring some freshness to the week and give us the best possible chance of pulling it off, or at least of giving it a bloody good go!

 I’m not overly confident, but you all know by now that I never am, in fact I am I guess a tad apprehensive about it all, but if you consider that we have managed to win most of the important games thus far this year and we have looked pretty special in the Cup, then there has to be a good chance that we’ll deliver again in Bolton.  We also have a few players that will not be with us next term. They will be wanting to go out with a bang as, after their past heroics in the competition, they find themselves with one last chance of playing for the FC, under that magical arch. Furthermore, they are joined by a lot of team mates who have tasted Wembley and the success and gratification it can bring and who want more of it.

We also have several ex NRL players who have contested these sorts of games at the highest level on occasions in the past and its fair to say as well, that we have also managed our injuries and ‘freshness’ pretty well this term too. Plus of course, we have Gareth Ellis!!!!

Then there is Lee Radford, who has mentally prepared us and masterminded such occasions so well in the past, he is our Coach for the long haul, he won’t walk or shy away from the challenge or indeed the outcome, whatever it is, because after everything is said, he’s a fan himself. He has ridden the blows and the downs, and is now pretty comfortable with his own ability and ideas.

No coaching soldiers of fortune, aging hero journeyman or NRL exiles for us, for, whatever you think of them, our gaffer and his close staff are all now part of the supporter base as well and so vital to the stability of the team going forward. Plus of course with well over 6000 FC fanatics in attendance, we’ll probably have more fans there than anyone has, even though a couple of teams are just a bus ride away from the venue. So, although nothing is guaranteed, particularly our ability to come good at the right time, we are at least giving ourselves the best possible shot at glory!!  

So on to us lot, the fans. We all love our club and as in all real love affairs, it is at times, tough going. We whinge, we moan, we laugh, we cry, we shake our heads and at times scratch them, but we are never ever anything but totally loyal, totally committed and always 100% behind the FC. We have made sacrifices to stick with them, cried on the moments when we have been part of those great victories, whilst often failing to hold back those tears, when we they haven’t quite made it. We can grumble and at times even point the finger, but woe betides anyone else who isn’t committed, who does the same in our ear shot!! This is our team in a Challenge Cup semi final and whatever happens on the pitch, we won’t be sparing a single sinew in our attempts to get right behind them.  

So, between now and Saturday for this aging fanatic the game is the only thing! It will be there when I wake up, when I go to bed and when I’m asleep. In fact, I’ll no doubt wake up in the early hours a time or two for a good old worry! Now it’s not a question of thinking about it every day, because I’ll never stop thinking about it. I’ll be preparing myself for the worst too, because, despite a few moments of absolute ecstasy, I won’t ever forget those 60 years of setbacks and false dawns that I put up with, before I experienced those two glorious seasons when I was one of the golden generation who had lived long enough to see ‘it’.

After 14 years of writing this rubbish week in week out it has, before long, to come to an end, everything does, but I hope for now that I can still get across my excitement, my disappointment, my disillusionment and my optimism, as it affects me, like most fans, from week to week. I was heartened the other week to see how I could still wind up the Dobbins too!!!

After following this journal as you have I hope therefore that you understand why s[PA1] upporting the FC has made me pretty inadequate when it comes to optimism in these situations. Yet for once, this time (and I guess, after what went on in 2016/2017), there is for me a strange and nagging glimmer of hope!! Those experiences have changed me a bit as for once, after Sunday, I am perhaps taking my own advice to Keep Believing!

To all of you out there reading this (the loyal, long suffering and much valued weekly subscribers to this rubbish) I would offer a big thank you for your continued support and add that for every one of us, our passion, hope and unfailing loyalty is all about games such as this one.

This is OUR moment, this is OUR time and an occasion when we should all gather to shout ourselves hoarse as we attempt to will our team to the biggest prize there is; the Challenge Cup final. Only four teams remain in it and the supporters, players and officials of the rest can only now stand on the touchline and watch us. It’s not just down to the players, because on Saturday it involves us all. We will be the ones singing, we will be the ones chanting and the ones endeavouring to will the ‘Famous Hull FC’ home. What more, we’ll be doing it as only the FC Army can. It will be a great occasion and hopefully we’ll all witness a great performance too.

Most of all try your best to enjoy it, for it is another semi and so another milestone in the lives of FC supporters everywhere, because you know these are the things, that come the day when our own ‘final hooter goes’, we’ll all look back on and either smile or curse about!!

We are the famous Hull FC and as proud a bunch of supporters as the game has ever seen. Age and what has gone before is matterless, for whether your 18 or 88, at moments like this, as you stand on the threshold of another dream, it still grabs you ‘right there’.

The outcome as with all sporting occasions, will, when all comes to all, simply be in the lap of the gods, so let’s hope they are smiling on us again come Saturday. You win some and you lose some, but there will be around 6000 of us willing the FC to victory in Bolton, so play your part, sing your hearts out and enjoy every second of this great occasion. For

We’re the famous Hull FC!!

We’re 80 minutes away from Wembley again!!!…. and

We’re going to Bolton to win!!!!

Keep the Faith, Keep Believing and

Comeonyouhullllaaaarrrrr!!!!!!!!

Faithfully Yours

Wilf

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