The Dentists Diary – 387th

Well done Lee Radford!

“Don’t say that just yet” was the general consensus in the Drum and Monkey as we celebrated afterwards and no doubt there will be times that I WON’T be saying that this year. However having witnessed that animated and vibrant first half and considering that our defensive Coach of last season is now instigating play that is as good as we have seen for probably four seasons, then for this week at least, I’ll stick with my headline!

In any case I challenge anyone to disagree with the fact that had that been St Helens playing Bradford in that first half, they would have done little better.

OK it was ‘Only Bradford’ but I have as usual to admit that I was preoccupied and not a little worried as I read last week’s West Riding press about the Bulls Coach targeting this game as a ‘Total Wipe out’ of their 6 points deduction. Bradford came to town on the back of two wins, a massive financial crisis, that points deduction and after having played in front of their lowest ever Super League attendance of 5,410 five days earlier so, boy, was this the sort of ‘banana skin’ game in which we usually struggle; the sort of match that in the past I dreaded.

It had to be the acid test of our new found resolution and our Coaches motivational skills, it was also the first big test of the new regime’s commitment and focus, but we came through with flying colours! Next week is another challenge and a big one, but for now two points, a great attacking display and a big sigh of relief will do for this fan!!!

It had been a week when we all stood ‘on the touchline’ and looked on at the latest attempt at blackmailing the City fans into submission manifest itself in the form of a full page advert in the paper, AND when the much heralded ‘multi million pound’, Russian Oligarch investor at Caravan Park turned into nothing more than a scaffolder and fire proofer who works and lives in Astrakhan (what’s so special about that I ask myself, my Mum had one of their coats)

But, first things first and the announcement that the most prestigious individual honour in Rugby League, the Man of Steel award is to be named in memory of the sport’s most respected player.

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On Wednesday tea-time we all at last discovered that the RL had agreed to re-name the Super League’s player of the year Award in memory of Hull FC and St Helens legend Steve Prescott MBE. The announcement was just amazing news and there is little more to say really! Except, perhaps, a big well done to all those FC fans who signed the petition and to the good folks I mentioned last week who took time to compile it and present it to the Rugby League. The only outstanding question for this fans though is, “Why the hell did it take so long, because it’s an absolute no brainer really!” Still well done to the Rugby League, it’s a great tribute to a wonderful man and ‘job done’ I think! I feature one of Preckies games for us later too.

So, what about Friday? Well last season Salford were the only side that finished below us not to beat us at least once, which says a lot about our ability, or otherwise, to rise to the occasion against lesser Clubs. As I said it was the big test, not of our technical prowess, but rather our ability to ‘get up’ for these games. I feared the worst when that kick-off went out and they stormed our line and scored, but within minutes we took the lead with a momentum and gusto rarely seen at the KC. It was all fast hands from the halves and power drives from the forwards and it set the scene for 40 minutes of brilliant rugby. In the pub afterwards my pal Tommy Ball summed the whole game up with, “Heramaia and Houghton ran ‘em ragged” and it was hard to disagree with him! However they did it on the back of some fabulous forward play.

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After a brilliant pass from Westerman had sent Tusan through a hole, a crash try for Gareth Ellis from a short ball from Heramaia (that reminding everyone of our captains days in the NRL), saw us on our way. From then on we never ‘took our foot off their throats’. However if I have a lasting memory of that brilliant first 40 minutes it was the vitality and verve encapsulated in everything we did. I could never imagine this long suffering stalwart of the dark days ever considering FC gaining the title of ‘The Entertainers’, but after that first half, for this week at least it’s hard for me to avoid it!!

Forwards crashed and battered their way up field and were on their feet in an instant to keep up the momentum, while the backs ran precision lines around pivots that created mesmerising patterns across the field. It was hard to believe at times really. After those 32 first half points in the second half it was always going to go flat, it almost invariably does in those situations doesn’t it? However we still saw some good stuff and had it not been for the tragedy of Tom Lineham’s break 30 seconds from the end, then it would have been a night of unmitigated success. In fact a bit more poise and steadying down and we could have been at least 60 points up by the end.

As for performances well Shaul got the man of the match at the game and although he wasn’t mine, he had a fine game, used the extra space he found himself in effectively and really finished well. Tom Lineham suffered a bad injury which could keep him out for up to 12 weeks, but up till that point was not as involved as he would have like to be at times while on the other wing Talanoa continues to impress. He really deserved that disallowed try in the second half for his sheer persistence and his pace and pass for Shaul’s first half touchdown was great to see, I think he could be a real revelation this year. In the centres Yeamo tackled well out of the line, but again didn’t see much ball and the experiment with Whiting at centre worked as far as defence was concerned but I couldn’t help thinking that Crooks’ pace would have ‘done’ a Bradford defence that was caught flat footed a time or two.

It was however in the forwards were the game was won and in the halves and at hooker where the try’s were manufactured. Horney had a solid game and worked really hard but Heramaia was a huge success at scrum half and dictated play throughout. His ability to turn the visitors defence inside out had the alarm bells ringing every time he got on the front foot and his ability to poke his colleagues through holes was a joy to watch. He was for me my joint man of the match with Micky Paea and Joe Westerman. Danny Houghton though was not far behind and he absolutely killed the Bulls as straight from acting half he carved his way through the defence time and again. He stayed on throughout and clocked up at least four dozen tackles while his assists led to many of our scores and much of our field position.

SPORT with James story 7-3-15 Hull FC's Aaron Heremania on the charge during their match against Bradford at the KC Stadium. Picture: Simon Renilson Prints can be ordered at www.thisisphotosales.co.uk/hullandeastriding or telephone 08444 060 910

The front row however were superb. Micky Paea is turning into the signing of the season and his yardage stats will have to be seen to be believed as he rotated with Feke to ensure the Bulls defence were sick and fed up with their constant none stop barrage. I counted at least ten occasions when both commanded the attention of four or five tacklers and still made yards, as they along with Watts and Bowden (to use Lee Radford’s words) ‘Kicked the Bulls door down’. Watts was back and off-loading again, while Bowden is fast becoming our find of the season. In fact it’s hard to see how Carvell will get back in there although a thundering shoulder charge by Josh on a Bradford forward in full flight could see the disciplinary panel solve that conundrum for us. Ellis is playing his best rugby since he returned to this country and I was particularly impressed with Tusan who brings a lot more to the second row and has a massive appetite for work. Then there’s Joe Westerman. Wow, is he playing well, he’s into everything as his play ranges from the deft, sleight of hand supplier, to a rugged driver in of the ball. He had another great game and he has a massive appetite for work, so he’s without doubt my player of the season so far. In fact it’s funny really what motivates players and in Watts and Westerman who were both on final warnings from our Coach in January, it’s that threat that seems to have been just the spur they needed.

As I said at the beginning you have to give some credit to Lee Radford because we witnessed some scintillating stuff, but for me it’s the intensity and power we showed up front that made for such a spectacle. There is nothing in the game like witnessing a group of forwards running over the opposition and doing it time and time again. I had a long chat with Lee Radford at the under 19’s and he was full of praise for the lads, felt we were getting there and singled Westy out for special mention for his best performer thus far.

Radford has proved we can get up for these games now; his big challenge is to ensure we do it on a regular basis. Next week is a massive ‘ask’ and it will be interesting to see how he approaches it. Adam will have been both satisfied with the performance and the points, while a gate of 11,200 should have pleased him. It’s a step forward and it’s hard to imagine anyone going away with anything but a resolve to return for the Widnes game. As I say it’s reproducing that entertaining style and amazing power, week in week out that’s the challenge, but if Lasty and Lee can develop and maintain that mentality and enterprise on a regular basis, then the crowds will come flooding back!

Finally, just a word on the referee who was as usual a bit iffy but he generally stayed out of the way and I never thought I would ever say this, but in the end I even thought Bentham gave them a couple of penalties out of pity!!! However all in all it was a great night after which if there is one last thing to say from all of us it has to be, Good Luck Tom!!!

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A sad sight at the end of a great night!

So to last week and if anyone in our ranks has impressed me (and our Coach) this season so far it has to be Joe Westerman but after some of my comments about him last year I have to hold my hand up and say perhaps I got it wrong; but did I? A lot of us lamented Joe’s lack of impact in the 2013 season and even claimed at times he appeared lazy, but perhaps that was more down to his demeanour, and what looked like a lack of interest was perhaps instigated by the role he was being asked to play, which was either wide out and isolated on the fringes or as an additional prop. He strikes me as someone who quickly takes things to heart and who, at times, wears that heart on his sleeve. That attitude however didn’t go down too well with Adam and Co, in fact I was told last season that his agent was after a big hike in his next contract and we were not biting.

Therefore I was a bit surprised as I said at the time in here, when it was renewed almost immediately our new Coach was appointed. Lee Radford obviously felt that it was worth trying to re-kindle Joe’s potential and early career form and at the time I thought it was perhaps a bold and risky move, but what as I say, do I know? Joe’s now our player till 2016 and as such has started well in his quest to repay our Coaches faith.

However it just shows that as fans we don’t know all the fact and sometimes tend to pre-judge players because after being given a change of responsibility since Radford took over Westy, who is still only 24, has been allowed to chance his arm a bit and use some of his undoubted skill, as he becomes what is know these days as an extra pivot. That’s to me is what used to be called an old style loose forward, with a physical presence who is a valuable asset through the middle, when we are under the cosh.

Whatever happens from now on, in our first few games he has undoubtedly been our standout player and probably had his best two games for us against Saints and Warrington. He featured in the top ten OPTA performers before Friday’s game and Radford said of him last week, “He has been our best player by a country mile so far. He’s dropped around five kilograms since Christmas and he’s working really hard again in training. He had a poor second half at St Helens but he’d been ill all week in the lead up to the game and he blew out in the second half. Apart from that he’s been fantastic for us.” Was it just down to Lee or perhaps too, the fact that Westy now travels to work with Gareth Ellis; has that something to do with his change in attitude too? But, whatever the reason, let’s hope that Joe has a great season and becomes a real hero in that number 13 shirt. After Lee Radford pushed for that contract and chanced his arm back in October, it’s so far so good and another indicator of our Coaches shrewd eye for a players potential and his belief in his ability to unlock it!

There was a great interview with Adam Pearson on Humberside last Thursday when he covered a lot of issues that were of great interest to all FC fans. He firstly lamented the fact that foreign players can’t play for ‘Duel Registration’ clubs, citing Miller kicking his heels and not getting a game, but what was a development for me was hearing him say that Clubs were now in a financial position to consider some sort of ‘A’ team competition again! His comments about our change of direction with regard to Tom Biggs was a surprise but also indicated that we are as a Club light on our feet and willing to adapt to circumstances as they occur. To bring Tom in and have him in reserve but not register him, is a great idea because although we all want to see him in the shirt, he will need a break at the end of the RU season and some time to adapt to the new game and his new surroundings. In reality that could see him not available until August while all the while tying up cap capacity. Liam Colbon might not be ideal, but as a reserve outside back he’s fine and as an aside he is always on his own on his days off and after training working at the gym, so he’s a dedicated kid as well. Bath have obviously dragged their feet on Tom, he hasn’t arrived when we hoped he would and we have had to change our focus somewhat to ensure we have the necessary cover, which although lamentable is, I think, the best way forward. Colbon will play next week if he comes through a run out at Donny.

Adam touched on the kits for 2015 and as he said, I can assure you of one thing and that is that the home kit will be so traditional it will verge on being ‘old fashioned’ and it’s sure to please just about everyone. Finally our owner commented on our future training home and although he hinted at a move for the whole operation to Bishop Burton, it’s interesting that once again out new build at Chamberlain Road was mentioned and I wouldn’t rule that out as a future base for the first team just yet either. A great interview though which, I have to admit, both Gwilym and ‘The Doc’ conducted pretty well.

Having enjoyed the quality of our goal line defence against Warrington when I felt for the first time this season we were back at our scrambling, desperate best, I marvelled at just how we managed to keep it up during that second half as the referee gave penalty after penalty. We however got a bit of an insight on how a team can do that sort of stint when we Yeamo, said on Tuesday, “It’s amazing how good you feel when you’ve done 24 tackles on your own line, You’d expect to be tired and on your knees”, but according to Kirk it’s completely the opposite and it actually gives you energy and, “Makes you want to really push for each other in the next set”

That surprised me because I always thought that the nervous tension and physical disadvantage consistent sets on your line produce might actually be a cause for fatigue and panic rather than renewed strength. I can only put it down to the rush of adrenaline as you see your colleagues going well above their expected levels of effort to hold the line. Personally I just thought in that second half in Lancashire that our goal line defence was outstanding and it’s a fact I guess that as a fan of many years, I think that as I have got older, I appreciate a stint of that backs to the wall stuff as much as I do an flowing attacking move. We’ll need that quality defence back at Cas!

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My favourite Yeamo photo of late; is a career in Hammer films imminent?

Now here’s an interesting one from the players which shows why I think that despite being really down now Lineham will get his head straight and bounce back quickly! Last week at training before the Warrington game they were practising kick off’s when it was decided that the job would be given to poor old Tom Lineham. He was over the moon and promised Andy Last that one restart that Sunday would be a ‘Dream Kick-off’ (players code for one that forces a drop out) He was then told to put his initials on his kicking T so that they knew which one to bring out in the game! Of course you’ll remember that his first kick-off was so deep that the Warrington player fell backwards over the dead ball line as he caught it. Tom was grinning all over his face at that and as he lined up to receive the drop out was seen to be pointing madly firstly at Lasty on the touchline and then at the kicking T, which he had indeed initialled ‘TL’ but added ‘The Dream Maker’! What a character and what a tragedy his injury is, but that spirit will get him through, however he might just have a new nick-name in here now!

The motives of many Club owners blindly backing the new structure for 2015 when it appeared for them that the return of relegation could be nothing more than ‘Turkeys voting for Christmas’ has as you know interested me for a while. I guess I concluded in the end that it was all down to them being held to ransom by the RL who promised much more cash going into their coffers from a TV deal that was entirely dependent on the new system being approved. It would appear that at least I got that bit right as sure enough the first dose of sugar on that particular pill seems to have already been delivered. It was last week revealed that Super League clubs have received a Sky TV ‘new deal signing-on fee’ of £300,000 from the RFL in February as part of that new television agreement.

The Clubs will receive another £100,000 in July, giving them a windfall of £400,000 in less than six months on top of the usual £1.2m they get. Even Bradford are said to have received around £250,000 of the £300,000 in two separate payments which have been used to pay wages and bring in loan signings in the past two months. The RFL are holding back the remaining £50,000 until the club’s ownership saga has been resolved. Adam Pearson admitted this week that he won’t have to put any money in next year which has to be a good thing for him and for us, if not perhaps for his ‘wanting it’, which is sometimes best led by seeing your cash disappear on the back of poor performances. Pearson has been consistent in his views on the re-organisation but as for Wakey, London, Widnes, Bradford and the rest of the ‘none rebels’ telling us “This new restructuring is good for the game”…I would say, ‘bollocks…… it’s good for your pockets!’

Talking of Bradford I was told at the Under 19’s game on Saturday that Bradford City want to buy the Club but the RL were refusing to allow the sale to go through because those Clubs wanted the RL team to relocate to their current home grounds. Of course the RL are insisting any new buyer plays at Odsal; now there’s a surprise!

After the success of some great sporting epics how about a blockbusting Hollywood film about Rugby League? Well firstly here’s a Clue to who’s also been interesting me on that tack this week?

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Yep, you guessed it, because this week I came across a great story about our very own ‘Flying Dustman’ which gave a great insight into the strange catalogue of events that led to him landing at the KC! Talanoa revealed for the first time how when he was young his mum played an astonishingly cruel trick on him and his brother. A pair of young rebels, Mrs T. was worried about their ‘thieving and car stealing’, so she told them she was sending them on holiday to Australia.

Two weeks later the young boys discovered she had only bought them one-way tickets and didn’t want them to return to New Zealand. Talanoa was just 14 at the time and said: “I telephoned my mum to say ‘Shouldn’t we be coming back now?’ and she said ‘Sorry, I forgot to tell you they were one-way tickets.’ He added “When I realised she was serious I got really upset, my brother Mark, who was 12, was crying and those first few months after that happened were really tough.” The youngsters went to live in Sydney with an Auntie they had never met before!

Talanoa continued, “It was hard because we’d left my other brother, four sisters and all our friends behind in Auckland.” However it was at his new school that he met Wigan’s Eddy Pettybourne who introduced him to rugby league. He had never been interested in sport before, but soon discovered he was naturally talented and just a few years later made his debut for South Sydney Rabbitohs

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Talanoa in his heyday at South Sydney (note the scary bloke on the right!

He added, “Looking back, what my mum did was the best thing that has ever happened to me, because otherwise I would probably be in jail now, she could see the signs because we were running around with the wrong crowd, stealing and breaking into cars” He was of course a real rising star with the Bunnies, until, the stuff of all good films came into play again as he hit a new low with his now well publicised brush with death, when he almost died from pneumonia in 2011.

He struggled to recover and South’s laid him off at the end of 2012, forcing him into that massive and well publicised career change. Talanoa, who has two children, famously got a job as a bin man and said: “It was kind of humbling, I was up at 4-00am every morning, but it helped me as a person. Before that I was living my dream and then I discovered how tough it was to have a normal job. But now I’m well again, I’ve got another opportunity do something I really love with Hull and I’m determined to make the most of it” So there you have it the full story which when you consider some of the tripe that is about could, I think, make a pretty good film, particularly if it ended with him raising the Challenge Cup Trophy at Wembley!!

Tickets are now on sale for the Question of Sport event at the KC next Monday when Rich Whiting will host an evening featuring teams made up from Hull Players, West Yorkshire players, The Southern Hemisphere contingent and the Coaches. Tickets are priced at £5 and on sale from the Club shops so get there if you can, it should be a great night and Rich really does deserve our support! While I’m on the subject of the Testimonial, there are loads of events planned and to whet your appetite here are a few dates for your Diary, with further details to follow in here as they are available.
22nd April – Bowling with the players
12th May – Curry Night, KC Stadium
24th May – Ladies Night, KC Stadium
11th June – Poker Night, Napoleons Casino
25th June – Quiz Night, The New Clarence Charles Street

It’s always sad when people are struggling and to read Sean Longs tragic revelations that he almost killed himself earlier this year, was a shock to say the least. A real ‘Jack the Lad’ character, it’s hard to imagine him getting into that situation but then again it should also once again emphasise that it can happen to anyone. I always remember what my old Dad said about mental illness when I was going through it a bit in the 70’s. With a surprisingly informed outlook for the time, he told me that people can understand busted noses and broken arms because they can see the problem but unfortunately with mental illness you only really understand it if you’ve had it! My brush with mental health issues was nothing like a serious as Sean’s but if it taught me one thing it was that society back then didn’t really take it seriously, it was often seen as a sign of weakness and completely misunderstood by the majority of folks.

Perhaps Dad over simplified things a bit (bless him), but back then it was I guess classed as a taboo subject and generally avoided. Thankfully now of course people are more aware, there’s bags of help out there and it’s probably a sign of the state of society and the pressure of life today that people are much more understanding about it. However it’s still a worrying state to be in and my thoughts are with Sean at this time. It took some guts for a guy with his reputation, tough exterior and somewhat rebellious profile to come out and admit it even happened in the first place, but of course I guess too in the end that’s the first step to getting it sorted. He just didn’t want others to suffer as he had done and his plea to people to seek help is a really heartfelt and brave one. That made me really respect him for the way he has handled a sad situation and hopefully he’s now getting back on track a bit and others will benefit from his willingness to share his experience. So whatever has gone before, my thoughts are with Sean and I wish him all the luck in the world.

On Friday I was looking around the KC Stadium and musing on how lucky we were to be playing there although it was certainly a lot better and a lot less complicated when Adam Pearson ran the SMC and we had just moved in. The 2003 season was certainly an exciting one for all FC fans so, for a change, how about a great game from that fabulous season that featured the now legendary Steve Prescott to spice up the old Codgers Corner spot this week. It was a time when we were renowned across the game for playing creative attractive rugby and started the season like a house on fire. As a club we had relocated well to the KC Stadium and gates and season ticket sales were on the rise year on year. Trish Goldsmith was still at the club and calling everyone ‘Darling’ and we had varied our traditional strip somewhat by introducing a white shirt with a black irregular V, which is still to this day one of my favourite strips.

We had started the season with Friendly wins at Caravan Park and Halifax and beat Halifax again and Sheffield (88-0) in the Cup before going out of the competition to Leeds 41-18 at Headingley. In the League however we started with wins at home against Widnes and away to Warrington and Wakefield. So, with the best defence in Super League we were going well as we approached the biggest test of the season so far, when on Friday 4th April the Wigan Warriors came to the KC. It had not been a good week preparation wise, as coach Shaun McCrae wrestled with a series of niggling injuries picked up in a great 27-14 win at Warrington the week before however he was in the end able to field the same team for the third game running, although all that was about to change dramatically. Our most serious doubt was in form second row forward Richard Fletcher who injured his sternum the previous week but who played on through the pain barrier with a protector in place.

Wigan were without the injured Andy Farrell and Mick Cassidy and were further rocked before the kick off when Australian Julian O’Neill, who was to sign next day for Widnes, ‘disappeared’.

We kicked off on a chilly still night and Jason Smith was the first to show, teasing Wigan with a deft early kick to the corner which ex FC hero Brian Carney just grabbed before he was hammered by three Hull tacklers. Lam had to relieve the pressure three tackles later with a kick downfield which was driven back by Greenhill and Ryan. Then we were put under tremendous pressure as Chester lost the ball firstly on the half way line and then again in our own 20. Richard Horne and Steve Prescott saved the day with crashing tackles on Lam and Hodgson and it was a relief when after 8 minutes Prescott landed a penalty goal to settle things down a bit.

Then after good play by Logan, Chester atoned for his early mistakes and had us all on our feet with a neat kick over the top which he gathered to put pressure on the Pies defence. We were tackling really well and the visitors were struggling to get out of their own half but our attack spluttered and stuttered and failed to really get going. With 20 minutes gone and after (Man of Steel) Prescott had again come to the rescue with two superb takes from deft cross kicks from Lam we increased our lead further when Steve himself converted another penalty after a high tackle on Logan.

There then followed our best scoring chance so far as on 27 minutes Jason Smith wriggled out of a two man tackle and put Cooke away. Our off-half brilliantly drew two players and looked to have put Colin Best (wow wasn’t he good?) in at the corner but Hodgson just managed to knock the pass down and the chance was lost. Then we increased our lead, after a brilliant kick to the corner by Smith was juggled by Best who despite the attention of Dallas managed to finally ground the ball, it was a try which was gleefully applauded by the fans once the video referee had confirmed the score. Prescott this time landed the goal from the touchline and as we approached half time we were 10-0 in the lead, however we were dealt a blow when Jason Smith went off injured and had to be replaced by Graeme Horne.

Half time came with no further scores for either side and Shaun McCrae’s talk in the dressing rooms must have centred on the need for the FC players to concentrate on cutting out the daft mistakes which had littered the first 40 minutes. Straight from the kick off Dallas went in bravely but Toa Kohe Love forced him to knock on and the mistake proved decisive. Graeme Horne worked the ball to the left for Chester to produce a great kick through which Maher chased down just beating Carney to the touch down, and although Prescott missed the conversion at 14-0 we were well in command of the game. Back came Wigan though and after 9 minutes of the half a super human effort by Prescott just managed to force Dallas into touch as he was about to score, before Richie Barnett grabbed Hock as he broke through. Then on 52 minutes disaster struck; a superb break by Richard Horne and Kohe Love set up a position for Fletcher who made a thundering break down field and then passed onto Scott Logan who was held just short. However he was seriously injured in the tackle and after a lot of attention to his lower leg (which was broken) he was stretchered off the field.

Our injury woes were not over yet as shortly afterwards Kohe-Love was escorted off the field holding his arm in that ominous fashion and we were in a bit of disarray. Taking advantage of our problems Wigan then scored themselves as young Gareth Hock, sneaked in straight from acting half on the blindside, Danny Tickle could not convert but at 14-4 we were under a bit of pressure for the first time in the game. Then with 11 minutes to go we hit back again to put the match beyond Wigan. Shaun Briscoe who had experience a torrid night in the Wigan number one jersey was forced into an error by Rich Horne and Cooke and as he spilled the ball we took advantage. Graeme Horne and Cooke worked the blind side to feed onto Kirk Yeaman and the youngster resisted three would be tacklers to crash in to score a fine try. Prescott missed the goal but with just 5 minutes to go he landed a late penalty to send the FC Faithful into raptures as the final hooter went and we had beaten the mighty Wigan 20-4. It was a great game which looking back saw ex FC Carney playing for Wigan with Briscoe and Tickle who were to join us playing for them. Steve Prescott Eh? What a player!

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Another readers picture this time from good friend of the Diary Richard Kirk down in deepest darkest London. This shows him and the boys at their local Rugby Onion club; it’s not often a RL shirt and indeed one of such distinction is seen next to the Aviva Premiership Trophy is it?

Quote of the week this week could well have gone to Adam for his thoughts on Humberside about the referee at Warrington, but instead I have opted to go for FC fan Darren Palmer the mastermind behind, the great ‘Life for a Kid’ charity. On Thursday he was being interviewed by David Burns on Holderness Road when Burnsey said “Oh and we’ve just been passed by a Red Astra with a Hull KR sticker in the window” To which Darren immediately replied live on air, “Oh a car full of idiots!” before returning seamlessly to the interview, Burnsy was flummoxed, the producer was red faced and half of the City was in stitches! Top Bloke Darren and Top Charity too!! Special mention also to the Widnes Club for playing the Dr Who (????) theme at the end of their game with Salford, just as Koukash disappeared down the tunnel, nice touch guys which certainly had me laughing.

I also want to take the opportunity to wish a big get well to fellow East Stander Neil Laverick, a massive fan who is recovering from a heart attack; you missed a good one on Friday mate, get well soon!

So we move onto a game I always enjoy against a team that have turned out to be the surprise package of Super League thus far. Trips to Castleford are always great occasions and the number of fans we take always amazes me and no doubt heartens the Tigers administration. They are looking good this season, particularly at their ‘Patch your Pipe Jungle’ where they put the mighty Wigan to the sword and they’ll be a tough nut to crack. We have to cut out the penalties or we’ll get mullered! Still I’m looking forward to it and the great atmosphere there always is in the old ground, try and get there if you can it should be a great occasion, particularly if we take our form of Friday over there with us. Two in form teams, a short pitch a massive crowd, oh and the best chips in the game! What an afternoon is in store, I just hope we turn up!!!

Thanks to everyone for your kind support of the Diary and I’m also grateful to all those who again got in touch this week; don’t forget if you have any photo’s for the Diary then ‘Send ‘em in’ to blackandwhites.co.uk.

And finally just a quick mention for my pal Cal Stephenson who it’s in the row in front of me in the East Stand. At half time on Friday Cal was telling me how he was in big trouble at home because as a massive local snooker player, he had been out playing three nights that week, before leaving home again to watch the FC v Bradford. As someone who has experienced these things over the years, I offered him the benefit of my vast experience and suggested that perhaps he should take Joyce out, book a nice table for 2 for 8-00pm and make her feel a bit special. However I had to tell him to be prepared for a long night, because it would probably be at least 9-00pm before she potted her first ball!

See you all next week at Castleford!!! I’m feeling a bit apprehensive but I’m also a bit ‘stoked’ after Friday too, so…..

COME ON YOU HULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLRRRRRR!!!!!!

Faithfully Yours

Wilf