The Dentist’s Diary – 622nd

“It was an Ugly performance but a very important result!”

 So said Lee after the game and quite frankly when you step back from it all, two points is all we needed and two points is what we got, just…….

We did our best to lose it, but in what was a heart stopping finale against the self-titled ‘Come back Kids’, we made it more of a struggle than it actually needed to be. None the less at this point in the season, it’s all about getting some wins on the board and we did that down in London yesterday.

They just about took the first half, but we took the second despite that come back and scoring 6 tries to 4 we should have had it put to bed way before the end. I guess on reflection we made some stupid errors, particularly when giving away penalties, but our mental strength and a deal of tenacity saved us, as we almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. But, we actually deserved the win and the London Coach agreed with that assumption in his after match comments.

We needed it too after last week! You know, I have said a few times of late, since 2016 I’m a lot more resilient and accepting after defeats and so by last Tuesday I had got the Wakefield debacle (and when you watch it back that’s just about what it was) out of my system. None the less, I thought a trip to London was always a potential banana skin and so, as I always need something to worry about, that then became my ongoing concern.

That said, I guess I have to admit that a heartening display by Huddersfield on Friday night certainly bucked me up a bit!

Just the same and as I suspected it might be, it was a real cardiac arrest job yesterday and thank goodness we managed to get home with those two valuable points. I always said that if we could get to 15 games with around 15/16 points in the bag we could kick on in the second half of the season, but first and foremost, you need that sort of bedrock to build on. So despite some alarms and excursions we are, for now, just about on course.

However, as I say conceding daft penalties almost cost us yesterday and although some point to an off day by Sneyd with goal kicking as the issue, for me he will always have the occasional one of those and we have to cope with it. Somehow we got by at the Bronco’s, we battled, we prevailed, we brought the points home and after last week, what a bloody relief it was to do it!!! 

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The Dentist’s Diary – 621st

What a difference a week makes eh?

After an upbeat Diary that last week looked positively towards the future, this week’s offering is I’m afraid, a pretty downbeat affair. You see, quite frankly for me after last week, we went from a heartening showing to produce far and away our worst display of the season. It’s hard for me to write and I hate doing it, but I would challenge anyone who was there to find much that was positive from our showing, in what we will look back on as a scrappy and one dimensional performance.  

It might have been Comic Relief Night but for me there was little to smile about and our only relief came with the final hooter. In fact, it seemed a pretty universal point of view afterwards in the media and at the club, that we got exactly what we deserved!!!

The Wildcats were far too good for us on Friday. They were well drilled, their game plan was good and executed brilliantly by all 17 players, whilst their half backs were allowed to dictate the speed and the flow of the game, simply because their forwards just bested our lot up front all night. We simply never seemed to be able to change the pace of the game. For me,  we were totally out manoeuvred on a night when, once it became apparent that Chris Chester and Co. had rumbled us, no-one in black and white looked to have a plan B.   

It’s never easy to criticise the team you love, but, as Lee Radford observed afterwards, the lack of atmosphere was palpable, as we all sat there almost bored to distraction by what we were watching. It was only for a short period when Litten was on the field, that we looked anything like lively. For the most part we lacked any sort of fizz or urgency, as all the while the opposition completely dictated the momentum of the game.

As for the week’s other big news about the arrival of Andre Savelio, well I didn’t see that coming did you? The speed that the deal was done must have helped keep it under wraps, because after Andre was told by Brisbane Bronco’s that he would be released, it was only 48 hours before it was all done and dusted.

The media over in Lancashire announced that Wigan, Salford, Rovers and Huddersfield had also shown an interest in a player who played for England at both the under 16 and Under 18 levels. However, we had been in touch with his agent for months about getting first chance at a deal, should he want to return to this country. Lee in fact said that he was regularly discussed at the club’s monthly recruitment meetings and well done to them for getting him, for I think with a bit of luck he’ll be a great signing. Mind you, judging by Friday, it looks like we can do with all the help we can get. 

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The Dentist’s Diary – 620th

That was some victory wasn’t it!! Can you believe it?

I’m still struggling to grasp it all!! I simply can’t remember so many tries being scored by the FC without the opposition putting a hand on the ball. And good tries at that!!! All worth the admission money alone as was the sight, with 15 minutes to go, of the Leeds fans all …..

“Marching out Together”

In that first half I wondered why I ever bothered buying a seat for all that money, because I was stood up for most of it!!!

If all the accolades are piled on that domineering and totally authoritative 30 minutes in the first half, then the second half defensive showing was equally impressive. I’ll grant you, we missed a lot of tackles, but our willingness to work for each other shone through and from being 10-0 up after only a few minutes the Rhino’s weren’t allowed to score a single point for the rest of the game, whilst we scored 34! 

Since last June, at so many games at the KCom, we have sat there in silence, downhearted at what we were witnessing. We were certainly all silenced again on Friday, but it was stunned disbelief this time around, for we all sat there pretty incredulous as to what we were seeing. I guess looking back, it was just too much to take in!

I can’t remember seeing a better 20 minutes of rugby from an FC side for years. It was simply imperious stuff and for once, writing this in the early hours of Saturday morning, I find it hard to do justice to just how good we were in that spell. Even watching it back its hard to appreciate the spring, verve and ruthlessness there was across the team in that period.

Leeds are a shadow of their former selves, we all know that, but they still held a hoodoo over us that has, even for the best FC teams, been difficult to overcome. Not this time though!

The purists will say that it was not as good a performance as I am about to make out, but who cares, after all those defeats at home on the trot, whichever way you look at it, for any FC fan that was a bloody wonderful victory!

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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!  

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