The Dentist’s Diary – 659th

A good effort, with some heart and spirit, but one that was again lacking in ideas, nous and execution and so, not good enough to get any reward!

Did we really expect to win? Well I think initially we were all just looking for us to have a good go, weren’t we? For me it was all a bit like last week really, we saw some good stuff from the lads, but when we were still in it, in that second half, just like in the Saints match seven days previously, Wigan lifted their game and we didn’t or couldn’t do the same. They were more clinical and ‘on it’ than we were, they got the breaks and took them and executed their plays when they mattered. 

Again, we saw a battling, scrambly first half, where we hung in the game, but then came a second period where we were outsmarted by an opposition that stepped up and left us trailing in their wake! It’s both worrying and concerning how other teams have structures that when they have injuries seem to be transferable to whoever is playing, whilst we don’t! 

A huddle of the players with Taylor calling the shots, continued on the field, before the players went in at the end and that showed, I think, that they knew they have to do better. It was not exactly a lock-in in the changing rooms, but a sign that our players realise such showings are not acceptable as well. 

So, a second defeat, another game lacking idea’s and another 2 points lost, but we tried hard and I wouldn’t be too disheartened, its early days and it’s not the end of the world …..just yet.

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The Dentist’s Diary – 658th

A Bit of a Reality Check??

I think so don’t you??

For 40 minutes we scrapped and scrapped and despite showing little idea of how to break down the Champions and constantly shooting ourselves in the foot, amazingly we went in 6-2 up. We had injuries, but both teams had players out and so there can be no excuses, we did it tough in the first half before in the second they drained us and were allowed to score 4 tries on the bounce, without us even touching the ball. 

The game swung on a couple of stupid mistakes from which the visitors scored and from then on they never looked back. Their speed and shape simply blew us away, in a game when I guess looking back, we were generally second best. Worrying injuries and a possible appearance at the Disciplinary Committee followed and even more concerning was the apparent lack of any sort of leadership on the field once the wheels came off. 

In hindsight, I guess that losing by 14, to the benchmark team in the league, isn’t, on face value, that bad, but we just couldn’t handle the Champions who were I thought, off it a bitthemselves as well. After that Leeds game, when everyone knew their jobs and penalties were kept to a minimum, poor discipline and disorganisation is creeping back into our game again. 

It’s going to be a long old week ahead and no doubting the fact that already it’s going to be a big ask at Wigan!!

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The Dentist’s Diary – 657th

“It’s a Derby and I’d much rather Win Ugly than lose Pretty!!!!”

On Friday It was always going to be tough playing against a team relishing their under-dog status and running on a wave of adversity inspired passion. 

The game was no doubt hard to play in and it was certainly, at times, excruciating to watch, but we have got four points from our first two games including a win against the old enemy, we produced some well-constructed tries and really dug deep at times and all that after a deal of adversity in the build-up. In addition, two players that were called on to play, hadn’t had a minute of competitive rugby of any type thus far this season! So, it was a pretty pleasing display! 

You have to admit that on Friday night, it was a brilliant atmosphere and a great showcase for the game of Rugby League. No monotonous mind-numbing drums, no bloody screeching trumpets, just tons of passion, anxiety and excitement and for all ages and inclinations, the sort of occasion that our game really needs!! It was a case of flags for the kids, big hearts for the players and sedatives for the rest of us!!

I hate Derby’s!! But you know that anyway! Yet the 236th one was a great event and for the neutral a smashing showcase for everything that is good about Rugby League!! But for me, as I squirmed and stressed my way through another 80 minutes that seemed like 800, it was, as they always are, tough going. In fact I was still catching those kicks aimed at Jamie Shaul, as I lay awake in bed at 2-00am on Saturday morning!!! 

But in the end WE WON, our resilience has come on leaps and bounds over pre-season and you can tell we are now a much more grounded side. In the two previous seasons we have struggled to stay in the arm wrestle in big games, but on Friday despite being below par at times, we showed we’ve found some bottle and ‘the balls’ that could take us a long way this year. 

So, we move on, there are 27 rounds left to go, we squeezed a victory and in the process beat the Dobbins and that, however it comes, is all that really matters. As for me? Well on Saturday tea-time I went out and had a few pints just so I could revel in that wonderful glow that’s has always come after winning a Derby. It’s great that however old you get, there are some things that never change! 

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The Dentist’s Diary – 656th

With our biggest Headingley win in 36 years and where the hell did that come from???

Man, what a great start that was!!! That victory was better than I could ever have hoped for and although some say that Leeds were poor, they only played as we let them, for we controlled just about every facet of the game both in attack and defence in dry conditions and in the rain. At the end the sodden fans danced and celebrated and hoped against hope that at last,  things are on the change!!

At Hull FC, after 5 months of inaction, hope, countless dollops of pretty meaningless rhetoric, speculation, hope, rumour, supposition, opinion making and yep .….. more hope, the talking is over and at last the FC Faithful have witnessed the first-round proper of the 2020 season. 

What a great occasion to open the season it was as well, as the administrators of Super League pushed the boat out to try to create a spectacular weekend to impress those TV companies. The Wigan v Warrington game was a cliff hanger, Saints v Salford was business as usual and as for Hull FC, well what a message that sent out to the rest of the game!!! I thought it was a fabulous performance and the first time for ages that I guess if you stepped back from all the stress and emotion of real time rugby, we never really looked like losing.    

With television deals to be negotiated, a World Cup to be staged, possible private equity investment to be considered and expansion to be handled, it’s most certainly a critical period for the whole game and as for Hull FC well there will be disappointments, injuries and bigger battles ahead, but, just for a couple of days at least, lets enjoy it, for what a start and what a performance that was.

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