Well that was pathetic yet again from Hull FC, losing their fourth Super League game in a row, but this time a Derby fixture, a game that really matters, and a defeat once more all of our own making.
Thanks to a level of indiscipline from Rovers that even BamBam from the Flinstones would have been proud of, the contest was played predominately in their half of the field but you wouldn’t have thought it given the score-line. If anything that shows the ineptness of Hull’s attack. Clueless. We only looked dangerous from last tackle kicks. With ball in hand in the opposition twenty we were absolutely hopeless. We have limited zip about us and everything is just crash, bang, wallop. We don’t create enough and once again there were anonymous performances across the board.
The first half display as a whole was awful. It was like the mid-2000s when the fixture clearly meant more to the Red and White half than it did the Black and White half. It was bad. The fact that an edge of Craig Hall and Ben Crooks, who apparently only met Tim Sheens a few hours before kick off, got the better of us is humiliating, as was Danny Tickle stretching out to score despite three Hull players around him. Yep, they’ll enjoy that one. All 20 of Rovers’ points were scored by former Black and Whites, some of which will have loved the custard pie they gave their former employer.
And on that note let’s put the defeat into perspective. We’ve moaned about injuries for ages now but Rovers had over a DOZEN players missing. They could have fielded another team with what they had out, and that list included their more recognised top flight quality in Danny McGuire, Shaun Lunt, Joel Tomkins etc etc. Credit to them. It’s tough to admit but why put a spin on what we witnessed, we’ll save that for those that call an 18,000 crowd in a 25,000 capacity stadium a sell out, but they fielded a much weakened side, including some younger players, and they undisputedly deserved the win. They might have spat their dummies out, gone down more times than Katie Price and feigned injury more times than Neymar Jr but credit to them. They wanted it more and ultimately had the smarts, thanks largely to the human urine dispenser, to see it out.
That’s enough licking their arse though. They are still a set of grubs with no morals, as proven by the muppet Maurice Blair who got himself sin binned for being a complete idiot and then told the crowd to ‘f*** off’ with a hand gesture. Classy. But looking at our own concerns that display is not what we’re about and not what we’ve come to expect in a Lee Radford team. Poor Marc Sneyd hobbled about on one leg again and clearly isn’t ready for the demands of Super League. He’s not fit. Neither is Jamie Shaul, who to be fair didn’t back down but is clearly nursing an ongoing foot problem. What’s becoming more and more evident is we are a completely different side without the mavericks in Albert Kelly and Jake Connor. They create for us and without them our attack is stale.
It wasn’t through the lack of trying either. At Wakefield you could certainly question the effort and desire, and some fans will rightly question the intensity of the first half here, but after what we can only assume was a kick up the arse by the coach at half time things did improve, well sort of. A 16-0 interval deficit was abolished at 16-16 but then dumb play gifted the momentum back to Rovers. That’s been the story of the season in recent weeks and mirrored the last quarter against Wigan several weeks back where our intelligence was on par with a chimpanzee trying to finish a Sudoko puzzle. Our form has massively dropped since that game. It’s like we’ve started to feel sorry for ourselves and the same mistakes and problems are occurring time and time again.
The double-edged sword injury excuse can do one. As mentioned above look at Rovers. When you saw the two teams on paper there should have been only one winner. They’ve absolutely shafted us here. It really is embarrassing. The mountain of possession we had meant we should have walked it. But we come away with another loss and another sequence of frustration. We are just so dumb, especially when it rains, or whatever that was on Friday night. A monsoon. Yeah we did well to get back into the game but the fact we’re even in that position to start with isn’t good enough. Obviously key players remain in the stand, but we desperately need investment. Anyone who can’t see we are a prop short is delusional. We’ve been sentimental when we should have been ruthless. We all want further success, but we won’t get it with this approach and I’ll argue that over a pint with anyone.
So what were the positives? Well Carlos Tuimavave was absolutely outstanding. He’s playing on one ankle and must be in agony every week, but he’s fighting through it and his workload and metre making ability were both unreal here. Fair play to him. Elsewhere Bureta Faraimo carried the ball well, young Jordan Lane had a crack, and Danny Houghton, despite the need for him to be spelled, was back to his usual classy self, but that’s about it. The passion and energy Scott Taylor brings to the table was well marshalled by Rovers, Sika Manu had a shocker on return from suspension, and Mark Minichiello, despite scoring a second half try and getting himself off the nudie run, wasn’t much better.
Too many players were inadequate again and whilst the arse licking brigade will continue to frown upon such statements there’s an ever-increasing reality that we’re carrying players past their sell by date. Whether or not that call comes to fruition next season or whether they’ll prove I’m talking bollocks we’ll find out in 2019, but I’m not very optimistic right now and feel a similar finish to the season as three years ago. It goes without saying that I hope I’m wrong but history proves success at this club is in spells, we win something then we go back to the doldrums for around a decade, and then pop up again with a solitary trophy win and think we’re the best thing since sliced bread.
The past two years have been incredible with the Cup wins and we’ve all enjoyed every bit of it, but now the challenge is to continue that eminence and not be a flash in the pan. Being brutally honest that performance wasn’t good enough yet again and we have to be better. Regardless of the outcomes though UTC will be there as always, as blind support is better than no support.
Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jamie Shaul, 2. Bureta Faraimo, 4. Josh Griffin, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 16. Jordan Abdull. 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Scott Taylor, 9. Danny Houghton, 29. Masimbaashe Matongo, 17. Danny Washbrook, 12. Mark Minichiello, 21. Sika Manu. Interchange: 20. Brad Fash, 23. Mickey Paea, 26. Jordan Lane, 35. Liam Harris.
Hull Tries: Abdull, Griffin, Minichiello. Goals: Sneyd 2/4
Hull 3-2-1 Man of the Match: 3pts Carlos Tuimavave, 2pts Danny Houghton, 1pt Bureta Faraimo
Rovers Starting XIII: 1. Adam Quinlan, 41. Craig Hall, 42. Ben Crooks, 22. Liam Salter, 27. Will Oakes, 11. Maurice Blair, 24. Chris Atkin, 14. Lee Jewitt, 30. Joe Cator, 21. Robbie Mulhern, 34. Danny Tickle, 17. Chris Clarkson, 13. Ben Kavanagh. Interchange: 8. Nick Scruton, 15. James Donaldson, 26. Joe Wardill, 40. Todd Carney.
Rovers Tries: Hall 2, Tickle. Goals: Tickle 4/6
Scoring System: 0-4, 0-10. 0-14, 0-16, 4-16, 10-16, 16-16, 16-18, 16-20
Referee: Gareth Hewer – Did his best to control a two hour game. Not helped by players and not remotely responsible for Hull’s defeat.
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