Hull FC were well beat by St Helens on Monday night as the away side ran out 10-42 winners at the Circle, Boulevard 2.0, or whatever it’s called now…
Here is Up the Cream’s Five Things column.
1.. Chris Satae
The big (and only) positive of the night was the performance of Chris Satae who was absolutely sensational yet again.
Backing up Thursday’s strong performance against Leeds, the big fella took it to St Helens again and was comfortably Hull’s best player.
Satae’s strong running was destructive at times and St Helens couldn’t handle him. He kept poking his nose through, with one break in the second half showing just how powerful he is.
Satae is Hull’s Player of the Year by an absolute mile, but he’s the best prop in Super League too. In fact, it’s not even a contest now.
A complete and utter wrecking ball.
2.. Pedestrian attack
At the risk of copying and pasting from the Leeds game, Hull’s attack was pedestrian yet again.
St Helens showed how it’s done. The best teams play fast, direct and push either side of the ruck. Sure, the Saints made some errors, but it’s a result of the pace they play at. It’s what every team should be aspiring too, and they got on the front foot from the off.
Saints’ passing was crisp and fast, and they didn’t mess about in getting the ball out wide and into space. When Hull tried to do the same, Saints were quick on to them. Hull were either too flat or the passing wasn’t fast enough – more the latter in our view.
It starts from the ruck. James Roby was outstanding as he has been for his whole career, whereas Hull don’t have anyone within a mile of his class to play at nine and it shows. The Black and Whites are slow, pedestrian, with half backs that, with Jake Connor missing, are in a real rut right now.
It’s mental how much Hull rely on their new fullback, and that theme is consistent right across the spine.
Sneyd and Reynolds both played in patches, and both struggled again. They’re simply not doing enough when Hull get into prominent areas of the pitch.
For the attack to improve, that has got to change.
3.. Lack of discipline
The Jordan Johnstone sin bin was harsh to the say the least, in fact it was complete bullshit in our view, but facts speak for themselves, and Ligi Sao’s yellow late on was the ninth Hull have had this year, with one red coming as well.
It’s not just the cards though, the number of penalties and (or) set restarts that Hull give away is ridiculous, and it constantly puts them on the back foot.
Errors are usually compounded, and it hurts Hull time and time again, whether it be late swinging arms, or simple offsides.
It’s far too easy for some to blame the ref, but it’s the same case every week.
And as for St Helens, when you play on the front foot, you get more calls, and when the opposition is on top, you start screaming for everything.
That’s a common pattern at the moment.
4.. Squad holes
One thing has been abundantly clear all year and that’s Hull’s lack of depth. A rag-tag Hull side can scrap a win over Huddersfield with 13-out, but against the big boys, that lack of depth has really showed.
With key players missing, Hull haven’t got the quality to beat a St Helens, yet they spend just as much on the salary cap. Go figure…
The squad is unbalanced to say the least and is very bottom heavy. It’s no secret Hull need a couple more forwards and a new hooker, and the cap money should be there to balance it out, except it was spent on the likes of Mahe Fonua as insisted by the club’s owner Adam Pearson.
Adam whinges about money every five minutes, but he’s got no legs to stand on when the club are losing a very good player in Bureta Faraimo for a player on big money who’s just not cutting it.
Fonua is not on his own either – unfortunately for him it’s just there in Black and White – and Hull need more out of Reynolds, and more out of Manu Ma’u too who’s been solid but who’s not set the comp alight.
Compare that to what Hull get off Brad Fash, who gets criticised every week, but who you imagine is on a fraction of the salary.
It’s crucial that the club start to manage the cap better, and assess what players are actually giving them value for money.
Be ruthless and sort out the holes, or don’t bother getting the begging bowl out again.
After such a promising start to the season, results and performances have gone by the wayside in the past three games, and with Warrington and Catalans coming up next, there’s not much hope here of that changing.
In the past two games effort hasn’t been a question, Hull have had a dig, but their attack has been woeful.
They just haven’t been good enough, and now their play-position is seriously under threat.
When you think too before covid hit the camp that Hull had a favourable run to prop themselves up the table, it’s a travesty really.
It doesn’t take much for us to get disillusioned – and we can be a very optimistic then quickly pessimistic fan base – but answer this, when is the next win coming?
It doesn’t look good does it, and there’s a worry that it could get uglier yet.
Hull need the likes of Jake Connor, Scott Taylor et al back and quickly whilst there’s still something to salvage.
On to Sunday then. Bring on the Wire. Sure.