Stupid errors, poor discipline, completely and utterly below par… might as well just cut and paste from Thursday… except this bank holiday Monday was even worse as a horrendous Hull FC display saw them go down to Salford 42-14.
That was absolutely abysmal. Hull never looked at the races and Salford were no great shakes themselves. In truth it was an awful game, full of mistakes from both sides and another played at a flat intensity, yet it was Hull who hit self destruct mode the most and who went through the gears on the shite-o-metre, with Salford running away with it late on.
There was a distinct lack of energy and enthusiasm about Hull in the second half in particular. They were sluggish and there was no desire to speed the game up. Even when Salford made an error there was no urgency about them. Everything was laboured, lethargic even, and it was like they were going through the motions. It was just a shocking display – and Hull got exactly what they deserved.
The worst thing about it all was that Hull were out enthused by Salford, who realised they had the measure of Hull before scoring a few late tries to make the result even more sinister. That’s the thing with defeats – they’re part and parcel of sport, but when you see your side beaten because the opposition wants it more, then it’s always tough to take.
Hull’s display, which got worse and worse as the game wore on (just check out Ken Sio’s fourth and final try), was actually disgusting. They were hopeless with the ball and they looked berate of ideas as they aimlessly attacked the Salford line with error after error hindering their play. It wasn’t errors through expansive rugby league either. You can understand them – for every pass Jake Connor puts in the stand he’ll nail three for his winger to score. We’re talking basics. Dropping kicks under no pressure. Dropping the ball in basic yardage. Not aware to offloads or second phase play. Not making touch from a bloody penalty. You name it. And let’s not even mention discipline.
It was without doubt the worst showing of the season to date, with play-off talk now earning you a one way ticket to cloud cuckooland, and to be honest it’ll probably do us all a favour, saving Hull the embarrassment of a good hiding from a proper top four club.
This Hull side are way off the pace with just one win in their last six games seeing them to eighth place in the table. Not bad for a squad worth £2.5 million, ey? Strewth, mate. It’s not good enough. And it must be called out.
Yet the sad reality is that Hull are stuck in a rut right now with their biggest hindrances all signed up for 2022. Most people can see that they need a new hooker, and most (despite the good things he brings) can see the restrictions in the half back. Most understand the score with the bloke deemed only good enough for the bench and most understand that Brett Hodgson can’t really do anything about it all until 2023. It’s a horrendous situation.
Hull are a complete mess right now and unless Pearson wins the lottery and rips up some contracts then it isn’t going to get any better anytime soon. The promise that this side started the season with is long gone and Hull look a shadow of that hardworking and professional side who beat Salford so comfortably in the second game of the year – then again that’s hardly a surprise given that this side didn’t have the culture and attitude to have a sustained challenge for the dog dish or grand final even during the cup winning years. Even the qualities Hodgson has implemented into Hull early on weren’t on show here. At least against Castleford the resilience was there to see, but it was long gone at Salford, with Hull leaking 40+ points for the third time this season. Rancid.
It’s a dark tunnel ahead, it really is. Hull need way more than the one player coming in next year (and a winger at that, albeit the desired type of winger) to change the attitudes of the same players that have been the problem.
Hull Mafia was a term we used after Castleford. It refers to three players in the main. Sneyd. Houghton. Taylor. Admittedly one of those isn’t even from Hull, and one didn’t even play at Salford, but it’s those three who run the place, or at least think they do (we all heard the ‘who had the big say in Liam Watts leaving the club’ rumours when he left Hull after all). It’s two of those players, and regardless of the fact that they’ve done some incredible things in the past, who have massive question marks over what they are bringing to the table right now, with the third also having a point to prove after two injury troubled seasons.
You could argue that one of those shouldn’t have been signed up again last year either, and you could argue a replacement should have already been lined up before covid was even a thing, but that’s how Hull have ran their business for years on end now – with sentiment. We’ve seen players kept on for too long and we’re seeing it again now. They’ve been so naive and they haven’t learned from their previous mistakes. That can’t happen again next year though. The club have got to be fucking ruthless and as sad as it is the leadership group have got to be moved on.
That’s the thing. There’s no enjoyment or satisfaction in saying all of this. It absolutely kills us, but the club should always come first and above any player. Hull won’t progress until they address their flaws and Hodgson for one must be banging his head against a wall. He has brought plenty of things to the table, but what else can he do?
You can sense the supporters have had enough as well. Silly bastards like us will go no matter what but when you find you’re spending your hard earned for little return then how long before you opt to spend it on something else? You only have to look on social media to see those who won’t be renewing. It’s really concerning. But we get it and we won’t begrudge anyone who goes down that route given the current difficult and uncertain times.
And who can blame them when yet another Houghton pass is slow and at the forehead of the first receiver. The distribution at Salford was abysmal and when it was actually adequate enough to potentially create something, it was no better from first receiver. Sneyd had a stinker, yet he wasn’t on his own, far from it.
In fact, few can come out of Salford with their head up and ironically two who can are probably two of the clubs lowest earners. Cameron Scott went well. He was a threat every time he got the ball and he looked to make inroads, and there’s something in Connor Wynne too who was a threat at right centre. He is one player who certainly brings energy.
Beyond that though we are scrapping the bottom of the barrel. The bench had no impact and even in form players like Adam Swift won’t look at his defensive highlights too fondly. It was just a terrible day all round.
Most frustratingly, some results elsewhere have gone Hull’s way too in the past couple of rounds, meaning that two wins after the Derby game would have put them in a really healthy position, although again you could argue they’d just paper over some cracks. Most of us have accepted that changes need to be made, but the reality is that Hull are restricted in what they can do. So much for a “top four spine”, and so much for a team competing again for silverware. Can’t wait to see what spin they use this autumn…
Salford Starting XIII: 1. Morgan Escare, 2. Ken Sio, 4. Krisnan Inu, 23. Dan Sarginson, 5. Joe Burgess, 6. Tui Lolohea, 33. Ata Hingano, 25. Jack Ormondroyd, 18. Chris Atkin, 17. Josh Johnson, 20. Harvey Livett, 35. Ellis Robson, 16. Greg Burke.
Interchange: 27. Sam Luckley, 15. Oliver Roberts, 11. Ryan Lannon, 14. Danny Addy.
Salford Tries: Sio 4, Atkin, Livett, Burgess. Goals: Inu 7/7
Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jake Connor, 2. Bureta Faraimo, 23. Connor Wynne, 24. Cameron Scott, 21. Adam Swift, 19. Ben McNamara, 7. Marc Sneyd, 13. Ligi Sao, 9. Danny Houghton, 10. Chris Satae, 11. Andre Savelio, 12. Manu Ma’u, 16. Jordan Lane.
Hull Interchange: 22. Josh Bowden, 17. Brad Fash, 14. Jordan Johnstone, 5. Mahe Fonua.
Hull Tries: Sao, Houghton. Goals: Sneyd 3/3.
Scoring System: 0-6 (Sao), 6-6 (Sio), 6-8, 12-8 (Sio), HT, 12-14 (Houghton), 18-14 (Atkin) 24-14 (Livett), 30-14 (Burgess), 36-14 (Sio), 42-14 (Sio), FT.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas