Pre-match all you could ask of Hull FC at Warrington was to play with desire and effort, and they did that, so much to the point that they took a deserved half time lead and never threw in the towel despite missing nine first team players.
To some, talk of Hull FC’s injuries recently has sent them a little over the edge – why that is remains a mystery but never the less an injury hit side toppled the old enemy last week and pushed Warrington all the way this week. We can be proud of that. We showed some balls, we didn’t moan about our situation, and we gave it a crack. As supporters we can respect that and let’s hope we get Tag back alongside Bureta Faraimo to give it all we’ve got at St Helens in the Cup next week. No-one will give us a cat in hells chance of pulling it off but that brings the best out of us and we go there with absolutely nothing to lose. Bring it on.
But going back to what unfolded at Warrington we can be content. It’s still a defeat, a 30-12 one at that, and it hurts, even more so when you just knew after taking a 12-0 lead into half time thanks to tries from Dean Hadley and Mickey Paea, that they’d get all the field position, possession and Lady Luck, but we can take solitude in that and come back to fight another day.
There was character, especially from our captain Danny Houghton who made 61 tackles on the night and ran his blood to water as he does every time he takes the field. The fanzine won’t speak for everyone, but we definitely under-appreciate just how good Mint is sometimes and take for granted what he brings to the table. He’s an absolutely class act that has given everything to Hull FC, which is why we haven’t minded lining his pockets over the past year. Buzzing for the Rugby Golf day next month. Wonder if Radders will take things to his own advantage and bring Sneyd’s kicking tee this time? Shout out to him too for not complaining in his post-match interview and showing nothing but class as usual. Radders really is the Dadders isn’t he and we absolutely love the culture he’s built here.
Houghton’s display though really summed Hull FC up. Tenacious. We gave it everything but ultimately ran out of juice in the second half as Wire peppered our defence with a surge of momentum and field position. However in the opening forty minutes it was a different story. Hull defended brilliantly with one defensive play from Jack Logan, who was superb on the night, on Tom Lineham highlighting perfectly the sort of commitment the Airlie Birds, in those famous irregular hoops, had about them. The side was full of youth. Logan aside, we had Cameron Scott on the left edge with another raw Super League talent in Hakim Miloudi outside him. Scott looked decent in parts and has shown enough in two games to suggest there’s a positive future at this level. Miloudi though was brilliant. He was a right handful and proved a difficult man to put down.
It’s one incident with Miloudi and Chris Hill however that is the game’s major talking point, with the latter shoving his forearm into the Frenchman’s mouth then complaining of a bite allegation. Get a grip. Hill looked like a five year old complaining to the school teacher. Overrated and if the two games we’ve faced against Wire this year are anything to go by; an absolute shithouse. Still remember him leaving a massive hole for Carlos Tuimavave to go through in the home game whilst the scrum cap wearing meff was focused on putting a shot on Jake Connor. Scenes. Why not tangle with Sika Manu next time?
And on the subject of Jake Connor, a hamstring problem cut short his night and the last thing Hull need right now is another injury, especially in the half back positions. Mark Minichiello also took a knock to compound our woes. Maybe Johnny Whiteley needs to dish out his boots after all. Alongside Connor in the halves was Liam Harris and he didn’t shy away from any responsibility in taking first receiver and trying to create, but it was tough night. Love how appreciative he was of the “he’s one of our own” chant. Got a future in the game though and here’s hoping it remains at Hull FC.
Elsewhere fellow youngsters Masimbaashe Matongo, Jordan Lane and the returning Brad Fash all gave it a crack. That’s all we can ask and these young lads will be so much better for the experience. It was tough, there’s no getting away from that, but we gave it a go. Warrington weren’t exactly brilliant. They were shocking in the first half and only started to post points on the board once Hull tired, which was understandable. Tyrone Roberts was appalling and one can see why he’s getting some slack from his own crowd. The positives for Wire come at hooker and fullback. Always been a fan of Daryl Clark and Stefan Ratchford and they were the danger-men, assisted by another decent performance on the left edge from Harvey Livett, but if that’s the third best team in the comp right now, then once everyone’s back, this Hull side have absolutely nothing to worry about.
That’s worth pointing out alone for anyone who is thinking of shadowing this performance with any doom and gloom. Hull FC remain in fourth position and with a surge of home fixtures approaching, a venue where we are unbeaten at this year, there’s a realisation that this season may not end up as catastrophic as some people imagined. Far from it.
Warrington Starting XIII: 1. Stefan Ratchford, 2. Tom Lineham, 21. Mitch Brown, 4. Ryan Atkins, 27. Josh Charnley, 6. Kevin Brown, 7. Tyrone Roberts, 8. Chris Hill, 9. Daryl Clark, 13. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 20. Harvey Livett, 12. Jack Hughes, 34. Ben Westwood. Interchange: 19. George King, 15. Declan Patton, 17. Joe Philbin, 29. Ben Pomeroy.
Warrington Tries: Livett, Brown, Murdoch-Masila, Charnley, Atkins. Goals: Livett 5/5
Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jamie Shaul, 24. Jack Logan, 11. Dean Hadley, 30. Cameron Scott, 28. Hakim Miloudi, 14. Jake Connor, 35. Liam Harris, 23. Mickey Paea, 9. Danny Houghton, 15. Chris Green, 21. Sika Manu, 12. Mark Minichiello, 33. Joe Westerman. Interchange: 29. Masimbaashe Matongo, 20. Brad Fash, 17. Danny Washbrook, 26. Jordan Lane.
Hull Tries: Hadley, Paea. Goals: Connor 2/2
Hull 3-2-1 Man of the Match: 3pts Danny Houghton, 2pts Hakim Miloudi, 1pt Jack Logan
Scoring System: 0-6, 0-12, 6-12, 12-12, 18-12, 24-12, 30-12.
Referee: Gareth Hewer. The best in the business at the moment.