Hull FC blew the chance to go outright second in Super League – losing to Salford 22-44 on Saturday afternoon.
Here is Up the Cream’s Five Things Column.
1.. Tevita Satae debut
New signing Tevita Satae made his Hull FC debut against Salford and his inclusion was virtually the only positive of the day. The prop is a right unit and he had one or two really encouraging drives, so naturally he didn’t get the ball enough afterwards with Hull utilising other options.
Satae is a weapon, a right physical specimen that will have a huge impact in Super League. We’ve all heard about his stats. Hopefully against Huddersfield he’ll get more chances to replicate those numbers.
2.. Abysmal home form
One has to feel for James Clark and co selling memberships this Autumn and Winter. Hull have lost seven out of twelve games at home this season, winning just five. Worst still, the margins of some of those defeats have been horrendous – 20, 51, 31, 28 and now 22. It’s the second worst home form in Super League, with only London having a worse record.
On the contrary Hull have won 10 out of 14 games on the road in 2019. The side play with much more freedom when away from home. Why? God knows. But it needs addressing. Fans pay a lot of money to follow the club and if the side are only prepared to turn up at home once every three games then they’re going to spend that cash elsewhere.
Maybe send Manu Ma’u on a door to door mission when he gets here.
3.. Soft underbelly
Hull have been consistently inconsistent this season, but recently those arthritic cardboard performances looked to be a thing of the past – until now. Some credit can go to Salford, but Hull were at their worst here. The volume of errors and poor defensive efforts were catastrophic.
Hull should have kicked on at 16-6, but they let Salford back into the contest through errors. They looked to be coasting but then went missing when it got tough. Some of the defensive efforts were absolutely horrific. Amateur in fact. That’s happened too frequently this season and is down to attitude. Some arrogance came into play and Hull were embarrassed as a result.
4.. Sneyd and Connor
For whatever reason this is a combination that just doesn’t work. Marc Sneyd and Jake Connor both perform better when Albert Kelly is alongside them. There is little understanding between Sneyd and Connor.
Let’s not beat around the bush either, despite a neat pass for Taylor’s try, Sneyd had a shocker but he was playing behind a side totally dominated elsewhere. That doesn’t help. Still it doesn’t excuse taking the line on only once and throwing passes into either touch or Kris Welham’s hands.
Sneyd has been sublime at times this season, but he was poor here. Connor was better, but there’s still that gut feeling that something isn’t right. It doesn’t help when he’s got no continuity to his position (which should be right centre), or if he’s carrying a couple of knocks, which seems to be the case.
5.. Consequence of defeat
Hull could have gone outright second in Super League with a win, but the defeat leaves things in the balance, due to numerous heavy defeats and therefore a shocking points difference. Turns out they could matter after all…
Right now Hull are fourth with Salford just two points behind in fifth. Castleford aren’t out the equation yet either and it’ll be a nervous few weeks as the side look to keep grip on a play-off spot. That should have been a formality by now, and the fact it isn’t highlights some holes. It’s Huddersfield up next and it’s an absolutely 100% must win game.