They say the result isn’t the be all and end all in pre-season and we’ll go with that right now. A youthful Hull FC side got some plaudits in defeat to Hull KR, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 26-34 defeat.
Here are Five Things Up the Cream learned.
1.. Improvement in youngsters clear to see
If Hull FC could have stayed error free at the kick off then they probably would have won the game. Three mistakes were made in the sets after scoring tries and that’s an indication to how close the young lads came.
There’s obvious improvements in the likes of Masimbaashe Matongo and Brad Fash, who Radders has nurtured for 3-4 years now, whereas Jack Logan for one looked really solid on his return.
It was a much better display than the one in this fixture twelve months ago, that’s for sure, and there’s some things to build on.
2.. Miloudi’s got something about him
There was a debut handed out in the Derby, with Hakim Miloudi getting his first run out in first grade. Quick on his feet with the energy and desire to be involved, he could go far in this team, should the opportunity be presented to him.
We saw a glimpse of the Frenchman for the Reserves last season, and he’s an exciting player to watch. He always looked to have the capability to bust through the Rovers defence, but he also had an error in him too – whether or not this becomes a customary part of him game we’re still yet to see.
3.. Hull FC played a god send in securing Connor deal
The World Cup may have been going on but it was a quiet off-season for Hull FC – that’s testament to the current regime who have been so professional in handling recruitment and playing retention, getting the job done before plans for the next year commence.
Though saying that, there is a piece of business announced at the end of October that was an absolute god send for Hull fans, and that’s the resigning of Jake Connor.
Connor is now contracted at the club until the end of the 2020 season, and after last seasons form and what we witnessed here, it’s a very exciting time to be a fan.
The lad is just sheer class. He’s got everything in his locker to make him a top draw player. His yardage was good throughout and his 40/20 was sublime, but his main highlight reel has got to be his second four pointer of the game. A freakish piece of skill by a player who just seems to be getting better and better as time goes on.
4.. Does the friendly Derby need to be scrapped?
Whilst Radders probably learned a lot about his squad, there is a debate to whether the pre-season Derby should be scrapped or not.
It was helped this year that it was Danny Houghton’s official testimonial match, which added some incentive, but you have to wonder how the two clubs can keep justifying the fixture, especially if Hull continue to play weakened sides in the future.
Derby games should be full of spice, and there is a feeling, at least until Rovers got relegated (lol), that they were overplayed to the point of overkill.
Do we really need this game which is really nothing more than a cash cow? I guess interpretation is down to whether you’re winning it or not, and whilst they’re beating kids, Rovers fans won’t want their Cup final to go anywhere.
5.. Let’s talk about Jack Logan
This time two years ago Jack Logan had a first XIII squad number and was the starting choice right centre for the first six Super League games. A frantic return to form of Kirk Yeaman and a serious knee injury soon put an end to that, with the talented centre in the treatment room for over a year.
On that note it’s fair to say the past eighteen months have been a nightmare for Jack, but he’s got some good people around him, and here he showed some light at the end of the tunnel.
I thought he gave a really good account of himself – despite one brain fart offload in the first half. He was solid, that’s the best way to describe it. There wasn’t too much flash, but everything he did was good. His work rate was terrific, both on the wing and particularly in the centre. He made some tough carries too, showing he can be called upon when required, should injuries or suspensions to the backline occur.
But for a first, first team outing since the Wakefield home game way back in 2016, that wasn’t a bad way to reintroduce himself. Welcome back, Jack.
Final note. Jez Litten was brought off due to injury only minutes after coming on from the interchange. Let’s hope he’s okay and that he’s fit for next weeks game against Catalans.