Hull FC let slip an 18-10 lead to suffer their second home defeat of the season, losing to St Helens 34-18 on Friday night.
Here are the Five Things Up the Cream learned.
1.. Jansin Turgut good on return
Turgut’s story is interesting. Radford wasn’t shy in explaining the reasons why the young back rower has been missing from the side since Easter Monday but he proved a point here. He’s got something about him has Jansin and that’s exactly what you want from your back rowers. He’s got guile, charisma, and isn’t afraid to try unorthodox plays.
When it comes down to it attacking finesse is what you pay your money for and the two kicks the Turk produced were brilliant. He took his try well too but the move to centre did him little favours in defence. However you can’t pinpoint blame on any individuals when a reshuffle occurs. It’s a nightmare and Hull as a collective unit didn’t deal with it well.
Jansin though has got a range of attributes to his locker and if he continues to knuckle down there’s a future for him. Deserves praise for his recent conduct and professionalism alone. Welcome back.
The injury excuse is a bastard. On one side of the coin it’s valid as with the likes of Sneyd, Manu, Griffin etc we see out that game. But then again despite those out we produced enough to win. We just didn’t take our chances and defended poorly as our energy levels collapsed.
You can look at the fact we’re still in games though with our fullback (Shaul), winger (Talanoa), centre (Griffin), half back (Sneyd), prop (Bowden), back rower (Manu), and loose forward (Westerman) all out. It’s a complete contrast to previous eras. I remember playing the likes of Wigan, St Helens etc with a few blokes missing and getting mullered by 50 points. It only happened last year after all.
3.. Effort alone won’t be enough
Hull FC have it all to do to finish in the top four and there’s a realisation now that it will probably be beyond them. The harsh reality is the gap will be too big to claw back once key players return.
The effort during this injury run has been superb, but ultimately game management has let us down. Hull must learn to be more clinical and the missed chances at the start of the St Helens game hurt us. We should have been two or three scores ahead. That and negative options once 18-10 up didn’t help our cause. You can’t be attempting to see a game out against the league leaders with a big chunk of the match still left to play. Hull have got to keep putting the pressure on and be smarter with our decision making.
4.. Connor injury compounds defeat
Jake Connor was in agony as he lay on the turf after a challenge against St Helens. He was down for a while with what looked a lower limb injury before medical staff tried to escort him off the pitch.
However Connor couldn’t walk and was in even more pain when he attempted to do so. Eventually a stretcher carried him off which was the last thing we wanted to see.
When in the pub on Friday night his diagnosis ranged from knee to hamstring injuries. However we’ll sit on the fence and wait for Lee Radford to confirm. Initial reaction it doesn’t look good though.
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5.. Second season syndrome my arse
We were told that Albert Kelly goes off the rails in his second season, his performance level drops and he’s usually out the door a few months later.
The reality though is that at his previous employer he was mistreated and mismanaged. Radford has proved that in the ways he’s handled him. Kelly has an evident hamstring problem – he’s playing busted but the way he’s put his hand up is most commendable. He’s fighting for the Hull FC cause and whilst he isn’t a natural being the organising half he’s given it a crack.
With Jordan Abdull alongside him (who also had a good return), he looked a lot more comfortable and ran the ball well. What we have learned is he’s found a home here and he gives everything every week. Can’t wait to see him alongside a full strength team.