Hull FC got their Super League season firing with a win at Wakefield.
Here is Up the Cream’s Five Things column from the match.
1.. Massive two points
There’s a scenario next week where Hull FC could be outright second, SECOND. If we beat Salford and Wigan defeat Warrington then only the brilliant St Helens will sit above us in Super League. Absolute nosebleed territory.
If that scenario comes to fruition then it’s because of results like Wakefield away. It wasn’t pretty but it was job done and that will do. Those two points were huge. As we all know, a top three or dare we say top two finish ensures two bites at the cherry in the play-offs, and that’s a huge incentive if any ambitions of Old Trafford want to be reached.
It also goes against all those pre-season predictions of mid to lower table finishes. Hull FC are right up there for a reason, and a second or third placed finish would be incredible. There’s some work still to be done, but 2019 should go down as a good season. Hopefully we can finish it strongly.
2.. Not a great rugby league advert
The significance of the win at Wakefield was huge but that was a rancid game of rugby league. The ruck was painful to watch and the ten was far too skinny. That didn’t help Hull FC, who looked great when trying to promote the ball, but who looked average when playing conservative.
We see it far too often though. You want to encourage a referee who lets the game flow but when you’ve got a ruck like that it borders on the ridiculous. There was far too much interference at the play of the ball and that resulted in errors when a penalty should have been given.
Of course despite all that Hull FC blew hot and cold at Wakefield. It was such a slow start to the game from us with errors in abundance. It took a while to get going then four tries came in twelve minutes. Madness.
The second half saw just the one try as favourable field position was minimal. In truth it wasn’t great after the break but Hull weren’t helped as Jamie Shaul went off and a reshuffle therefore occurred. Obviously the win was welcome, but it’s not a contest we’ll remember.
3.. Carlos is sheer class
Carlos Toooooooomavave was absolutely magnificent at Wakefield. But then again he’s always magnificent.
The Kiwi is all class. He’s a sublime rugby league player that gets little recognition outside of our surroundings. It’s mad really. He evades tackle after tackle and glides around the park so smoothly. At Wakefield he was at his brilliant best. The interception try was taken superbly, whilst he assisted both of Ratu Naulago’s tries.
Hull FC have a gem here. Whilst debate is rampant on outside backs and who plays where, this is a player who simply has to be in the side.
4.. Jake Connor
Jake Connor is struggling right now. He hasn’t been the same since a knock against St Helens a few weeks back. There’s been some plays when you think wow.. he’s over it, but then an error or a wrong decision comes.
We suggested in a previous column he’s not right physically and those claims looked to be backed up at Wakefield. He had his ankle strapped and was in a protective boot after the game.
Whatever is going on right now is getting to him. Connor doesn’t look like he’s enjoying his rugby. When he’s firing he’s up there with the very best in Super League. There was flashes at Wakefield but we need that supreme talent back quickly.
5.. Element of Youth
With new signing Tevita Satae not cleared to play, a second Super League outing was given to teenage prop Jack Brown. He didn’t look out of place.
Brown played tough and was aggressive. He’s got bags of potential and impresses every time we see him.
A proper 15-team Reserves comp has been announced for 2020 and beyond, and players like Brown are going to thrive under it.
It’s an exciting time to be a Hull FC youngster. For the likes of Brown, Kieran Buchanan and Connor Wynne, they’ll be plenty of opportunities to impress at a higher standard.
For the record the Reserves comp will feature the 11 UK based Super League sides, Widnes, Bradford, Halifax and Newcastle.