Hull FC’s historic Challenge Cup run finally came to an end in St Helens as the league leaders recorded a 25-22 victory to knock the holders out.
Here are the Five Things Up the Cream learned.
1.. Hull FC are made of stern stuff
Already missing Josh Griffin, Fetuli Talanoa, Marc Sneyd, Josh Bowden, Jordan Abdull, and Joe Westerman to injury, and with Liam Harris Cup tied, Hull were doing it tough before the game even kicked off.
Compound that with an almost imminent injury to Dean Hadley, three sin bins and then the second half injury to Danny Houghton, and to then still be in the game right until the final whistle, is some effort.
That’s just Hull FC for you under Lee Radford. They never throw in the towel and seem to play their best rugby when under some adversity. That was evident twice against St Helens, with the side coming back from 10-0 and 23-12 to get themselves in the contest.
Full of desire, the Black and Whites ran the current best team in the country close, and given the circumstances, that’s a pretty fair achievement.
2.. Scott Taylor getting better and better
It’s fair to say Scott Taylor’s first year at Hull FC was better than his second, but his third is arguably his best yet. Tag has been nothing short of sensational for weeks on end now, and as he ages, he’s just getting better and better.
It’s no secret the side rely on him a lot more now that Liam Watts has left the club. Tag seems to be handling that extra pressure just fine. He’s showing real leadership qualities and is absolutely colossal as a middle unit, playing big minutes which is all the more impressive given the fact he has an ongoing shoulder problem.
3.. Miloudi’s found a new home
Anyone who saw the Reserve game against St Helens last season where Hakim Miloudi starred in a 36-30 win will know the French sort possesses an abundance of talent.
He’s just got something about him that makes him so exciting to watch. That’s five appearances in the first team now and after a forgettable first half of his debut against Wakefield he looks at home. Credit to him.
Miloudi’s started the last two games on the wing and has looked solid. He beats defenders easily and has some fire in his belly too. It was a brilliant take to score his try and they’ll be plenty more to come in the future.
4.. Playacting in rugby league a big issue
Remember when we used to pride ourselves on being a tough and honest sport? Yeah those where the days. Rugby League, whether influenced by Sky Sports games and the video ref, is becoming full of general shithousery.
Players are taught on how to win penalties and now they are feigning injury too. Hull have been to St Helens twice this season and Danny Richardson has gone down softly in both games. One incident was with Jordan Abdull and the most recent was with Danny Houghton, which saw the Hull captain sin binned.
Rather than going on another rant, we’ll leave you with the wisdom of Jamie Peacock, who sums up the current issues perfectly.
“I watched a lot of rugby league this weekend. I can’t not say it. I’m sick to death of players faking injury or spending an eternity on the floor injured only to get back up and play on… The respect our game has is built on players toughness…please start showing this again..”
5.. Kelly and Tuimavave back with a bang
Hull FC obviously hired Danny McGuire’s miracle doctor to get Carlos Tuimavave back from an ankle injury two months early, and what a gamble it turned out to be.
Tuimavave carried well all game, especially from backfield and caused Saints some problems. Kelly meanwhile scored one fine individual try, set up another, and most importantly, came through without any further complications to his hamstring.
Consequently though Danny Houghton will miss the Salford game due to concussion protocols and Dean Hadley is awaiting the severity of an ankle injury.