Hull FC tasted defeat again in Australia, but made many new friends thanks to a battling display against St George Illawarra.
Here are the Five Things Up the Cream learned.
1.. Our young lads CAN lead the club into the future
I’ve been banging their drum for years, and this is why. There’s some quality here and with Radders at the helm, I’ve no doubt that the current crop nurtured and brought through the Academy under Richard Horne’s stewardship will lead us into the future.
That was an NRL quality side, and none of them looked out of place. The two props, Masimbaashe Matongo and Brad Fash were superb and added some real punch to our frontline. In the back row, Jansin Turgut really put himself about, as did Jordan Lane. Then there’s Jack Downs, and where did he find that Gidley-flick pass from? There were some special efforts out there, and once again, they all showed they can be called upon when required. Strength in depth? You got it.
2.. Dean Hadley is the man
2018 had to be Dean Hadley’s breakthrough year at Hull FC and it’s looking like it’s going to be just that. He’s a workhorse, and that itself sets him above a lot of top flight Super League players. He’s got great awareness and runs some good lines. Hooker isn’t his best position, but he’ll do a job there as we ease Jez Litten into the side. And with Houghton’s injury not being as bad as first feared, take solitude that Hadley will soon be back on the edge or at loose doing what he does best. What an attitude. What a player. We’ve got a good’un there.
3.. Kelly getting himself noticed
Out of contract at the end of the season, there is definitely a chance, even more so now, that the outstanding Albert Kelly will return to the NRL.
As one of the top three players in Super League, he’s more than good enough to do so. It’s a gamble though. We all know of his reputation at other clubs, but at Hull he seems to have found a haven. Therefore could he stay? Let’s hope so. The grass isn’t always greener, and he’s got a good thing going here.
Though if he does get a NRL gig, we can’t begrudge him any move back home. Albey’s given his all for Hull FC and has been the next level really. Top draw.
4.. Watts is international class
Wayne Bennett are you watching? You’d have to be on Zak Hardaker’s white stuff or have worse vision than Stevie Wonder to not select Liam Watts for England now. He is top quality, but he’s not your average prop.
Whilst the likes of Alex Walmsley and even our very own Scott Taylor probably have more grunt, Wattsy brings more finesse to the table. As he likes to claim, he’s a half back in a props body. He’s got running and handling abilities a few of England’s dogshit half backs over the past twenty years would be envious of. A class act, with just the right temperament about him, he can play the first receiver role and stretch your attack to effect.
Big Jud came up against the likes of James Graham and soon to be Origin prop Paul Vaughan, and stood up massively. International honours must follow.
5.. Hull FC fans
How about those Black and White supporters. Over 2,000 fans have travelled to Australia to watch the mighty Hull FC over the past two weeks, and they added some colour and atmosphere to ANZ Stadium.
There’s few better sights than seeing Old Faithful in full swing. It got the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. From Wollongong, to Darling Harbour, to Western Sydney, our support has been absolutely class.
Image: Trevor Gibbons (@trevorgi)