Hull FC suffered their ninth straight Super League defeat, losing 38-12 at St Helens on Friday night.
Here are the Five Things Up the Cream learned.
1.. At least the fight is back
There’s losing, and then there’s losing like Hull FC did at Warrington. At Warrington it’s fair to say the Black and Whites didn’t give a toss. There was a response against Castleford and that continued at St Helens.
Defensively there were some poor moments, and there’s no hiding away from that, but there was some fight there too. Hull had a dig in the first half and given the circumstances that’s a fair effort. The second half was disappointing, but the towel wasn’t thrown in. St Helens looked like they would rack up a cricket score after two quick fire scores early on, but Hull, who had briefly lost Jake Connor and then Sika Manu for the night, battled on. Some aspects of their play was actually encouraging, and it was a lack of quality, not effort, that saw Saints run away with it.
2.. Defensive woes
Praise was justified for a fair first half effort, but some of Hull FC’s edge defence after the break was woeful. Bureta Faraimo, as mentioned in the match report, was poor, but he wasn’t on his own. A right edge of Liam Harris, Danny Washbrook and Cameron Scott was heavily targeted all night – with Saints getting their reward. It’s a highlights package no-one will look back on with much fondness.
When you go into a match without your first choice 1, 6, 7, 9 AND 13, you’re always going to struggle. Then there’s the absence of Tuimavave, Minichiello, Bowden, Green, Paea and Downs too. Oh and if that’s not enough Hull also fielded Josh Griffin who wasn’t fit at all, and then lost Sika Manu for the night, and Jake Connor for a while too.
That’s the predicament the Black and Whites are under. It’s complete and utter madness. It tests you and in some cases it breaks you. It’s a tough period for the club but thankfully only two games remain. Whatever your take on Hull FC right now, there’s no denying injuries are a part of the problem.
4.. Jake Connor
Connor returned early from a hamstring injury that was supposed to see him sidelined for the rest of the season to line up at St Helens.
In typical fashion the versatile playmaker had his moments. He produced some slick passes and tried to lead an inexperienced and raw Hull team around the park.
Fans feared the worst when he went off with a dislocated finger, but Connor returned soon after. Following his performance in Denver, and with two games still to go, he’s definitely in contention for an England place.
5.. Off the nudie
Both Brad Fash and Jordan Lane got themselves off the nudie run with their first ever senior Hull FC tries. Lane ran a great line off an Abdull pass to score his whilst Fash beat about three defenders to power over. That will do their esteem the world of good as they get accustomed to Super League.
Masimbaashe Matongo received praise from Radford post-match too. It’s been a tough and testing time for Hull FC’s youngsters, and they’ve copped some criticism along the way, but there were glimpses here of their potential. Hopefully the experience will better them in the long run.