Wakefield ended the three match Hull FC winning streak with a 32-12 victory at the KCOM Stadium on Friday night.
Here are the Five Things Up the Cream learned.
1.. One of those nights?
Lee Radford was honest as ever in his post-match display. Baring five minutes before half-time, Hull’s display was nowhere near the standard of the previous five games and we got what we deserved.
Hull were wasteful, and in a game with plenty of stoppages, we couldn’t build any rhythm. That suited a big Wakefield pack who toppled us. Our performance was very flat – there was little about what was served out on the field and the crowd reflected that.
The KCOM Stadium is a soulless bowl at the best of times and when it’s less than half full with little atmosphere you can literally hear a pin drop.
This is a completely different topic altogether, but we’d kill for our own ground.
2.. Dominated up front
Wakefield, particularly in the second half, comfortably beat Hull in the forwards. We had no answer to their big lads and they overpowered us with ease, despite milking every play of the ball and trying to con penalties.
The game was probably best summed up by Pauli Pauli’s try, who ran through about three Hull defenders to score. Reece Lyne did the same soon after.
Lazy efforts from Hull cost us. Contacts were poor and our intensity wasn’t good enough. Wakefield’s forwards did us here, particularly David Fifita who was superb, but the least said about his mullet the better.
3.. Reality check?
Hull have only beaten the current three bottom sides in Super League, and here came unstuck against a decent team. Is that a cause of concern? Not necessary as it’s only one defeat, and it’s an injustice to take any credit away from those three wins, but there’s a realisation a coup over a top side would do wonders to our credentials.
We’ll see how Hull respond in the coming weeks. There’s still a lot of potential with this team, but we must get that performance level back up. It doesn’t get any easier with London away and then Warrington up next.
4.. The hooking dilemma
Jez Litten was Hull FC’s best hooker against Wakefield. He had more of an effect than Danny Houghton.
When Litten was on the field, Hull looked quicker out of the blocks and more direct. His second half break was superb and that ability to get out of the ruck is always there. The young lad is explosive.
Houghton was sensational at Wigan and very good in wins over Huddersfield and Leeds, but he’s not getting any younger and are we reaching the point where we need to spell him Cunningham and Roby style? Though it must be noted that sin bins to Albert Kelly and Marc Sneyd probably altered Radford’s plans a little, and Houghton had to cover as a ball player in those spells.
What is encouraging is the last time this point was raised the Hull FC legend had an absolute blinder at the Pie Dome in the next game. Let’s hope history repeats itself.
5.. Credit to Wakefield
Sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable to credit your opposition. Wakefield were very good and without any doubt were the better team on the night. The defeat isn’t catastrophic and the competition is wide open.
Hull are still amongst it and it’s important we don’t knee-jerk after one bad defeat. Worry if this happens again, and then again, but we’re confident/hopeful it won’t.