Hull FC were under-cooked in the Derby on Thursday night, with the side understandably fatigued as the old enemy edged them out 18-10.
Here are the Five Things Up the Cream learned.
1.. The loss of Albert Kelly
Not only was the absence of Albert Kelly felt, the whole manoeuvring of the right edge cost Hull FC. That part of the side has been the biggest attacking threat in recent weeks and to lose two components of it was tough.
It was also a reality check in terms of selections for the long-term future. Jake Connor is a supreme talent but as long as Kelly is employed by Hull FC then the Snake plays in the centre. There’s probably no doubt in Lee Radford’s mind there but it might silence some of the day dream believers on social media.
2.. Savelio is a find
It’s been a while now since Hull FC announced the signing of Andre Savelio on a three-year deal. He looks a find though. He’s played the past five games now following an ankle injury, and as he finds more continuity he’ll only improve his performances. We’re starting to see that now. He’s scored in each of the past two fixtures and has looked a genuine threat playing on the edge.
When Savelio signed, Radford said he’s come to the club to play in the back row. We may have lost on Thursday night, but this was a positive, and they’ll be more where it came from. The 23-year-old will be some player for Hull.
3.. Fatigue in the side obvious
Rambled on about this in the review but you can’t ignore it. Hull FC did Perpignan and back on Saturday boarding a chartered flight from Humberside at 7am. It was a long day, and it was a game played in mafting conditions with a short turn-a-round leaving preparations minimal. Obviously that had an effect at Caravan Park.
Hull were fatigued. Mistakes and therefore an extra defensive workload didn’t help, but they looked knackered to be honest and that was at it’s most obvious in the second half. Credit there goes to the old enemy. It was a perfect storm for them, but there wore us down and got the job done.
4.. Houghton puts in huge shift
On the subject of fatigue, one man who didn’t seem to drop his energy levels was one Danny Houghton, but then again his engine is bordering on the line of super human anyway.
To be honest, we as a publication probably don’t give Houghton the credit he deserves. We milked the Man of Steel thing, but he hasn’t dropped his standard has he? His volume of defensive contributions are not ideal as they can limit the energy for his attacking game, but they are freakish and you have to admire the effort he puts into every game.
Other hookers in Super League are arguably more dynamic and offer a greater running threat, but Houghton is still huge for this club. We’re a completely different proposition without him.
5.. Is the grass always greener?
On the hooking front it’s come out via Mr Smailes that Jez Litten could leave Hull FC to go across the river and sign for that lot. It’s become apparent that Litten wants playing time and he isn’t getting that on the west side, even when Houghton is out injured.
Litten had one or two glimpses of promise earlier in the season, but the hireachy see his physique as a cause for concern. Interestingly the last hooker to head east in Josh Hodgson did just fine, but with a probable permanent signing in Matt Parcell to come, will Jez’s playing time increase should the deal go ahead and he ends up at our noisy neighbours?
One things for sure Litten needs to play – it’s no good being shipped out to Doncaster every other week.