Hull FC got their Super League season up and running with a 38-12 win over Huddersfield on the opening night.
Here are the Five Things Up the Cream learned.
1.. Abbo can play through the middle
Is Jordan Abdull a scrum half or an old school loose forward? There’s an argument for both, but he showed enough promise here to suggest that there could be a future in the latter – at least on a few conditions.
The positives for playing Abbo in the middle are largely censored through his attacking capabilities. He offered another dimension to the attack, allowed the side to stretch their play, and drained even more energy out of tiring opposition with his running game, which at times was superb.
The negatives are defensively. He’s not the strongest defender and he got exposed a couple of times defending in the middle. It’s a tough ask. He was predominately a half for Rovers last year, but Radders has seen him as more of an impact middle so far, similarly to 2015, where he played a lot of games off the interchange.
If Abbo is to continue in this role then he arguably needs to put more muscle and size on to handle those defensive responsibilities. Attacking wise though he was great, although he should have put Albey under the sticks following a potent second half break.
Promising signs though. I’ll take a badge kiss next time he scores to redeem himself for singing that God for saken song last year.
2.. Ruthless traits so good to have
I remember going to Mint’s golf day the morning after the Wakefield home fixture last year. We were down at half time and I asked Radders what he said to them. His reply, “I called them a bunch of dishonest bastards.” What happened next? Well Hull ran away with it and won the game 40-18. Bet something similar was said in the sheds this time round, too.
Hull’s purple patch in the second half was absolutely ruthless. Five tries took the game completely away from Huddersfield. It was clinical and ensured we got to two points with a burst of try scoring. It’s good to know we can post the points on the board like that when needed.
3.. Sneyd is the man to dig Hull out
Amazingly Marc Sneyd still has his critics even today. I dared to criticise him once and I ended up getting pied in the face. Learned my lesson. Okay he’s not the best runner of the ball but his kicking is second to none. His left boot is magic, as Fetuli Talanoa will testify, and it’s a boot that played a key part in the second half revival.
Sneyd has been labelled a one trick pony by some of the games pundits, who say all he has is a kicking game. Last time I checked though, assisting a try with your boot, rather than your hand, still brings with it the same outcome – four points. He’s a superb player, and absolutely vital to Hull FC.
4.. Talanoa still got it
Fetuli Talanoa is back with a bang after a tough year with injury last season. It’s great to see him fully fit and back scoring, as he grafts so hard for the team and deserves his plaudits.
Getting a hat-trick of tries, the Binman was one of the stand-out performers, but it’s not that stat that impresses me the most. That tag belongs to his ability to bring the ball back. Such a tough player and ALWAYS does the hard yards for the team.
5.. New signings capable of filling boots
Bureta Faraimo gave a great account of himself against Catalans in pre-season and he followed that up in the Super League opener. He is Radford’s sort of winger alright. Tidy, powerful, and willing to do all the ugly and unattractive carries in his own twenty. The big Kiwi-American came looking for work and his yardage was great. There were no mistakes and his positioning was decent too.
As for Mickey Paea we know we have a very good prop here. He’s loved by the crowd, and as long as he keeps those legs pumping, he’ll be a big hit again in his second stint.
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