That was bad. Probably as bad as Hull FC have been all season and probably a night we’ll look back on as a massive dent to our top four aspirations.
A ninth defeat of the season, ten if you include the cup defeat too, tells the story. Ouch. We can talk about injuries all we like but that team should have been capable enough to get a result, and put in a much better performance than the one dished out. Yes Huddersfield under Simon Woolford are rejuvenated, they’ve won six out of seven in Super League since he joined, but we resembled nothing more than a bunch of arthritic cardboard cut outs and passed the ball like Stevie Wonder. Rovers put this lot to the cleaners last week with some fluent and crisply executed rugby and such exploits here were about as likely as Theresa May not bending over backwards to Brussels during Brexit negotiations. Strewth, mate.
During certain periods Hull FC were piss poor and the look on Lee Radford’s face probably best explains it. Hopefully he gave them a bollocking. There was no fight and only a few players had a dig. When your stand-off is the only one putting big shots on you have a problem. The middles, Scott Taylor aside, were weak and what we got from our edges wasn’t good enough. There was no backbone in a pathetic display that pretty much leaves a mountain to climb if we want to finish in the four – something that is likely as certain Super League wingers going a weekend without committing adultery.
The Black and Whites’ best player was arguably Mark Minichiello, the oldest geezer on the field, who gave his best display of the season just days after signing a new contract. That was more like it from the Italian Stallion, who ran hard and looked to punch some holes in Huddersfield’s defence. The Giants will be satisfied but Hull hardly threw anything at them. There was no shape and there were some poor decisions made with ball in hand – things like kicking dead on the second tackle and throwing passes into touch, the main culprit of which was French stand in fullback Hakim Miloudi.
Yes Miloudi was a threat at times, and he scored a decent try, but his decision-making was inadequate, as was his ability to marshal the defensive line. People slag Jamie Shaul off but this is one area of his game which is outstanding. Obviously the French sort’s English isn’t the best and that doesn’t help, but there was an opportunity here and he didn’t take it – exemplified by his coach saying the Man of the Match award must have been chosen by a certain blind singer when given to the former Carcassonne star. Speaks volumes really. Who’s the ‘legend’ that picks these things?
Injuries have been well documented too recently and missing Jamie Shaul, Josh Griffin, Fetuli Talanoa, Marc Sneyd, Josh Bowden, Jordan Abdull, Sika Manu and Joe Westerman for various reasons doesn’t help, but those that stepped in did their future selections no favours. Cameron Scott is only a teenager and has a lot of development ahead of him, but he was out of his depth here and looked poor. Meanwhile Jack Logan continues to divide opinion and it’s safe to say Hull aren’t getting enough out of Brad Fash and Masimbaashe Matongo. The latter needs to find some more aggression to his game as he seems too nice and passive at the moment. Then again receiving the ball and immediately having two players on your shoulder must be difficult when gaining metres. Also maintain the opinion that Mickey Paea isn’t good enough and needs to offer more. It’ll upset some of the Black and White glasses brigade but if the Tongan sort wants to go on a rich vein of form and pie me in the face for talking shite then that’s fine by me. The difference between Paea and Tag is there to see, in abundance.
Albert Kelly has been getting some flack too from certain quarters criticising areas of his game that aren’t his forte. There’s no Sneyd at present and we all know he’s the leading half back that directs the side around the field. Kelly is not that player. Similar to Richard Horne a decade ago who had to play the role of general it’s affecting areas of his game, but to say Kelly has been poor is mental. Okay he threw one crazy pass out when a short one would have seen Danny Washbrook coast over but his running game was decent, he hit well in defence and never threw the towel in. Watch him go again when Sneyd is back in the team, but that can be said of the majority of our blokes, who are indisputably doing it tough and got found out here.
One game too far? Well evidently. Sometimes it just doesn’t come off but to see little to no mental toughness was disappointing. Hull had all the early ball and field position but didn’t score whereas the first time they got down our end they scored. That saw Daniel Smith exchange tries with Bureta Faraimo before we just laid down. Aaron Murphy and then Jordan Rankin crossed over and added to a Danny Brough drop-goal it was pretty much game over.
Rankin meanwhile went through a bigger hole than Witham’s finest lady garden and that told the tale. After that Darnell McIntosh got a brace while our edge defence was playing hide and seek, with two tries from Hakim Miloudi and then Danny Houghton doing little to put some shine on a poor display. All in all Hull’s attack was woeful, especially near the opposition line which remains a big problem. We lack, even when fully fit, that killer instinct.
If anything a nine-point margin was harsh on Huddersfield who will be buzzing with that display after last week. That was the Danny Brough we knew from his time here and it must be said the two islanders Ukuma Ta’ai and Sebastine Ikahihifo were excellent. Hull were much worse than the result suggests, despite also a good and energetic showing from Hull-born Dean Hadley, and with St Helens up next and an injury list as long as the dole queue on Holderness Road it’s not getting any easier. At least that result puts Leeds in the bottom four. Every cloud and that.
Huddersfield Starting XIII: 15. Jordan Rankin, 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 6. Lee Gaskell, 29. Jake Wardle, 23. Darnell McIntosh, 4. Jordan Turner, 7. Danny Brough, 17. Ukuma Ta’ai, 21. Adam O’Brien, 12. Michael Lawrence, 22. Alex Mellor, 5. Aaron Murphy, 19. Daniel Smith. Interchange: 13. Ryan Hincliffe, 8. Sebastine Ikahihifo, 18. Paul Clough, 16. Oliver Roberts.
Huddersfield Tries: Smith, Murphy, Rankin, McIntosh 2. Goals: Brough 4/5. Drop Goal: Brough
Hull Starting XIII: 28. Hakim Miloudi, 2. Bureta Faraimo, 30. Cameron Scott, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 24. Jack Logan, 6. Albert Kelly, 14. Jake Connor, 8. Scott Taylor, 9. Danny Houghton, 23. Mickey Paea, 12. Mark Minichiello, 11. Dean Hadley, 15. Chris Green. Interchange: 20. Brad Fash, 29. Masimbaashe Matongo, 17. Danny Washbrook, 27. Jack Downs.
Hull Tries: Faraimo, Miloudi, Houghton. Goals: Connor 3/3
Hull 3-2-1 Man of the Match: 3pts Mark Minichiello, 2pts Dean Hadley, 1pt Scott Taylor
Scoring System: 6-0, 6-6, 12-6, 18-6, 19-6, 25-6, 25-12, 29-12, 29-18
Attendance: Two muppets and a cowbell
Referee: Robert Hicks
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