Video ref takes centre stage as Hull FC lose at Leeds

One quick search of the word ‘hoodoo’ on Google and ‘witchcraft’ comes up. You can’t tell me that’s not a coincidence whilst the Hetherington’s still rule the roost here, as Hull FC just can’t buy a bloody win at Headingley.

It’s eleven years and counting since we last left the student filled suburb of Leeds with two competitions points, and whilst these games continue to be televised, one can be forgiven for suggesting that stat won’t be changed anytime soon.

What a bloody farce that was. The video referee is fast becoming the pantomime villain of rugby league. It’s putting the game into disrupt and needs to go now. The wimpy footballers are beginning to feel the force of the evils of technology with their recent experimentation and it’s something that has made our game more of a laughing stock the longer we have persisted with it. It shouldn’t be like that though, but that’s what the scientists on iRobot thought before a cyber lunatic called Viki ruined it for everybody. Ever seen the film? If so you’ll know she’s a right devious little cow that starts off as everyone’s best mate before revealing her true colours. Sounds a bit familiar doesn’t it?

The respect of the video referee has firmly gone. It was originally the saviour, but over time it’s got worse and worse. Yearly adaptations and rule changes don’t help and right now the concept has about as much popularity as Stuart Cummings’ punditry. The dramas that unfold are so ridiculous they make Nigel Wood’s hefty severance payment look justified. Okay maybe that’s a stretch too far, but the reality is the go to the screen stuff is on it’s ninth life. It is tedious and it makes our great game seem nothing more than a comedy festival or soap opera, or sometimes both. It’s just a barrel of frustration, best exemplified by Marc Sneyd as he asked Robert Hicks what was the difference between the two major obstruction calls in the game.

Of course these calls both went against Hull FC. Leeds were awarded one and then the away side were disallowed one to the shock of everyone in the ground – even the Leeds fans who spent more time obsessing over our number seven than their own Grand Final winning heroes. How any video referee can deem Carl Ablett was obstructed when he was closer to Leeds/Bradford airport than Josh Griffin is anyone’s guess, but the try was comically ruled out. Not even Usian Bolt would of made it across. There was a further disallowed try for Jack Logan too, who was deemed offside, and a sequence of frustrating calls that left the Hull fans in attendance feeling hard done by, and those watching on TV, who from the comfort of their sofas had a better view than us, infuriated by what they witnessed.

Headingley Leeds Hull FC

But as the pessimist that’s not what frustrated me the most. That title belongs to Hull’s performance in the opening 20-25 minutes, which was second best to a rampant Leeds outfit once again. You just can’t afford to give teams an early advantage like that. The Whinos punished us. For the opening quarter they absolutely battered us and it was in truth a miracle we were only ten points down. That’s testament to our resilience and never say die attitude, but all the same it’s frustrating, as without it, victory would have followed and the incompetence of the video official would be irrelevant.

In that spell Leeds galloped downfield faster than Uncle Kath counts her spare change. It wasn’t good enough, and to be honest a hammering looked likely. Credit to Hull though, who after Kallum Watkins and Tom Briscoe tries, battled on. An effort from Dean Hadley, who continues to go from strength to strength this season, put us right back into the contest, before the fiascos of the man upstairs prevented a lead for the Black and Pink army. By this stage though we had a crack and were arguably the more creative team – despite what the scoreboard said.

Youth certainly had its moment in the spotlight and arguably outshined it’s senior counterparts. Jordan Lane on debut was superb and showed he has a massive future at the club – the left edge was actually stronger when he was on the field. Jordan Abdull also put in a performance of promise. Brad Fash, the Pitbull, was terrific, as was Masimbaashe Matongo and Chris Green. Elsewhere Jack Logan made his first Super League appearance in nearly two years and Fetuli Talanoa scored his fiftieth try for the club. We love the significance of that number. It was a ballsy effort, just, and like many times at this ground, it wasn’t to be.

The result may have not been one we wanted, but one thing that was evident was the battling qualities in the Hull team. Many sides of yesteryear would have crumbled, but Radders has installed some stern stuff into this squad. Two further tries from Leeds, again via Watkins and Briscoe, didn’t break their spirits. Hull responded through Abdull and Talanoa, and then it was game on. Chances kept coming but unfortunately that one final bit of quality was lacking, as Leeds closed the game out.

Headingley Leeds

Leeds Starting XIII: 1. Ashton Golding, 2. Tom Briscoe, 3. Kallum Watkins, 22. Ash Handley, 5. Ryan Hall, 6. Joel Moon, 7. Richie Myler, 17. Mitch Garbutt, 9. Matt Parcell. 10. Brad Singleton, 11. Jamie Jones-Buchanan, 12. Carl Ablett, 15. Brett Delaney. Interchange: 16. Anthony Mullally, 30. Josh Walters, 23. Jack Ormondroyd, 24. Jack Walker.

Leeds Tries: Watkins 2, Briscoe 2. Goals: Watkins 2/4

Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jamie Shaul, 24. Jack Logan, 4. Josh Griffin, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 14. Jake Connor, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Scott Taylor, 17. Danny Washbrook, 29. Masimbaashe Matongo, 21. Sika Manu, 12. Mark Minichiello, 11. Dean Hadley. Interchange: 15. Chris Green, 20. Brad Fash, 16. Jordan Abdull, 26. Jordan Lane.

Hull Tries: Hadley, Abdull, Talanoa. Goals: Sneyd 2/3

Hull 3-2-1 Man of the Match: 3pts Dean Hadley, 2pts Jordan Lane, 1pt Jordan Abdull.

Scoring System: 6-0, 10-0, 10-6, 14-6, 20-6, 20-12, 20-16

Attendance: TBC

Referee: Robert Hicks

Issue 50

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About Dan Tomlinson
Founder, editor and the main man behind Up the Cream.

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