It’s not just Hull FC who get our hopes up these days…
After finally announcing pilot Super League games with fans in attendance for the end of September, the government then went and squashed those plans meaning we are now unlikely to see any live action again this year. In fact, reports are circulating now that we all could be waiting until at least March 2021 before said government contemplate the idea of fans at games again. Christ. We best all stay away from sharp objects.
Not that Hull FC’s performances recently have wetted the appetite to rush back, but it’s in the blood isn’t it, it’s obligatory, it’s an obsession, an absolute obsession, and going is just something we’ve all done since that family member forced us to go to the Boulevard all those years ago. The bastard.
So back to Super League action after the Challenge Cup defeat and it’s Salford who lay in wait, the team that smashed a horrific Hull side 54-18 following the competitions resumption after the lockdown period last month.
Since then the results have been up and down, Jekyll and Hyde, you know the drill. Wins have come against Huddersfield, Wakefield and Castleford with defeats against Warrington and Wigan. There’s been no in-between though. Hull either edge a win or get smashed. It was the latter last week as Hull were soundly beaten by Wigan after about five minutes. The errors killed Hull, and they’re the same errors this side have been making since the dawn of time, but it was also the lack of belief that proved the stumbling block.
You could tell after the first two sets really what was going to unfold and as expected Wigan eased into the cup semi-final. The constant mistakes were amateur-like and came regardless of whether Hull opted to play safe or chuck the ball about, or regardless if Hull were coming out of yardage or attacking Wigan’s line. It was all painful to watch.
The cup exit showed the gulf in quality between Hull and the best of Super League, so to even put the Black and Whites and Grand Final in the same sentence is nothing short of madness. There are nine games left to play now before November comes and we can hibernate for the winter. It’s going to be a slog. Make no mistake about that. All we can hope for is that the side don’t capitulate like they did in 2018 and use tedious recent media excuses like missing players and fatigue.
Heavily criticised the starting thirteen was all wrong against Wigan last Saturday and has been rectified for the Salford game on neutral territory at Warrington. This is last chance saloon if you like and with Hull’s best players last week being blokes who are starting this week we need to see some fight amongst the Hull side from the off, but it’s also pointless unless they show some respect for the ball. That’s the main issue. The unforced errors. They really are ridiculous.
Though there is still a belief in the Hull camp that the top four is still a possibility. Of course they’ve got to say that, and you can question what they’re smoking by doing so, but the reality is it will take a miracle. Here’s hoping the Red Devils come into this one dreaming of their semi-final and Wembley.
Hull are boosted by the returns of Jamie Shaul and Josh Bowden but are missing Adam Swift (back), Marc Sneyd (covid symptoms), Scott Taylor (back), Josh Jones (illness), Albert Kelly (hamstring), Gareth Ellis (knee) and Ratu Naulago (ankle).
Kallum Watkins starts for Salford, as do Joey Lussick and Tui Lolohea who ripped Hull apart the last time the two sides met.
Hull: 1. Jamie Shaul, 31. Cameron Scott, 24. Mahe Fonua, 4. Josh Griffin, 2. Bureta Faraimo, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 6. Jake Connor, 10. Chris Satae, 9. Danny Houghton, 22. Josh Bowden, 12. Manu Ma’u, 21. Jordan Lane, 13. Ligi Sao. Interchange: 15. Joe Cator, 20. Brad Fash, 23. Andre Savelio, 30. Jack Brown.
Salford: 4. Dan Sarginson, 5. Krisnan Inu, 3. Kris Welham, 32. Kallum Watkins, 22. Rhys Williams, 6. Tui Lolohea, 7. Kevin Brown, 10. Gil Dudson, 9. Joey Lussick, 17. Luke Yates, 29. Oliver Roberts, 26. Jack Ormondroyd, 19. Mark Flanagan. Interchange: 12. Pauli Pauli, 14. Sebastine Ikahihifo, 16. Greg Burke, 30. Andy Ackers.
Last Five Meetings
2020: Salford 54 Hull 18
2019: Hull 22 Salford 44
2019: Hull 35 Salford 32
2019: Salford 16 Hull 23
2018: Hull 45 Salford 14
Super League Head to Head
Played 47, Hull wins 35, Salford wins 12
Who will win?
Who cares? We’re at that point now. Probably Salford but we’ll go Hull by ten.