Hull FC in 2019, one step forward and two back, a lot of frustration, but some joy too.
Our obligatory end of year article allows us to reminisce on the good times, from that Marc Sneyd winner at Wigan, to inflicting a record drubbing on our noisy neighbours. It wasn’t all bad. See for yourself.
10.. Four swings of that left boot
The first trip to Catalans this year was proper mental. You score. We score. Le Dracs looked to have won it late on, but Sniper Sneyd had other ideas. Kick off. Peach number one. A penalty from half way followed. Peach number two. Golden Point next. He wins the ball back from the kick off again. Peach number three. Then slots over a one pointer. Peach number four. The man with the mercurial left boot. The man for the big occasion. Sneeeeeeeeeeeeyydd.
9.. Mahe’s coming home
Hull FC’s recruitment was underwhelming ahead of 2019 and the lack of firepower probably told at times. That’s been rectified for what’s arrived for the 2020 season. One of those new signings is Mahe Fonua, the beast with the golden teeth who has more chemistry with our club than Han Solo had with Chewbacca. Seen the new Star Wars yet? Don’t bother. It’s shite. Hull announced the signing of Fonua whilst we was away in Catalans. Yep. We’ll drink to that. Buzzing he’s back. Opposition outside backs probably aren’t though.
8.. Defensive masterclass
The attack came under scrutiny throughout 2019, but defensively Hull where abysmal at times. That wasn’t the case at Warrington though. The Blake Austin wank-a-thon was in full effect by then, but the black and white wall repelled everything thrown at them. Without the ball Hull were brilliant, absorbing constant pressure. Sadly that desire to defend was missing as the season endured, but here it was on point. That’s defence in a nut shell. It’s about desire. It’s about wanting to knock the stuffing out of the bloke running at you. It’s about attitude. Here it was all in abundance. What a win.
7.. Winning at Headingley
Twelve years. Twelve long years. Twelve years coming home from Headingley miserable. The Whinos have had the measure over us at their place, but the tide had to turn eventually. As per expected Hull FC made it difficult, the lead was relinquished, then gained again as Carlos Tuimavave put Ratu Naulago over in the corner. Sneyd laid the tee down and did the rest. Right in front of all the tits with trumpets in the South Stand. He doesn’t know any different.
6.. A statement of intent
Gareth Ellis is one of Hull FC’s biggest ever signings. It’s naive to label that tag to Manu Ma’u right now, but his signing is blockbuster. The announcement made people raise an eyebrow or two. Yeah, Hull FC are serious again. They might be consistently inconsistent to challenge right now, but next year they mean business. The Tongan Terminator, the only man Sika Manu is scared of, was nominated as one of the best back rowers in the NRL last season. It’s a genuine world-class signing. Sika petrified us too, so we can’t wait to see this guy.
5.. Mini and Manu
Announcements of new signings mid-season really helped keep some positivity as the side flirted with and then bottled the play-off positions. Such frustrations dampened the year, but off the field the club got nearly everything right. The final game proved that. Heritage week. Steve Prescott charity shirt. Mark Minichiello and Sika Manu having a guard of honour post-match. Fitting, but not before being paraded around the stadium one final time. Someone was cutting onions. After a frustrating end to 2019, it was a great tribute to two imports that haven given absolutely everything for this club.
4.. Can we play you every week?
Hull had some joy over Catalans this year, especially in the Cup. Hull beat Le Dracs on the way to both Wembley wins and did so again here with a thumping display. Offensively Hull were sublime, and eventually that dominance told. Another crack at the final evaded us, but here Radders’ troops played some gorgeous stuff, with Ratu Naulago getting the first of his full length personal try of the season competition. A winger with blistering pace. Nothing beats it. Well nothing except Sneyd’s left boot.
3.. Derby Demolition
There’s a great satisfaction in putting the old enemy in their place. They had their day in the sun, they reminded us for years, but we’ve had five. They call us obsessed now. They really don’t like it. This was a right drubbing. Hull battered Rovers in every department. Records galore. Nine tries. Ten goals. 56-points. Boom. Get that into ya. The pick of the bunch was a hat-trick for Jack Logan. Sublime. But the best moment again was post-match. Fetuli Talanoa paraded around the ground following his retirement. Another superb player that gave everything for the side. We’re not crying, you are.
2.. Catalans away 2.0
Hull FC’s best performance of the season was in the South of France. The June trip was sublime. A massive away following was treated to a masterclass of attacking rugby. Superb to watch Hull were brilliant, scoring 50-points, 50? 50-0 though. It’s probably the slickest we’ve seen Hull play under Lee Radford too. Long range tries galore. Crisp, fast passing. Offloads. Intent. A bang in form Albert Kelly. You just love to see it.
1.. The man for the big occasion
That losing run of last year/this year was proper rancid and the dummy was definitely spat out at times, but the joy felt after abolishing it was sensational. At Wigan too, always a tough place to go, but made easier by the legend Gareth Ellis coming out of retirement. Mint was superb too, but the headlines tell the story. The first Golden Point in Super League history. It just had to be Marc Sneyd. One swing. Boom. Absolute scenes. That away end was sheer bedlam when that ball went over and the relief telling. Get the f*** in there.
Up the Cream would like to thank all readers for their support this year. Our 2020 fanzine subscription is available to buy on our online shop here