Up the Middle #46

Props? Loose Man? It’s all a bit of a myth now isn’t it. They are middles. Middle units in the middle of the park playing Up the Middle.

Every week in this blog we’ll bring you the world of Rugby League as it happens, with the aim of grasping your attention, your bites and your vocal cords – after all that’s what we do best.

W/C 14/05/2018 – Last updated: 18/05

Friday – Noggers almost back 

Curtis Naughton has admitted he came close to coming back to help the Hull FC cause again this weekend, until an injury, like it did back in February, struck him in Australia.

“Just want to say there is nothing more I wanted than to come back but unfortunately I have sustained an ankle injury and would be no help until players returned anyway,” Naughton posted on his Twitter page.

“I’m sorry but one day I’ll be back and hopefully it’s not too far away.”

Got to admire how much Noggers genuinely loves Hull FC. What a sort!


Friday – Squad named

With eight players confirmed injured already Hull FC are doing it tough, but they’ve still named a decent enough squad for the Magic Weekend Derby.

The challenge will be in the backs and in the pivots, where Hull are missing Faraimo, Tuimavave, Talanoa, Kelly, Sneyd and Abdull.

There will be a debut for Liam Harris and potentially Cameron Scott too, who has been named in the squad for the first time.

We do have talent amongst our ranks elsewhere too. Connor, who will probably wind up 90% of the Geordie inhabitants, is named, as is Shaul, Griffin, Houghton, Taylor and Manu.

Joe Westerman will play in his first Derby since 2015.

Its also worth pointing out that little Rovers have injuries too. They’re getting a little touchy on the subject.

To view the full squad, click here

Danny Houghton

Thursday – Ellis out of retirement?

We had Kirk Yeaman rumours last Sunday, and now it’s Gareth Ellis’ turn. Will these ones have some truth to them to?

The captain, leader, legend is back in training, and isn’t ruling out a Hull FC return.

“With the injuries mounting up and with how tight things are with salary cap, it sort of dawned on me that maybe I should start training again if there is a chance of me playing,” Ellis told the Yorkshire Post.

“I thought I should start doing a little bit so I am more prepared if the opportunity does then come. I’ll be in a better position by training out there with the boys.”


gareth ellis challenge cup

Thursday – Yeamo, Yeamo, Yeamo! 

The Hull FC legend is back. Kirk Yeaman retired in 2016 after a stellar 15-year career, and  now he’s registered once again to play for the Black and Whites.

A record try scorer in the Hull Derby, one can probably imagine Rovers are already sick of the sight of the badge kissing hero, who has decent odds to bag the first try come Sunday evening. Worth a couple of quid right?

Kirk Yeaman

Thursday – Harris signing confirmed 

Liam Harris has been comfirmed as a Hull FC player, signing on a two and a half year contract.

UTC broke the story on Tuesday, with the 21-year-old set to go straight into the squad for the Magic Weekend.

Another one bites the dust. They all end up here eventually don’t they.

Meanwhile to view the players thoughts on joining, click here

Liam Harris

Wednesday – Magic Night Out? 

Newcastle are hosting Bradford on Friday night at Kingston Park with a crowd of over 3,000 thought to be attending.

York managed a similar crowd against the bucket collectors back in February, with the game set to be streamed too. That should valid a few dummies spitting out.

Wednesday – Forum 

Lots to talk about..

Hull FC Forum

Tuesday – New signing 

UTC understands Liam Harris will sign for Hull FC, joining from League One outfit Doncaster.

It’s believed Hull have shown an interest in Harris ever since he moved to the South Yorkshire club, which of course is coached by Hull FC legend Richard Horne.

We hinted many times we thought he would end up here, and Dan has said as much on the radio, with his signing likely to be confirmed by the end of the week.

To view the story, click here

City of Hull Liam Harris

Tuesday – Faraimo banned 

Bureta Faraimo has been handed a two match ban for a swinging arm at Featherstone last week. He will miss the games against Hull KR and Warrington, but he’ll be back for the Cup tie at St Helens.

Tuesday – Injury list mounts

Hull FC have offered injury updates on a number of their injured players.

The good news is that Scott Taylor, Mickey Paea and Jack Logan could all be back this weekend.

On the injury front Brad Fash is still two weeks away from a return from a broken jaw, and it gets worse from there.

Josh Bowden will be missing for the rest of the season with an ACL injury. Outside backs Fetuli Talanoa and Carlos Tuimavave meanwhile will both be out for 10 weeks with ankle injuries.

Marc Sneyd’s knee injury will see him out for 12 weeks and Albert Kelly is still five weeks away from a return.

Try not to cry too much.

Talanoa Homecoming

Monday – Cup date announced 

Day sesh then. Get in. Hull FC will travel to St Helens on Sunday 3rd June for their Challenge Cup Quarter-Final tie at St Helens.

The match will be televised by the BBC.

st helens away

Monday – Connor speaks 

Jake Connor says he is loving the leadership role at Hull FC after starring in the sides Cup win at Featherstone.

“I enjoyed leading the side,” Connor said. “Someone has got to do it, and as we’ve got heaps of injuries, I’m fortunate that I can do it. I’m excited about the challenge.

“We don’t know how bad the injuries are but we’ve still got a great pack and we’re confident we can play.

“It was absolutely crazy on Thursday – I imagine it was the same watching. It was a shambles, but we’re glad to get through.”

Hull FC Jake Connor

Monday – Dual reg partners 

Jack Sanderson, Ross Osborne, and Jack Downs all played for Doncaster on Sunday as they smashed West Wales 74-18.

Osborne managed to get a brace of tries and Downs also touched down.

Interestingly there was no Hakim Miloudi, nor no Liam Harris either. Miloudi is more than likely to play for Hull FC at the Magic Weekend, whilst Harris, a former Rovers half back, could also be in contention to play, and sign with the club.

City of Hull Liam Harris

Monday – Wheelchair RL

The Hull Wheelchair team pushed Bradford all the way on Sunday, going down 60-66 at the YPC on Pickering Road.

Tries came from Billy Swainger 3, Mike Swainger 2, Dan Tomlinson 2, Brandon Sargerson 2, and Nathan Sherwood 1. Tomlinson kicked all 10 goals. Lad.

Hull FC Wheelchair

Monday – League One Round Up

The third tier of British rugby league is spilt into two tiers. You’ve got your Bradford’s, your York’s, and the like who offer promise and have potential, versus teams like Hemel, West Wales and Coventry which are just a complete waste of space.

Theres been a lot of talk this season about breaking away and having just two leagues, and if that’s the case, then it’d be a shame to cut the Bulls and Knights out of our plans.

York for instance top four figure crowds, and are starting to produce players, with Joe Batchelor signing for St Helens for 2019.

Results: Bradford 54 London Skolars 16 | Coventry 18 York 58 | Oldham 74 Hemel 6 | West Wales 18 Doncaster 70

Monday – A look at the Championship 

Only previously postponed fixtures were played this weekend, of which they were three. London’s win puts them two points clear of Leigh in fourth position, with Toronto, Toulouse and Featherstone leading the way. The two expansion clubs from Canada and France meet at the Magic Weekend this Saturday.

Results: Rochdale 10 Batley 48 | Barrow 58 Deswbury 32 | Sheffield 14 London 66

Monday – Challenge Cup Round Up

Well rugby league match officials definitely hopped on the banter bus this weekend, with more cards handed out that than boooos given to the United Kingdom at Eurovision on Saturday night. The RFL car park will be rammed for the disciplinary hearings later in the week, and Hull FC in particular face a wait on some of their stars – most notably Bureta Faraimo, who could cop a lengthy ban.

On the field, the Cup action was mixed. Thursday nights drama between Featherstone and Hull was a joke with one side insistent on a fight and the other some rugby. Friday night between Leigh and Salford was apparently a good game but I didn’t watch it after the lunacies of the night before. St Helens meanwhile were class on Saturday and compounded Castleford’s woes. One season wonders. Lol. And Sunday between Toronto and Warrington saw the referee once again dominate the action. I’m all for referees being shown respect, but it is a two-way thing, and Josh McCrone was spot on. Thaler acted like a pretentious git as did Mikaluaskas on Thursday. Officiating whilst Ganson is still in charge will continue to be a problem, but let’s just sweep it under the carpet and pretend everything’s fine like the game’s governing body.

Results: | Featherstone 20 Hull 38 | Leigh 22 Salford 10 | Huddersfield 24 Wakefield 14 | Widnes 20 Leeds 23 | Castleford 18 St Helens 36 | Catalans 56 Whitehaven 10 | Toronto 10 Warrington 66 | Rovers 10 Wigan 28

Hull FC Featherstone

Monday – Got your copy yet? 

Orders are still flying out for Issue 54 – full of Hull FC wit and opinion that you won’t see anywhere else. You can secure your copy here

Issue 54

Monday – Never change, Radders

Lee Radford’s post-match interview after the Featherstone soap opera was just gold.

“Honestly, that’s got Bransholme Dales vs Orchard Park written all over it and that’s no disrespect to either of them as they’re both classy parts of the world,” Radford said tongue in cheek.

For the full interview, click here

Monday – Hull FC Recap 

It was Challenge Cup action for Hull FC last Thursday night, who comfortably saw off Featherstone 38-20 in a bad-tempered affair.

Seven cards were handed out in total, with Jake Connor and Joe Westerman starring in the win.

Review: http://upthecream.co.uk/hull-fc-win-ugly-cup-tie-at-featherstone/

Five Things: http://upthecream.co.uk/12852-2/

Featherstone Away Hull FC

Monday – Why Up the Middle?

One confused FC Forum listener (yes he was of a red and white persuasion), got a little puzzled to Johnny Compton’s term ‘Middle’ or ‘Middles’ when used in context with Rugby League.

A Middle is your middle unit, which consists of your props, hooker and loose forward. They play through, and defend, in the middle of the field, hence the term middle.

Like counting the number of tries Tom Briscoe scored at Wembley, it’s a pretty simple equation, and considering the East Hull outfits association with the Middle version of the 8s, you would assume they could grasp it.

FC baby laughing at KR baby


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

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