From The Dug Out – Hullensians 6th October 2018
Well, here we are again, not only is it unusual to have home fixtures in consecutive weeks but replaying an abandoned is pretty much a first for me. I do hope our referee’s hamstring stands up to the strains of today’s match!!! I heard of our opening day abandonment whilst attending a wedding and by the sounds of it we had made a very positive start and were leading 12-3 at the interval so if I could I would take that again today.
Over the last two weeks I believe we have lost two games, one we should have won and the other we could have, this has resulted in being 9 league points worse off than we deserve. I already mentioned in last weeks notes that we should have walked away from Dinnington with 5 points and not 1 and last week I thought we gave a creditable performance against the league leaders. In summary we were dominant for large parts of the game, had at least a 70/30% territory advantage in the game, but we eventually succumbed to a team that showed us how to capitalise on errors and how to take advantage of a numerical difference when they scored 14 unanswered points when we had a yellow card. We need to learn how to start converting our supremacy into points and hopefully with what we have been doing on the training ground you will see a much more improved performance from a game management perspective.
Still, on the positive side we are improving week on week and we are a much better team than we were at this period last year. I know its early in the season but games like today we have to win if we are to avoid being dragged into a lower half of the table battle.
Playing wise we don’t have Alex Webster again this week, although he is back for our trip to Keighley next week, Andy Kehoe is on concussion protocol and we have injury scares to Stephen Clarke, Tom Edwards and Ashley Parkinson so at the time of writing I’m not quite sure of our final squad. Last week I thought Eddie Browns was superb but leaves us to Newcastle University and is only available now when he doesn’t have a midweek game. That said Sam Broughton is back in the squad today, Harry Cruise returns from Injury and they will be joined by a couple of new faces in Olly Raynor and Olly Turvey who have both come up through our youth system and enjoyed representative honours. We are also hoping to see the debut of Sam Phipps as well but this all depends on clearance.
Last week’s yellow card made me think quite hard about the laws of our game and if we have them quite right. I know what I am about to say is controversial but I feel that giving someone a yellow card for retaliation is a far too easy option for the referee. Let me be clear I am not saying the player should stay on the field far from it I actually agreed with the card, but what I don’t get is the initial perpetrator gets away scot free and in our case last week gave the opposition 10 minutes’ advantage which won them the game. Its too easy to say the player shouldn’t do it, I agree, what I am after is that BOTH players receive a 10-minute cooling off period because at the end of the day our player would not have reacted in the way he did if there wasn’t any provocation in the first place. Certain teams play for this week in week out and get away with it. Sure, the referees at level 7 don’t have the luxury of touch judges to assist them and they can only give what they see but last week’s decision baffled me because the official was right on the spot and saw what happened.
Once again, we have strong 2nd, 3rd and 4th teams out today with 4/5 subs for each team so it won’t be too long before we decide to ‘cut the cord’ and re-join a very select band of clubs in the country who run 5 senior team.
Last year we enjoyed two very narrow defeats at the hands of our opponents today and we struck up a good friendship as we both worked our way out of the relegation zone and I hope that they enjoy their day at Sandhill Lane, before and after the game, but I hope the bit in the middle they don’t enjoy quite as much!!
Yours in rugby