TO be knocked out of the Challenge Cup over the weekend was obviously hugely disappointing, its a competition that we hold dear and have had great success in over a number of years.
Despite the defeat I’ve got too say I’m very proud of the boys effort in difficult circumstances and whilst we know we are lacking in a few other areas the way we respond to adversity is something that we can hang our hats on moving forward.
Our start to the game wasn’t very good and for the third week running we spent the first quarter of the game doing a lot of defending, errors and a lack of discipline again being the contributing factors.
Having Francis Meli sent off was a huge kick in the teeth, especially with being behind on the scoreboard and having so much of the game still to play.
I must say that Francis isn’t a dirty player and the tackle was just mis-timed and like I said a number of weeks ago, he has been one of our stand out performers this year.
It looked liked Francis he picked up an injury in the incident which could possibly leave him out of the team for a number of weeks, let’s hope it’s not too bad.
NATHAN Brown spoke a few weeks ago about the team having to redefine itself as the days of the likes of Cunningham, Sculthorpe and Long are gone and having played with those players I fully understand what he means.
Those players very rarely needed coaching, they understood what needed to be done, when it was needed and how to execute the right play.
These are attributes that you would associate with a lot of top class players and to have so many in the same team at the one time is a rarity.
Now we have different personnel we need to do things a little differently and still continue to work hard to develop as a team but there is no doubt that the disruption we’ve had through injury has made it more difficult.
Another thing that most great players have and certainly those I’ve mentioned had is a competitive streak and I’ve been on the training field many times over the years when Scully, Longy and Keiron have been blowing up over losing a game of touch and pass.
That competitive spirit was infectious and something that quickly rubbed off onto those around them. That fighting spirit is still very much part of the team today and has become woven into the clubs fabric, although recent results haven’t been good I don’t think anyone can question the team spirit, the way we fight for each other and the way we responded to going down to 12 men on the weekend was evidence of that.
I believe now as much as I did at the start of the season that when we tidy up a few areas, get some key personnel back and marry it with that team spirit then we are as good as any team in the competition.
I MUST thank our supporters who travelled to Hull KR. The way they got behind the team was heartening and its great to know that we have an abundance of loyal supporters in difficult circumstances.
And by difficult circumstances I mean not only the fact that the result wasn’t the one that we all wanted but also that you had to stand about 100 metres away from the pitch. Now when you go to the cinema you get given 3D glasses at Hull KR they should perhaps adopt a similar theme by handing out binoculars to away supporters on arrival.
FINALLY, over the last 12 months I’ve taken the mickey out of a few players and with good reason Paul Clough has been one of those players.
But it’s only right that I’m fair and I have to say that the days of Cloughy being tight as cramp could well be over, its like he’s rebranded himself.
Over recent weeks he’s been giving and sharing like he’s only just stumbled on these two concepts and only the other day he bought my dinner.
I’m really liking the new and improved Cloughy and will be looking to take full advantage in the coming weeks.