Friday 5th April
Hull FC 36 Hull KR 6
My first taste of seeing the Robins live this season and suffice to say it wasn’t the occasion I’d have hoped for!
Deprived of the Elder Slushette, who’d opted instead to do the annual Welwick Two-Wheelers sponsored bike ride with her mum, I was accompanied to the KC by my youngest daughter. It was her KC Stadium debut. Indeed it was her rugby league debut and given how hard I’ve found it to keep her entertained at Easington games, I knew a big bag of Haribo Mix would be needed for this one.
Despite Radio Humberside and the Hull Daily Mail ‘bigging’ up this annual Good Friday meeting (which had been reversed due to Craven Park’s ongoing facelift) tickets had been relatively easy to come by. Even the appetite of the Rovers support didn’t seem quite as keen this time round. Of course the North Stand was solid red and white but where we were in the Upper West, although there was a decent showing, it wasn’t packed to the halfway line as has been the case in the past.
A crowd of approaching 19,000 would suggest the Hull fans were equally luke-warm in their approach to the game. It certainly wasn’t the “hottest ticket in town” that Humberside’s Sports Talk programme would have us all believe.
In fact, all the hype achieved was to again provide the ammo to the many RL-hating City fans who like to quote the Derby’s failure to sell-out the KC as proof that Hull is a “football city” and not a “rugby town”. And on days like this it’s hard to argue with them – especially with City pulling in comparable gates to this on a regular basis in the Championship this season.
I’ve no doubt that had the Dullers known their team, inspired by veteran Lee Radford and the outstanding Jordan Turner, were going to systematically dismember their cross-river rivals so clinically (especially after the break) they’d have ensured the ground would have been packed to capacity!
As it was, with about ten minutes to go, the Younger Slushette – having cleaned up her aforementioned sweets in addition to a cereal bar, packet of cheese snacks and a drink – turned and asked, “We can’t win so can we go now Dad?” As much as I was desperate to say yes, I had to calmly explain to her that whatever the result, Rovers fans do not leave early…unlike our black & white-supporting brethren who have become mass proponents of the “Wigan Walk” in recent times. I’m not sure she fully understood but I felt better for having given her such an important early lesson.
That said, as soon as the hooter brought our suffering to an end, we were up and out of our seats quicker than Usain Bolt and on the way back to the car.
As a footnote, a couple of hours later, as I sampled the latest cask offering (“Old Speckled Hen”) from the new management of The Neptune Inn, I realised I’d taken abuse from half-a-dozen Hull FC fans since returning to the well-populated pubs in the village. Of those six, none had been to the game. The lunchtime kick-off, Sky showing the game live and the KC’s pricing structure were all to blame for this, apparently.
Then again, having paid £14 for a 5-year-old to watch her team get mullered first time out, I began to wish I’d used one of these as a way to cop out myself.
Those of you wishing to actually read about the game itself can do so here. As for me, somehow a bit of Gene Chandler would seem appropriate… ;-)