36 Inches Of Glory

It wasn’t the best game you’ll see this season, but the 2005 Challenge Cup will be remembered for a long time by Hull fans.

Hull secured their first cup win since 1982 after snatching a last minute try to win the match 25-24.

A few random thoughts after watching the game:

Hull is a VERY soft football team. Their defense is very slow to move forwards and they wait for the attacking player to get to them. They are still stuck in an older form of the game that most SL teams are still stuck in. A big, lumbering forward pack that has little impact in attack or defense.

In this game the Leeds got the better of Hull. So how did Hull win?

Hull simply outplayed Leeds in every other area.

While the kicking game of both teams was nothing short of pathetic, Hull had the better of the kicking game and the field position they lost through their forwards was made up through their kicking game.

While Leeds coach Tony Smith refuses to admit it, the decision to play an injured Keith Senior was a terrible decision. That coupled with the fact he left Barrie McDermott out of the side, and he started the game with Danny McGuire on the bench…..Smith has a few questions to answer about his tactics going into this game.

It was probably the worst Leeds performance Ive seen for over a year. The seemed unorganized and lacked direction. Kevin Sinfield was well off his game (Yet he still managed to win the man of the match award!) and Rob Burrow showed he IS NOT a real halfback.

For Hull I thought Nathan Blacklock played well and Motu Tony’s try in the first half was spectacular. Tony is probably the only former NRL player that looks like he could walk straight into an NRL side and keep doing what he does in SL. He is a step faster then anyone else on the field and I think using him as a winger and allowing him to head infield in attack in the best way to use him.

On the opposite side, Ali Lauitiiti is a sad shadow of the player who was once one of the best forwards in the game. He is obviously carrying a bit to much weight, he has lost his power, he is no longer explosive and his footwork is gone. Lauitiiti’s play has fallen to such a point that he makes Willie Poaching look like a superstar.

At the end of the day I was pretty happy Hull won. Its another shot in the arm for the club as it looks to rebuild and it will give Hull fans something to cheer about for the next 12 months.

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