Author: hull1975

We’ve Met Before – Salford Away

We take a trip down memory lane to revisit some of our recent trips to Salford.

Salford 35 Hull 22 – 12th July 2014

Salford 18 Hull 24 – 13th April 2013

Salford 24 Hull 22 22nd February 2012

Salford 16 Hull 32 13th May 2011

Salford 14 Hull 18 25th April 2009


Crooks Out – Tahu In?

When Hull FC supremo Adam Pearson announced the ‘Club Hull’ ethos following the appointment of Lee Radford 12 months ago, it was certainly met with some skepticism in this camp. The idea of a Super League club pulling together for the good of the community and embracing the ideals of the city is great on paper, but as we have seen in the past campaign, probably means very little in reality.


Unfortunately, that ‘Club Hull’ idea is likely to be challenged even more following the events which are unfolding at the KC Stadium as we speak.

Ben Crooks, 2013’s best young player in Super League, has been allowed to depart for pastures new, a career in the NRL. Admittedly the 21-year-old has struggled to repeat his form of last year, but has he been given a fair crack of the whip?

In his place, if the grapevine is to be believed, is NRL legend and duel code international Timana Tahu, a player of undoubted distinction, but approaching his 34th birthday, not a player with many more scorching runs or big hits left in his game.

Radford refused to confirm or deny the rumours in the Hull Daily Mail, but Tahu certainly fits the bill as the FC coach looks to bring in yet another centre-cum-second-row.

“What I’ll say is I am looking for another Setaimata Sa type of player who can play centre and second row for us,” Radford said whilst at the same time remaining coy about the true identity of the player in question.

Radford’s recruitment for 2015 is certainly following a trend, the acquisition of Leon Pryce, alongside the signing of Sa and other physical units suggests he may be attempting to recreate something of that all-conquering Bradford side of the early 2000s.

It remains disappointing however that the option of bringing in Tahu came about due to the departure of Crooks, a player who if he gets his physique and, maybe more importantly, his head right, could go on to be one of the great English backs, and yet another case of ‘the one who got away’ for long suffering FC fans.


RFL Reveal New Structure For 2015 – How will it affect Hull FC?

The RFL have revealed their long awaited restructure plans for the 2015 season and as expected their are quite a number of surprises. Bonus points anyone? Based on this season’s current league positions, FC would be battling it out in the ‘Qualifiers’ with the prospect of a ‘Million Dollar Game’ for relegation. What are your thoughts on the restructure, good or bad?


2015 – A New Era

The 2015 season promises to be the most exciting in living memory. The changes to the structure of the competitions will ensure that every minute, of every match, in every competition matters.

The return of promotion and relegation in a format that is financially sustainable should ensure fans of the sport are entertained from February to October, with an exciting season punctuated by a series of world-class events commencing with the World Club Challenge and finishing at Old Trafford with the Super League Grand Final.

Rugby League season structure FAQs

Q. Why is the competition restructuring taking place?

A. The fundamental purpose of the new structure is to make Rugby League’s professional competitions more exciting, by restoring promotion and relegation in a sustainable manner.

Q. What will the leagues be called in 2015?

A. In the regular season, the First Utility Super League and Kingstone Press Championship will retain their current names – the only change will be that the third tier competition will become Kingstone Press League 1.

Q. How many clubs will be in each competition?

A. Super League and the Championship will each feature 12 teams and Kingstone Press League 1 will comprise 14 clubs.

Q. How will the identity of the clubs in all three competitions be determined?

A. At the end of the 2014 regular season the bottom two clubs in Super League will be relegated to create a 12-team competition. At the same time, the bottom five clubs in the Championship will be relegated, and the Championship One winners will be promoted to create a 12-team Championship.

The five relegated Championship clubs and the eight remaining Championship Once clubs will be joined by new entrants Coventry Bears to create a 14-team League 1.

Q. How will the new competitions work for Super League and the Championship?

A. The 12 Super League clubs play each other twice, home and away, during the regular season (22 fixtures) plus one fixture at Magic Weekend. The 12Championship clubs will also play 23 matches, home and away plus one fixture at the Summer Bash.

After playing 23 fixtures, the 24 Super League and Championship clubs will split into three groups – the Super 8s – based on league positions. The top eight will continue as Super League, the middle eight will be the Qualifiersand the third eight will be the Championship Shield.

Q. How will the Super 8s work?

A. Clubs will each play seven fixtures on a league basis.

Clubs which have performed strongest in their respective competitions in the regular season will be rewarded with four fixtures as follows: the top four Super League clubs will play four home matches; in the Qualifiers, the team finishing 9th and 10th in Super League and the top two teams from the Championship will have four home matches; and in the Championship Shield, clubs finishing the regular Championship season in 5th to 8th place will have four home fixtures.

In Super League and Championship Shield, the competing clubs will carry over the points and scoring records from the regular season into the Super 8s. The Qualifiers will start with zero points because the eight clubs are drawn from two different competitions.

Q. What happens after clubs have played seven matches in the Super 8s?

A. The top four clubs in Super League will go into the play-offs: 1st v 4th and 2nd v 3rd. The winners of those two matches will contest the Super League Grand Final. All eight Super League clubs are guaranteed top flight status for the following season.

In the Qualifiers, the top three clubs at the conclusion of the Super 8s are also guaranteed Super League status the following season. The 12th place in Super League for the following season will be determined by the Million Pound Game, a play-off between the 4th and 5th-placed clubs played at the home of the 4th-placed club.

In the Championship Shield, the top four clubs enter a play-off, 1st v 4th and 2nd v 3rd, with the winners contesting the Championship Shield final.

The bottom two teams (7th and 8th) in the Championship Shield will be relegated to League 1.

Q. How will the new structure work for League 1?

A. The 14 League 1 clubs will each play 22 games – 11 home and 11 away, playing each other once and nine teams twice with fixtures scheduled on a geographical basis. At the end of the regular season 1st will play 2nd with the winner promoted to the Championship as champions. The loser of that match will join the teams which finished 3rd, 4th and 5th in a play-offs series as follows: loser of the promotion decider v 5th, and 3rd v 4th. The winners of those semi-finals will contest a play-off final to determine the second promotion place.

In addition, a League 1 Cup competition will be reintroduced in 2015 consisting of 16 teams – the 14 League 1 clubs plus the 2014 National Conference League Grand Final winners and the 2014 RFL Conference Challenge Cup winners. The competition will be a straight knockout with the early rounds played at the start of the season. The first round will be an open draw grouped by geography with a straight open draw thereafter.

It is proposed that the final will be played at the ‘home team’ venue rather than a neutral venue but this is still to be confirmed.

Q. Has the sport considered straight promotion and relegation, a system which operates in football?

A. Rugby League has previously used straight promotion and relegation between Super League and the Championships, however the gulf between the competitions was too large. To compete in Super League, a club needs to have a squad of exclusively full-time players backed up by a fully professional coaching and administrative staff; Championship clubs have been by necessity semi-professional in nature, both on and off the field.

Making the transition from one to the other is a difficult and protracted process and, as history demonstrated, unachievable over the course of a few short months.

Q. How do you know that this is going to work?

A. The proposals were based on studies performed by KPMG, and after lengthy consultation with fans, clubs, players and broadcasters. There is also already plenty of evidence to indicate that the imminent return of promotion and relegation is having a positive impact on the sport. Over halfway through the regular season, this is the closest First Utility Super League campaign ever seen with just a couple of points between the top five clubs and 12 clubs in contention for the play-offs. In the Kingstone Press Championship, the battle to finish in the top nine places (and thereby avoiding relegation) is cut-throat whilst in Championship One the title race is more intense than ever before.

Q. How will the new structure impact on the Challenge Cup?

A. The 2015 Challenge Cup will be aligned to the new competition structure with the main change being that the eight clubs contesting the Super League play-offs in 2014 (and Super 8s from 2015 onwards) will enter the Challenge Cup at the sixth round stage.

The 14 League 1 teams will enter at the third round stage, joining the 10 survivors from the 40 clubs invited to participate from the first round (12 ties)

The 12 Championship clubs will then enter in Round 4, joining the 12 third round winners (12 ties).

The bottom four Super League teams enter in Round 5, joining the 12 fourth round winners (eight ties).

The top eight Super League teams enter in Round 6, joining the eight fifth round winners (eight ties)

The sixth round is followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final at Wembley Stadium.

The 2015 Challenge Cup final will be played on the Saturday of the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Q. How will the financial distributions change to facilitate the return of meaningful and sustainable promotion and relegation?

A. The change in structure has seen a significant increase in the central funding available to those clubs relegated from Super League in 2014 and the top clubs in the Championship in 2014. This should allow for more full-time professional clubs in the championship competition in 2015, ensuring that the gap between the teams in the Super League and the Championships is narrower than ever before.

Q. Will the clubs relegated from Super League receive a ‘parachute payment’?

A. No, but there is increased annual central funding to those clubs relegated from Super League in 2014.

Q. What changes will be made to the salary caps for Super League and Championship clubs?

A. There will be no change to the Super League Salary Cap Regulations in 2015.

The Championship Salary Cap regulations are substantially changed for 2015. The major changes to the Regulations are:

  • The move to a “live cap system”. This represents a significant change from the approach taken under previous salary cap regulations, in that compliance is now to be monitored on a ‘live’ and ongoing basis, enabling breaches to be investigated, determined and sanctioned without delay.
  • The increase in the Finite Salary Cap to £1 million.

Q. Will Championship matches and Qualifiers involving Championship clubs be broadcast live on television?

A. At this stage it is intended that the Summer Bash and one match from every week of the Qualifiers will be broadcast live.

Q. When and where will Magic Weekend be played in 2015?

A. Negotiations over the staging of Magic Weekend in both 2015 and beyond are ongoing with a number of potential venues. The unique atmosphere that the Super League event brings has made it very attractive to destination cities. An announcement on the future of Magic Weekend is imminent.

Q. When and where will the Summer Bash be played in 2015?

A. The Summer Bash will take place at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, over the weekend of Saturday May 23 and Sunday May 24, 2015 with three Championship fixtures on each day. The Summer Bash will bring the same party atmosphere to Blackpool that Super League fans have enjoyed at Magic Weekend over the last few years with live music, a Fanzone and on-pitch entertainment.

Q. Will Championship and League One clubs still be able to enter into dual registration partnerships with Super League clubs?

A. A three-way working party with representatives from Super League, Championship and the community game has been formed to look into how best to protect the integrity of the leagues whilst ensuring that there are minimal barriers to stop players having regular competitive playing opportunities.

Q. Will bonus points continue to be awarded in both the Championship and League One?

A. With annual promotion and relegation restored, there is a recognition that all teams need to use the same points scoring system. The sport currently operates two scoring systems with two points for a win and one for a draw in Super League, and three points, two for a draw and one for losing by 12 points or less in Championship and Championship One. One of these will be adopted across all three competitions from 2015.

A consultation process is currently underway to see which would be the best option: the process will take into account the views of players, coaches, administrators, broadcasters, commercial partners, other stakeholders in the game and, most importantly, the fans. Leeds Metropolitan University are undertaking a piece of research to obtain the views of fans from both Super League and Championships that will feed into the decision-making process which is expected to come to a conclusion before the end of this year.

Catalans 20 Hull FC 16

A late fight-back was not enough for Lee Radford’s side as Hull succumbed in sweltering conditions in Perpignan.


Speaking after the game, Hull FC Coach Lee Radford said: “I thought uncharacteristic errors probably put us on the back foot and didn’t allow us to build any pressure.

“Although we had two tries disallowed, we just couldn’t build any consistent pressure in the first half.

“We can’t sulk, we’ve got to get it out of our systems and build for Wakefield next week.”


Tries: Escare, Oldfield, Garcia, Millard Goals: Bosc 2

HULL FC (4) 16
Tries: Ellis, Yeaman, Shaul Goals: Rankin 2

Catalans: Escare, Oldfield, Pomeroy, Duport, Millard, Pryce, Bosc, Simon, Henderson, Lima, Taia, Whitehead, Baitieri.
Replacements: Bousquet, Mounis, Garcia, Williams.
Hull FC: Shaul, Lineham, Crooks, Yeaman, Talanoa, Rankin, Horne, Paea, Heremaia, Bowden, Ellis, Tuson, Westerman.
Replacements: Paleaaesina, Thompson, Hadley, Sa.
Referee: Phil Bentham (RFL).


Pearson: Salford Sums Don’t Add Up

Hull FC Chairman Adam Pearson has admitted that he is keeping a close eye on the spending levels of rival Super League club Salford Devils after they missed out on another high profile signing to Marwan Koukash’s ambitious outfit.

adam pearson

The Airlie Birds had long been linked with a move for former Hull KR man Michael Dobson, but after the half-back was announced as a signing for Salford in 2015, Pearson is beginning to question how long the Devils can sustain such spending levels under the salary cap.

Pearson admitted that he put in a huge offer for Dobson, the second time in recent years that the Airlie Birds have courted the Australian, but the 28-year-old will now link-up with another long-time Black and Whites target, Rangi Chase, at the AJ Bell Stadium.

“We put in a huge offer to Dobson and we would have really liked him to come here because he is exactly the kind of player, and the right kind of kicking game that we wanted, which is what we have missed,” Pearson said on

“He’s gone to Salford and we will see where that takes him, we’ll see if he gets a pass off Rangi Chase next year. They have probably got £600k wrapped up in them half-backs and another £300k in two outside-backs so it is going to be interesting to see how they squeeze all that in to the cap.

“We are looking at it really closely. If you have got £900k wrapped up in six or seven players then that leaves you with £1m for 20… so how does that work? It’ll be interesting to see how that unfurls, we are a club that spends just above cap every year with our allowances and I know now that Wigan and Leeds are well below them so we have got some management of our cap to do and that’s where Motu [Tony] has got to do some work in the summer.

“But to keep accumulating £200k players in one squad just doesn’t add up, so at some point there needs to be some questions asked.”

The Airlie Birds are currently looking to recruit a new Financial Controller at the KC Stadium and some have been cheeky enough to suggest that perhaps Pearson could focus his attentions on swooping for Salford’s finance man, as he is clearly a man with considerable talents when it comes to balancing the books.

Meanwhile, Catalans’ Scott Dureau is the latest half-back to be linked with a move to Hull FC. The former Albert Goldthorpe Medal winner has endured a torrid time with injuries of late and has been replaced in the Catalans line-up by recent NRL recruit Sam Williams. But with Gareth Carvell’s move to Castleford, some have suggested that Lee Radford may be making some space on the salary cap to bring in some new blood.


Widnes Vikings 6 Hull FC 56

Hull made it two from two on the road with an impressive victory at Widnes. Lee Radford’s side put the Vikings to the sword with hat-tricks for both Callum Lancaster and Jamie Shaul.


Widnes: Hanbury; Owens, Dean, Marsh, Flynn; Brown, Gilmore; Johnson, Clarke, Kavanagh, Tickle, Galea, Leuluai.
Replacements: Allen, Joseph, White, Cahill.
Hull FC: Shaul; Talanoa, Crooks, Yeaman, Lancaster; Horne, Rankin; Paea, Houghton, Watts, Ellis, Tuson, Westerman.
Replacements: Paleaaesina, Heremaia, Thompson, Sa.
Attendance: 5,014
Referee: Matthew Thomason (RFL).