HULL FC fans certainly love some self-deprecating humour. And don’t they need it?
When Wigan Warriors’ young full-back Lewis Tierney strode through for a thrilling 80m try inside just three minutes last night, their response was instant: “You’re not so special, we lose every week.”
It brought smiles to the faces, but there were few laughs by the end when the full carnage was surveyed following yet another lacklustre and thoroughly disappointing display.
Lee Radford’s side, admittedly bereft of numerous first-team personnel due to injury, went on to concede another nine tries as the champions and new Super League leaders survived some early scares to ease to a win that was just too comfortable for this level.
Realistically, the humiliating defeat ends any lingering hopes the East Yorkshire club had of reaching the play-offs, especially given eighth-placed Widnes Vikings were, at the same time, recovering from their own slump to end Warrington Wolves’ 10-match winning run in stunning style.
But that is of no comfort to long-suffering Hull fans who, now without a win in five outings, must surely be hoping the arrival of Leon Pryce and Marc Sneyd in 2015 can finally bring some semblance of a team together.
Hull, who gave a debut to teenage centre Jack Logan after Kirk Yeaman failed a fitness test, actually responded quickly to that early setback when Fetuli Talanoa capitalised after Josh Charnley made a hash of trying to deal with Jordan Abdull’s grubber, another youngster playing given Richard Horne was unfit.
They were bright and enthusiastic for a spell with nervous Wigan the exact opposite.
However, Hull failed to make the most of their hosts’ erratic start, illustrated perfectly when Radford’s side forced a drop-out only to see Tom Lineham let it bounce into touch on halfway.
There were countless such basic errors as the night went on and, eventually, it was just a matter of how many tries Wigan would score.
After Talona gifted them a drop-out and then missed a tackle, Charnley was allowed to atone for his earlier mistake in the 27th minute and George Williams – the young stand-off with the first of his hat-trick – and Matty Smith, following a brilliant Sean O’Loughlin pass, ensured it was 22-4 at the break.
The second half was then dominated by Shaun Wane’s side as Hull went on to endure the biggest loss of Radford’s reign.
Sam Powell, Williams (2), Dominic Manfredi (2) and Scott Taylor all profited, Smith finishing with eight goals, as the spiritless visitors capitulated, their only response Liam Watts’s try, improved by Jordan Rankin.
Hooker James Cunningham returned from his loan spell at London Broncos but had little impact and Hull, who host in-form Castleford Tigers on Thursday, were left in disarray once more.
They will drop to 12th if Salford avoid defeat at Hull KR tomorrow and they can have few arguments with that position. They desperately need captain Gareth Ellis to return from injury and provide some leadership but this campaign is, again, a write-off.
News had filtered through at the DW Stadium last night that Hull legend Tony Dean had passed away earlier in the evening.
A gifted scrum-half who starred alongside David Topliss in the famed 1982 Challenge Cup final replay win at Elland Road after missing out to Kevin Harkin at Wembley, Dean was one of the sport’s true characters.
He also featured for the Airlie Birds that same year against the mighty Kangaroos when they almost defeated Australia’s revered ‘Invincibles’ – Wally Lewis, Peter Sterling et al – at The Boulevard.
Dean, who played with Castleford and Hunslet, too, died at the Prince of Wales Hospice in Pontefract with his family by his side following a long battle with prostate cancer.
The archetypal N0 7 passed away at 7.07pm, the sort of irony which he would undoubtedly have found amusing.
Hull fans, at least, could reminisce with memories of Dean and his star-studded peers as they departed Wigan last night but this current side is so far away from ever emulating such feats.
Wigan Warriors: Tierney; Charnley, Gelling, Sarginson, Manfredi; Williams, Smith; Clubb, Powell, Flower, Hughes, Farrell, O’Loughlin. Substitutes: Taylor, Burke, Bateman, James.
Hull FC: Shaul; Lineham, Whiting, Logan, Talanoa; Abdull, Rankin; Bowden, Houghton, Green, Westerman, Hadley, Watts. Substitutes: Cunningham, Paea, Palea’aesina, Thompson.
Referee: Richard Silverwood (Mirfield).