Gareth Ellis – In the pressure situations Hull FC just haven’t been good enough

Castleford's Matt Cook is tackled by Hull's Danny Houghton during the Black and Whites' costly defeat.
Castleford's Matt Cook is tackled by Hull's Danny Houghton during the Black and Whites' costly defeat.
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If you had gone back three weeks and looked at this scenario and said we needed one win to secure our place in the top-five I’d have been pretty confident we’d do that.

That’s why it is so, so disappointing to find ourselves in the position we now are at Hull FC.

Gareth Ellis

Gareth Ellis

We were chasing second back then but we host St Helens in the final game on Friday sitting in sixth knowing reaching the play-offs is now out of our control.

After that we got beat by a point by Wigan on the first day of August we were still pretty confident.

We defeated Wakefield but then lost to Salford. The week off freshened us up.

But then we got beat by Huddersfield and was almost down to the last chance saloon at Castleford on Thursday, certainly in terms of it all being in our own hands.

However, we failed again. It was just really disappointing. I would never have thought we’d have lost those three games consecutively.

Given the magnitude of that Wheldon Road, the size of the defeat – 44-12 – has been the disappointing thing.

No disrespect to Castleford; I thought they played well and did a really good job on us.

But when we’ve been put under the blowtorch and there’s been a bit of meaning to games, we’ve just not quite come up with the goods. There will be a point this year when we look back over the season and – I don’t know if it was a false position where we were – but I don’t know if we’ve played well enough to be second or even third.

There’s only been a handful of games where we’ve really played well. We had a bit of a run in the middle of the season that catapulted us up but everyone has had their moments where they have had a blip this season.

We’re not the only ones. The time of it, for us, has just not been the best and with the play-off system as it is, this time of year you need to be winning games and playing well.

We’re not. In those pressure situations we’ve not been good enough.

At the minute we’re all talking about how well Salford are playing but they’ve had their moments a few weeks ago when they were getting beat.

It just seems to be the case throughout. There’s only been leaders St Helens who have been good and they’ve dropped off a little, even if they are still winning.

If we were to scrape in to the play-offs it would be brilliant but the team that finished second, equally, could not have any qualms about missing out as there has not been anyone outside of Saints that has been consistently brilliant all year.

Looking back, that Wigan game was a big one because of the position Wigan were in at the time – we could have gone four points clear if we’d have beaten them – so that had a lot of emphasis.

On to Saints now, though, and hopefully the last few weeks have been a good rehearsal for Friday albeit we’re playing the best team in the competition. I’m sure the bookies will have us at a long price to win. Hopefully we can pick ourselves up and have a crack. The best thing we can do is play with a bit of freedom and bit of a smile on our face.

It’s potentially the end so we need to go out with a bang.