Big point to prove emerging from isolation - Gareth Ellis column

Testing time: HUll FC in action against Salford, before six players tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: SWPixTesting time: HUll FC in action against Salford, before six players tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: SWPix
Testing time: HUll FC in action against Salford, before six players tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: SWPix
The four walls of my house and my back garden are as far as I’ve got for the best part of two weeks so I’m looking forward to returning to training at Hull tomorrow.

It has been tough being in isolation – one of the toughest things I’ve done – and, although I’ve got a garden, it’s not even been great weather either.

Luckily for me, I have got a treadmill and a bike in the garage so I’ve been able to do a few bits of training. But some of the lads won’t have had that. I hope some neighbour somewhere has got some film of one of them running around, doing up-downs in their gardens, so we can get hold of it and have a laugh.

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It will be a strange preparation, then, as we get ready for the game against Hudddersfield Giants on Sunday.

But I think the main thing for us is more the mental preparation as much as the physical one. The mental attitude to react to that defeat against Salford a couple of weeks ago – after how we let ourselves down – should play as big a part as anything, bigger than the lack of preparation we are going to have.

It was great to hear on Friday we have had no more positive tests and everyone else is negative. We’ve been getting tested pretty much twice per week since all this started after the Salford loss. It is reassuring particularly the early ones when we started to hear about some of the lads starting to get a few symptoms; every day you were thinking ‘am I going to wake up with something?’ But every negative test you got after that was a real boost almost now to the point where you’re thinking you must be the most clear bloke in the country as we’ve had six tests so far.

We’ll get tested again before we go into training tomorrow.

But obviously testing only protects everyone else; we need to make sure we do all the right things, stick to all the rules and regulations around the training ground. That risk will always be there.

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But we just have to limit it as much as possible and try and put it all to the back of our minds and concentrate on playing rugby again as that’s the bit where we let ourselves down in the one game we’ve had a chance to show what we’re about.

We get another chance now after a couple of weeks without a game and hopefully we can put in that performance to start feeling better about ourselves.

Because it has been a tough couple of weeks coming off the back of that loss against Salford.

At Huddersfield, Simon Woolford has started to assemble a team that is something more in his mould.

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The addition of Aidan Sezer has made a really big difference to them in how he controls things and his kicking game and he takes his team around the field which is really important for any team.

The importance of that type of half was evident in Saturday’s Challenge Cup game as well.

Although James Maloney, of Catalans Dragons, wasn’t involved in everything against Wakefield he was involved in everything.

By that I mean, just because he wasn’t getting his hands on the ball all the time doesn’t mean to say he wasn’t dictating play, telling people what to do, where to be and where to run.

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That’s a big part of the game now, I think, because it is so off the cuff; you do need that bloke in there just steering things around. Aidan Sezer is that guy for Huddersfield.

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Thank you

James Mitchinson

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