Heaven and Hull

It was once said that rugby union is the game they play in heaven.

Well in purgatory, they play rugby league.

More specifically, they show constant repeats of Warrington matches.

We wrote that intro after the Hull game and we were going to fuck it off after beating Saints but, if anything, that victory makes it more true.

In many ways, it would’ve been easier had we rolled over against our old mates from Sankey.

A loss against Shit Helens would have most likely seen our chances of even making the top eight disappear.

We could have pretty much wrote this season off and began to look forward to fun, boozy trips to destinations we haven’t been to before in the middle eights while we put 50 points on pub teams.

“We’re Wire rugby,” we would sing on such trips. “We’re taking the piss.”

“We’ll never play you again. Again”

etc etc etc.

The possibilities for terrace banter would have been endless.

We have been shite so far this year, absolutely dog shit, but there have been glimpses of what we know this team is capable of.

The last fifty minutes of rugby against Saints was a prime example of that and you just can’t shake the feeling that if we can turn it on like that for a consistent spell over the next three months – like Saints themselves did last year – then anything could happen.

In short, the victory leaves the most optimistic of us still clinging to the hope of making the top four.

And it is the hope that kills you, isn’t it?

The spell of wins-without-playing-very-well came to an abrupt end in the city of culture at the end of April.

Those who had bothered to make the trek to Kingston-Upon-Hull would have been forgiven for setting off for home after their second try.

Two kicks to the corner, two absolutely embarrassing attempts from Wire to deal with it.

Two tries to the masters of sucking the life of out a game.

Wire hit back, though, and provided the little cold, depressed group in the corner a bit of hope that a comeback was on.

It wasn’t.

Having pulled two tries back thanks to an absolute monster of a line from Westerman to burst over and a typically inch perfect pass from Ratchford to find Doctor Teeth on the wing with enough space that even he couldn’t fuck up touching down, Wire then duly capitulated.

As Hull continued to grind us down in the second half, the Wire fans had to take to abusing a plump ball boy for their amusement.

Lee Radford’s men really play a boring brand of rugby.

As boring as the ‘Humberside/Yorkshire’ debate that always accompanies these games.

(It’s Yorkshire. Hull, East Yorkshire. Humberside doesn’t exist anymore – and when it did, it was only ever an authority, not a county. Get over it.)

But, it’s effective and once the natives had stopped flapping their arms around in protest of Ryan Atkins deliberately trying to dislocate his own shoulder to get Sika Manu sin binned, they were happy enough to bag the two points.

Seven days later, it felt like a case of de ja vu all over again, as the former entertainers of the Super League took a 14-0 lead in the first half.

Without some of our best players – Clark, Westerman, Ratchford and Hill – and one of our worst – Brown – a bit of rag tag thrown together bunch had taken the field in primrose and blue.

Gidley had reverted to full back to accommodate the youthful half back pairing of Livett and Patton, while Rob Burrow impersonators Morgan Smith and Brad Dwyer shared the hooking duties.

Tellingly, the pack, though devoid of Hill, Clark and Westerman, included Cooper, Crosby and Westwood, who all added some grunt and brute force up front.

Wire pulled a couple of scores back before half-time, but unlike last week, came out after the break and turned on the style.

Harvey Livvett ran the show behind a dominant pack – hasn’t the young lad’s career come on leaps and bounds since falling for an outrageous dummy and step by Warrington’s answer to Owen Craigie while playing for Latchford seconds? – as the Wire ran in 36 unanswered points against the old enemy before we let them bag another late consolation.

With the England contingent available for selection again – and no doubt buoyed by their performances in the national jersey – confidence is likely to be sky high ahead of the cup game against the smellies, who come into the game on the back of absolutely fucking abysmal form and even managed to spunk a 22-0 lead over Hull last week.

Which, by our reckoning, means we’ll likely get beat convincingly by the Chemics.

Welcome back to Pies and Piss.

Guaranteed to piss on your chips when you least expect it.

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