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Rugby League

Hull Kingston Rovers 14-10 Hull FC

An inept knock on by Airlie Bird bete noir Paul Cooke from the kick off provided one of very few positive moments for us Black and White fans as Rovers deservedly prevailed in the 200th City Derby.

It was another nervy and error strew match played on a very slippery Millennium Stadium surface which had the roof shut and the pitch heavily watered in order to withstand the six game weekend programme which some bright spark at the RFL had devised to compensate the Welsh location for the loss of the Challenge Cup Final.

“Millennium Magic” proved not to rub off in this game and it much have been a huge turn off for the SKY audience.

FC simply were not at the races and only tries either side of the break from Raynor and Tickle kept Black and White hopes alive.

Rovers shrugged off the naïve tag by playing percentage, street smart football especially in the first half which saw a savvy Paul Cooke grubber kick put Aizue across the whitewash.

The former FC stand off also had a hand in Rovers’ second try when he linked with Stanley Gene (one of my favourite all time players) to put Ben Cockayne over, ably assisted by Mr. Silverwood who spoilt an otherwise impressive display by obstructing Danny Tickle at the vital moment.

It was an oddly flat performance from Hull FC, but that is to take nothing away from a solid Rovers performance, stoic in defence and sensible in attack which must give hope to Robins fans that they can beat the drop.

I find Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

one of the real stars of the internet and the voice of the ordinary punter unencumbered by Corporate censorship.

The idea is that anyone can contribute and article about anything in order to build up a vast on line Encyclopaedia and there are now over 1.5 million such pieces there for perusal.

It’s strength lies in the option for anyone to make sensible edits, thus when I saw an otherwise admirable article on Paul Cooke end with the accusation that he will be remembered by FC fans as a “Judas”, I exercised my right to change the piece, so it now reads;

“It now seems likely he will be remembered more for the saga of his transfer than for his contributions to Hull FC on the field, which included scoring the winning try in the 2005 Challenge Cup and reaching the 2006 Grand Final for the first time in the Club’s history.”

I hope that is a better summary of how we in this City feel about the matter.

My take on the saga is thus;

I believe Paul Cooke is not a malicious type but has just been woefully advised and easily led by those who should know better.

Not many Black and Whites begrudge an East Hull lad wanting to play for the Club where his heart clearly lies. What they most certainly DO object to is the squalid manner in which the transfer was completed.

Even if Paul did not ( as he claims) actually sign a contract, the mere reality of his playing for Hull FC, and accepting his wages make for a de facto contact being in place and the Club would have every right to block his registration with Rovers.

The fact that no such blocking move arose from Walton Street suggests that Hull FC do not wish the RFL poking around their financial arrangements, leading anyone with half a brain to conclude that the Airlie Birds are up to shenanigans regarding the Salary Cap.

But what angers most FC fans the most is the fact that the Club stood by Cooke in the wake of his conviction for assault in a City Centre pub last year, publicly backing the boy to put his house in order and learn the lessons in his private life. Loyalty is a two way street.

Whilst Rovers have not covered themselves in glory regarding this issue, I would expect them to do nothing less if I were a Robins follower. It’s a results business, and Mr. Cooke, despite obvious weaknesses is a mighty fine larker.

The fact that this game took place away from the pressure cooker (yikes, what a crap pun) may have proved a blessing in disguise in hindsight, and I hope the matter is not referred to again. Fat chance

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About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.

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