Points For: 502
Points Against: 623
Home Record: W5 L8
Away Record (including Magic weekend): W5 L9
Longest Winning Streak: 5
Longest Losing Streak: 5
Top Points Scorer: Danny Tickle (176)
Top Try Scorer: Craig Hall (10)
Top Tackler: Lee Radford (820)
A bitterly disappointing season for the Airlie Birds, which started with so much promise before simply fading into oblivion. I can’t remember a team falling apart from a position of dominance so early into the season. If Hull looked like being locks to make the playoffs through the first quarter of the season, they were already written off by the halfway point.
It’s hard to believe that going into the final few minutes of their game against Castleford at home, they looked like remaining near the top of the table. Then Brent Sherwin snuck over a drop goal, and their season was never the same from that point on. In fact, it would take Hull around four times as many games to get the same number of wins that they got in the first five weeks. Even worse, Hull KR took over as the top team on Humberside, finishing above FC for the second year in a row and finishing in the top four.
What’s really quite surprising looking at the seasonogram is that they were rarely involved in blowouts either way. Perhaps it should’ve been noted at the time how all their victories at the start of the season were by a fairly small margin (although it’s also worth noting that most of their heavy defeats were to the top sides, which indicates an inability to hang with real quality sides). However, the flaw that seemed most apparent for FC this year was a lack of organization and cohesion, which I suspect is a major factor behind the signing of Sean Long. There was also a lack of firepower at the KC Stadium as well, and I think that it’s telling that Hull’s top try-scorer (Craig Hall) only played in half the games and spend a portion of the season on loan at Widnes.
I think next year Hull might have to take a punt on Hall and try to calm his defensive frailties. He’s not the only potential young star they have either – things might have been different for Hull if Tom Briscoe hadn’t been injured for over half the season. With Long and Craig Fitzgibbon coming in, Hull should get some high-performing veterans who should impart wisdom on the younger generation. Of course, it’s important to keep those players on the field (has any team been more adversely affected by injuries in the last few years?) and that’s what makes me question the signing of so many veterans.