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LewisJ Report: To Hull and Back

Cru beaten at Hull KR

By Lewis J
March 17 2009

Crusaders fan Lewis gives us his ‘fans-day’ account of the 48-18 reverse at Hull Kingston Rovers on Sunday. A small band of loyal travelling fans made the 500 round mile trip to watch Cru suffer yet another Super League defeat. However, that didn’t stop Lewis enjoying his trip up to Humberside as Cru ran over three tries and impressed a few locals in the process.

Onto the coach I got at 8.25 with the other few hardy souls that were about to make the near 500 mile or so round trip to Hull to see the Hull KR-Celtic Crusaders clash. A bit of Rugby League World Cup on DVD was followed by The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. There aren't many places you can go and fit two full length DVD's in on the way there but with Hull being such a trek this was one such trip. A few cans later and we were at the services in Derbyshire. A quick stop and a bite to eat and we were off again getting into Hull around about 1.15.

The kind people in the club house made us welcome enough and even put on the Cardiff City-Bristol City game on Sky after the request of a few of our lot, turning off their own re-runs of past wins against St Helens and the like into the bargain. Now it wasn't a wide screen TV by any means and only a few inches square but the gesture was more than you would get at most other grounds. All was going well with a few more drinks going down and a good natter with the locals which was spoilt by a Bristol City goal on TV. We watched the football up until the 80th minute but with the rugby about to kick off we made our way into the ground a stone's throw from the club door.

Our fans were situated behind the posts at one end in a temporary seated stand, the kind of which you see at golfing events like the Ryder Cup. There was no roof and I feared rain but, as it was, none came though there was a bit of a biting wind blowing towards us from the North Sea. I couldn't help thinking something like this stand would be ideal at the open end at the Brewery Field, maybe for away fans, children or a mixture of the two like this one seemed to be. To the left of us was a one tiered wedge of covered terracing that houses the majority and most vocal section of the home support. Very loud they were at times too. ‘When the Red, Red Robin' and ‘Come on you reds!' among the songs aired by the locals. The stand to the right was smaller in length than the terracing across the pitch and was slightly away from the pitch with the front row of seating some 15 feet or so above pitch level. There was a little terracing beneath this sloping up from pitch side, which also had home fans crammed in. At the opposite end to us was a terracing that went in an arch away from the pitch much in the style of a running track. The few fans on this terracing seemed miles from the action though. It makes you wonder why you would want to watch a game some 20 yards or so from the action at virtually the same level as the players when there were seats available at our end but it takes allsorts I suppose.

Anyway, the game started and Crusaders began well and took the lead when Peter Lupton finished off a flowing move with Josh Hannay converting. A bit of a singing from the away following was met with a chant of ‘sheep, sheep, sheep sh***ers' from the KR faithful. A song which the away fans delighted in joining in with. The reaction to seeing Welshman and women joining in with a chant that is meant as a dig at us never fails to amuse and some of their fans commented on it after the game. KR then hit us with two tries, the first of which seeing 3 hand offs of Quinn before Welham made it to the line. Their second was scored by Fozzard right in front of the Crusaders fans to open up a six point gap. The fans feared the worse after our promising start. The Crusaders would not lie down, however, and hit back with a try from Darren Mapp, again converted by Hannay. We almost made it to half time with all things level and with a bit of luck might have even taken a lead into the break. It was not to be, though, as a bit of lax defending and the ball bouncing around like a pin ball moments before half time saw KR score in the corner to take a 16-12 lead into the break. Most of the first half we had matched them and I was optimistic going into the second half.

In the second half this optimism ebbed away and KR seemed to cross the line at will, virtually every attack they had they looked like scoring and took their opportunities well. The only Crusader positives of note in the second period being a Matty Smith try at the death and a huge hit by Adam Peek on a KR forward late on that showed them we were still putting it about and got quite a cheer from the away following although it was an empty cheer in that we knew the game had gone away from us a long time before this. We clapped the players off at the end and all seemed to want to get into the dressing room, but hats off to Damien Quinn who was notable in his efforts to applaud the supporters that had travelled. I know the players will have been disappointed in the second half display but a little appreciation of the fans who had travelled so far to see them would not have hurt much.

After the game we went back to the club bar that we were in beforehand and a good hour or so was spent having a chat to the locals with the occasional conversation about FC or scum as the locals like to call them. All was made better by the bloke on the door telling me Cardiff City had equalised at Bristol 2 minutes from time in the earlier football match. A lot of the KR fans in attendance were very complimentary about the team and liked the brand of rugby we played with. They were sure the first win for Crusaders was not far away. I hope they are right.

Time flew after the game and the time came to get back on the coach and head back. All in all a very welcoming club with a great set of fans who are how rugby league fans should be. They do battle for 80 minutes and are very partisan in their support of the team whilst the game is on but before and after you could not wish to meet a nicer bunch. The coach trip back was as hassle free as that on the way and with the usual mixture of sleeping, drinking and singing it finished off another very enjoyable trip watching the Celtic Crusaders away from home. I can't say enough for Hull KR as a club and its fans and I will certainly be back for the Challenge Cup game.

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LewisJ Report: To Hull and Back
Celtic Crusaders (IP Logged)
17/03/2009 12:35
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Re: LewisJ Report: To Hull and Back
stevec (IP Logged)
17/03/2009 13:18
Sounds good, almost want to book my Challenge Cup ticket now....

Re: LewisJ Report: To Hull and Back
40:20 (IP Logged)
23/03/2009 20:14
excellent report on a good day out !

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