Hull FC thought tooth and nail with Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves, Salford Red Devils and their biggest rivals Hull KR for a play off spot but their play off chances are now over after a defeat to Leeds with a hat-trick from prop Sam Lisone doing the damage.
This was a third defeat in a row after defeats to Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors.
The Wigan defeat was particularly harsh as they lost in golden point after Carlos Tuimavave was sin binned.
He was then banned for two weeks. He is back in time for the game for the clash with Castleford Tigers.
This led to Tony Smith highlighting how this punishment was too severe on BBC Radio Humberside:
“Yeah, yeah. It was unfortunate because he was playing really well before that which was a shame.
“It wasn’t an intended tackle or dirty play, it was just one of those things. It was a pretty severe punishment that he received considering he went off just before extra time against Wigan Warriors at a crucial point of the game and then to receive two matches on top, he has suffered a bit our skipper.
“He is keen to get back out there and help his team.”
Previously, he said:
“Yeah yeah well yes and no I didn’t think it was a sin bin, but it was one of those tackles that bloke lands flat on his back, you know, and we see him all the time. But, you know, they’re the reactions that we get sometimes.
“Our sport’s a little bit over, overcautious at the moment with many of our tackling issues.
“I’d like us to have a look at methods of tackling in terms of not just safety but what looks good for our game.
“I thought we had a few rucks and mauls there today. It absolutely looked like a game at Rugby Union at times and we didn’t practice that very well.”
Asked about the referees’ role in this, he said:
“Both, it’s within the rules and you know, nowadays you’re allowed to pull and tug and hold people up and drive them five to ten metres. A single bloke getting caught by three or four others, it’s very difficult for him to get down on the ground and get the ball down on the ground.
“If you’re being held up, you can’t get to the ground, and then you drag being pushed and dragged, all you can do, and I had to ask my players at halftime to get in there and stop them from being dragged back to their own goal line. So therefore, we’re creating the maul again, or the ruck.”