For many Hullensians, football will never compare with rugby league. The thirteen man code (as opposed to the fifteen men a side in rugby union) is a fast game that at its best shows an enjoyable momentum on the pitch that few sports can equal.
Hull is a great place to get into rugby league as it is the only city in the country with a proper derby – that of Hull Kingston Rovers (the Red and Whites) versus Hull FC (the Black and Whites). Traditionally support is split by the River Hull running through the city – FC is west and KR east of the river – and families are often a mix of the two, which has given the game a reputation as a friendly derby.
There is an added spice to proceedings now as well, after the events of last season – KR losing a relegation play-off in farcical fashion to go down, just weeks after FC won arguably the greatest game in their history, finally winning the Challenge Cup at Wembley after eight failed attempts. That local lad and former captain Lee Radford coached FC to victory made it all the sweeter (three guesses as to my team!).
With KR aiming to get promoted at the first attempt and FC looking to continue their huge improvement over the last few seasons, now is a fine time to start following the sport. Not only is it a huge part of Hull’s culture – it’s also an exciting way to spend eighty minutes.
(Featured image: Sky Sports)