Supporters' Association

Examiner Reports: May 2016

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Contents

4th
11th
18th
25th

4th

Those of you unlucky enough to not to be at the Cedar Court Hotel on Saturday evening missed a treat.

As you will be aware, Luke Robinson launched his testimonial year with a Gala Dinner.

300 people attended the event and 300 people came away having had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. The food and service were excellent, especially the vegetarian, but let's not go there!

The MC for the event was Pete Emmett. He had a quip for every occasion! He proved the point that you can be funny without being smutty.

Sean O'Loughlin was Robbo's star guest.

During a question and answer session, the following question was put to him: "Why, if you and Luke are such good friends, did you try and take his head off at Murrayfield the other year?".

Sean replied that he knew Robbo was good at throwing a dummy and that he genuinely thought that Luke still had the ball. It was an accident.

Pete turned his back on the audience, fumbled amongst some framed photos, and produced one showing Mr O'Loughlin flattening Mr Robinson who, it was blatantly obvious, did not have the ball!

One of the highlights of the evening was certainly not Luke singing 'Happy Birthday' to Scott Grix and two others who had birthdays that day.

The festivities continued into the early hours thanks to the outstanding efforts of a band called The McCarrons.

Whilst a lot of people contributed to the success of the event, Luke gave special thanks to his wife, Laura, Brian Blacker, and Paul Cribb.

Head over to Galleries.PhotoLens.co.uk for a pictorial rundown of the evening.

The next major event for Luke will be a Sportsman's Dinner on Saturday July 9th.

Whilst effort is being put into the Iron Man testimonial [see that shirts on Facebook's 'Luke Robinson's Testimonial'], let's not forget Jenna Brough's attempts to raise funds for the Steve Prescott Foundation.

Her Curry Night on 17th July is selling out fast. Details can be found on her Facebook page, search for 'Jen Lea Brough'.

On the home front, our 2016 raffle tickets are now on sale. This year we supporting Luke's Testimonial as well as youth rugby in Huddersfield.

We would like some [a lot of!] help to sell them. Contact Dave Calverley for some books [07887 878 425 or da.calverley@PhotoLens.co.uk].

The top two prizes are as last year, Catalans trip and a 1017 season ticket.

11th

Well it was "a belter"!

We all watched a resurgent Giants team flow up and down the pitch like an ever-rippling wave to finally overcome Leeds Rhinos. We are now only 2 games away from another Challenge Cup final appearance.

This is getting real exciting. Watch out Wildcats you are next.

For us watching from the Revell Ward stand across to the Britannia Rescue stand we could hear the fans in fine voice as their songs and chants echoed across the field of play.

Our part of the stand is not so vocal but it is incensed by the referee missing a clear case of opposition offside or rising to its feet to salute a Giants try.

Now we don't want to raise an old argument but at some point during the second half from the Britannia Rescue stand there burst forth that ancient battle-cry of FARTOWN.....FARTOWN.....FARTOWN.

It galvanised the team, sent shivers down the spine and silenced the opposition fans. What an electric moment to be cherished. They may be "Leeds Rhinos" but we are FARTOWN as well as Giants and the club's supporters association is fully behind a team that is rising in confidence and will shortly be rising up the Super League.

We sit close to the opposition dug out alongside where those players who are not playing for their team sit.

Among the ranks were Ryan Hall, Carl Ablett and Danny Maguire. If they had been playing would it have been a different story?

However, thinking about it we realised that we were without Craig Huby, Daniel Smith, Jamie Ellis and Scott Grix. So the match came down to a contest between the younger players and we have to say on the evidence before our eyes our young men are better than their young men.

What a rugby team Huddersfield has and what a team it is going to have in the future.

Finally, part of our trip to Huddersfield is the meeting of the Supporters Association before the game at the Turnbridge WMC.

The beer is good and cheap and they serve trays of black pudding and slices of dripping, which to a Southerner like me is to die for!

Going to the Turnbridge having a drink, eating black pudding (notice I have my priorities right), meeting like-minded fans, enjoying the gossip and rumour is an integral part of the game.

HGSA puts on a lively monthly programme of events normally held at the Turnbridge and if you haven't been before we recommend you give it a try.

18th

So, how does a Catalans virgin describe his first overseas match?

I knew we were staying in a hotel in Spain but I didn't realise it was on the Costa Brava.

And to show this Yorkshire lad's total naivety, I had never heard of Lloret de Mar, let alone that it was where those in search of a good British night out head for!

And was else is there to do in Lloret?

To put it bluntly, nothing!

However, there is lots to see within a short travelling distance.

After flying into Gerona in the early hours, we decided to return the following day to see what the town had to offer.

By chance, it was their flower festival. Colour and aromas were everywhere.

Being mid-week church goers, we decided to check out the local cathedral. If you are of a similar vein and enjoy old buildings, give this one a miss – especially since you have to pay!

A little further up the coast is Tossa de Mar, a quaint, historic town as well as the gaudy touristy bits.

Fancying a boat ride, we took the catamaran ferry for this trip.

It is possible to walk around almost the whole of the medieval walls surrounding the old town. Contained within are cafes, shops, and bars as well as stunning views from the walls themselves.

We went on market day, Thursday. A good chance to buy those traditional holiday presents for the unfortunates left behind in Huddersfield.

Rather than carry around the heavier items all day, we went back later in order to buy them. The only trouble was that the stallholders had all packed away and there was not a trader in sight!

In Tossa we found another church to avoid. Talk about being creepy, this one totally freaked me out!

Next on our agenda was to take the coastal path to Tossa.

Heights not being my favourite subject, several detours were made. The final one took us to the main, busy road into Tossa.

Whilst somewhat scary to walk along, it did mean that we came across a bus stop just as a storm was about to burst. The 10 minute wait only contained 3 minutes worth of flood. Thankfully we did have an umbrella with us – the small one managed to keep most of our bodies dry.

However, the phrase "drowned rats" was most certainly applicable after our walk back to the hotel from the bus station.

A little further south is Blanes, the first town on the Costa Brava, similar to Lloret, but not quite as Anglicised.

There was an enormous marquee on the promenade. It was extremely noisy and, at first glance, full of youngsters. Most definitely a place to avoid.

Avoid we did until mid-afternoon when curiosity took over.

It was a beer tent!! A craft beer festival! And we had managed to avoid it!

We did make up for lost time, though!

And last but not least, there was Barcelona.

Following the advice – and the bodies - of two Scottish ladies who had caught the train to Barcelona before, we got on the train.

The direction of travel immediately indicated our misguided trust.

Thankfully the next station was only 5 minutes away, but the next train was a 40 minute wait.

The new, as yet unfinished, cathedral is somewhat impressive from the outside. We did not venture inside due to the 5 hour queue.

But we did discover the delights of the old cathedral. An interior as good as most British houses of the holy.

We felt like American tourists "doing England in a day" as we walked around. There is far too much to see in half a day.

The oligarchs' marina, the impressive Roman remains, the narrow backstreets [common to everywhere we went], La Place de Catalunya, the majestic buildings, all fully justifying the fact that Barcelona is the capital of Catalunya.

Oh, and there are no public toilets in Barcelona.

And the reason for the trip?

Chris Roberts has already covered that. But just to emphasise, take the two when they are on offer!

And "Thank You" and "Well Done" Emma and Richard Moorhouse for organising such an excellent holiday.

25th

The joys of Newcastle are now a memory – albeit a joyous memory.

The concept and delivery of Magic Weekend is brilliant. The current hosts, both the city and the club, have welcomed us with open arms in a friendly and relaxed manner.

The venue is near enough to reach comfortably in a day, yet far enough to make a weekend of it.

So what should the RFL – or Super League Sole Traders if Mr Koukash gets his way – do next year?

Stick to a tried and tested stadium [most people hope that it is not the Etihad]? Or continue to move around the country, spreading the word of Rugby League?

Locals might not attend the matches in their droves, but they do get first-hand experience of how the games' fans can mingle together without any trouble. They can see families attending games without fear of intimidation.

If we have to move then the Olympic Stadium is the current rumour.

Days trips? Just about. Long weekend? Expensive.

Rugby League is fairly strong in the Midlands. Birmingham is easy to get to and has the transport infrastructure. It falls into the same category as Newcastle for day visits and longer stays.

There are lots of old and new towns that would welcome Magic Weekend. What are your thoughts?

On the downside, we've done it again!

Claret and Gold could be seen all around the stadium.

So what's wrong with that?

Nothing, it showed that we were there in reasonable numbers.

But…

…look where all the Black and Whites were congregated, where all the Cherry and Whites were congregated, where all the Amber and Blues were congregated, where all – you get the picture?

They were all sitting together, creating an incredible atmosphere and lots of noise.

I'm not knocking our vocalists high up behind the sticks, they did their best considering their numbers.

A similar moan amongst fans a few years ago led to most people sitting together at the Etihad. That unofficial organising has fallen by the wayside.

Perhaps we, HGSA, as an organisation have let people down. Perhaps we should have suggested where fans should sit.

We will try and bear that I mind next year.

Robbo's having a Donkey Derby at the Railway [Bradford Road] on Saturday, 7:30 start.

Our next speaker will be one time Examiner Fartown reporter, Ian Laybourn. Hear what he has to say on Tuesday 7th June [7:30, Turnbridge WMC].

Oh, and an outstanding "Well Done" to secretary Trevor Kaye for selling 700, yes, 700 raffle tickets during the Catalans trip. Only 9 300 to go.

Reproduced by kind permission of the Huddersfield Examiner
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