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Rugby League

Hull to give fans refunds after play-off horror show at Huddersfield


Hull owner Adam Pearson has apologised to the club’s fans for their play-off horror show at Huddersfield and pledged to refund those who made the trip to West Yorkshire.

Hull shipped 13 tries as part of a  76-18 drubbing which ended their season and raised questions about the future of coach Peter Gentle.

There was no comment on the coaching situation from Pearson yesterday, but the former Hull City chief has pledged to undertake a “significant review” of his club’s first-team set-up, which should at least see the Australian asked what went wrong.

Pearson is also willing to pay back those who witnessed the mauling, saying: “On behalf of the club, I want to apologise unreservedly for the embarrassing performance that was produced in our play-off fixture.

“The obvious failings of such a performance have highlighted why we will now undertake a significant review of all areas and matters involving the first-team squad.

“As a gesture of good will from the club, every supporter who attended the game will receive the admission price of their ticket as a discount when renewing or buying a season pass for 2014.”

Meanwhile, Tony Smith will today carry out his least favourite duty of the Super League season. Like it or not – and he certainly does not – the Warrington coach will be involved in the controversial Club Call procedure, whereby the Wolves get to pick their opposition in the last round of the play-offs before the Old Trafford Grand Final.

The choice comes down to either  Huddersfield or the winners of last night’s contest between those play-off veterans, Leeds and St Helens. But if that choice carries an advantage, Smith is having none of it.

As the most trenchant critic of Club Call, he would rather stay at home on his sofa than dignify the occasion with his presence. “We might go and flip a coin,” said Smith after the 40-20 win over Leeds last week that put his side in pole position.

His point is that Club Call is a gimmick that further complicates an already confusing play-off structure. Many would agree with him, but, if you did have to make the decision, it is an unusually intriguing one.

The common policy among coaches since it was introduced has been to pick the lowest-placed team, so as to try to avoid giving anyone extra motivation. That would mean the reigning champion Rhinos or their recent bridesmaids from St Helens, but there is a different way of looking at it.

Warrington have an outstanding record against the winners of the League Leaders’ Shield. There is even a theory that the Giants’ record-breaking romp against Hull on Thursday night might not be the ideal preparation for stiffer competition.

The Giants’ coach, Paul Anderson, is another who hates the play-off system. After the avalanche of points, he still found time to criticise the delay in finalising their next opponents. “We can’t start to prepare properly  until we know that,” he said.