Sometimes in any sport the equation is simple and tonight is one of those occasions. It’s win or bust for both sides under the lights and in front of the Sky Sports cameras. After last week’s defeat to Wigan Hull now know that they need to win their last two games to secure a top four spot.
It’s now likely that Wigan will finish third and if Hull slip up again that would open the door for St Helens to steal fourth place thanks to their superior points difference. Both sides suffered heart breaking losses last week. Hull lost Liam Watts to his third red card of the season in massively controvertial circumstances with almost everyone in the Rugby League world disagreeing with referee Robert Hicks. Despite this Hull fought valiantly to lead 22-20 after trailing 20-6 and it looked like they might hold on like they had done against Cas earlier in the season.
Anthony Gelling broke Hull’s spirit finally late on and Wigan added another try on the hooter to make it 22-30. With 13 men apiece Hull would have won but they will have to accept it and get up again for tonight’s huge game. St Helens pinched a win away from Wakefield last week after a late Scott Grix error. Wakefield dominated the game throughout and deserved to win so it was a hammer blow to lose the way they did and they are now in the same boat as Hull. Lose tonight and their season is over.
It’s sure to be a nerve jangling game for both sides. We encourage all Hull FC fans to get to the KCOM and roar the lads on in such a massive game and give Gareth Ellis, Mahe Fonua and Steve Michaels a fitting KCOM sendoff.
Where will the game be won and lost?
It’s going to be a battle royal in the forwards tonight. Both of these clubs have massive forward packs who will be going at it hammer and tongs tonight to try and set a platform for their half backs. Both clubs have similar half back partnerships with Liam Finn and Marc Sneyd guiding their team around the pitch complemented by the mavericks Jacob Miller and Albert Kelly. Whichever forward pack sets the best platform may well see their side go on to win the game.
Liam Watts has avoided suspension which is a huge bonus and he will be relishing going up against Wakefield’s huge props Anthony England and David Fifita. Scott Taylor will be up for the fight too along with Josh Bowden so it’s sure to be an explosive forward battle. NRL import Tyler Randell is one to look out for the hooker was excellent last week against Saints.
Liam Watts has escaped suspension after his red card last week and remains in the squad. Gareth Ellis and Steve Michaels also return from suspension while Carlos Tuimavave is set to return from injury. The only players set to miss out for Hull are Chris Green and Fetuli Talanoa.
Hull FC loanee Dean Hadley who has had an impressive spell at Wakefield is suspended after being found guilty of dangerous contact against St Helens.
Hull Squad: 1. Jamie Shaul, 2. Mahe Fonua, 2. Carlos Tuimavave, 4. Josh Griffin, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 6. Albert Kelly, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Scott Taylor, 9. Danny Houghton, 10. Liam Watts, 12. Mark Minichiello, 13. Gareth Ellis, 14. Jake Connor, 16. Jordan Thompson, 17. Danny Washbrook, 19. Steve Michaels, 21. Sika Manu, 22. Josh Bowden, 28. Brad Fash.
Wakefield Squad: Chris Annakin, Tinirau Arona, Joe Arundel, Matty Ashurst , Mason Caton-Brown, Anthony England, David Fifita, Liam Finn, Scott Grix, James Hasson, Keegan Hirst, Craig Huby, Ben Jones-Bishop, Danny Kirmond, Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Tyler Randell, Bill Tupou, Kyle Wood