Preview: Leeds vs Hull FC – It’s Super League semi-final time

Play off Rugby – do or die

This Friday sees Hull FC take on Leeds for the third time this season at Headingly. It’s been ten long seasons since we last won on their turf, back to 2007, and this is something we need to address. It could be the swansong for Mahe Fonua and Gareth Ellis as both are leaving us at the end of the season, for sure it’s their last chance to win at Headingly in a black and white shirt.

Team News

Radford has the luxury of naming a full strength side for this match, having a clean bill of health. On our day Hull FC are a great side, some argue the best we have ever had. The selection headache is mainly at centre between Jake Connor and Josh Griffin. Jake offers the unexpected, a player who constantly gets under the skin of the opposition, whereas Josh offers stability and a slightly stronger defensive game.

Leeds have only one major star missing Brett Delaney. They are bidding farewell to both of their half backs Rovers bound Danny McGuire and the retiring Rob Burrow.

Key battles

The battles will be all over the pitch, Hall and Briscoe vs Fonua and Talanoa, I think we just shade that one. Our halfbacks have been “on Fire” this year, Man of Steel contender Kelly had been our ace in the hole, and Marc Sneyd has been unplayable at times.  The retiring Leeds half backs are always a handful raise their game against Hull.

The forward battle is very close but I think we will win it. We just need stop the offloads from Leeds and cut down the silly penalties. Watts and Taylor are showing great power and peaking at the right time. Hull  need to keep a tight hold on Cuthbertson and particularly Parcell  and then Old Trafford will become a reality.

The Black and Whites army are supporting the team to the full with all away tickets snapped up in record time and many more purchasing directly from Leeds. Let the battle commence.

Saying farewell to Gareth and Mahe will be hard, lets postpone it for another week, Fanatic Hull look forwards to joining you all 7.45 on Friday. Come on you Hull.

Teams

Hull Squad: 1. Jamie Shaul, 2. Mahe Fonua, 3. 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, 15. Chris Green, 16. Jordan Thompson 17. Danny Washbrook, 21. Sika Manu, 22. Josh Bowden. 28. Brad Fash.

Leeds squad:  1. Ashton Golding, 2. Tom Briscoe, 3. Kallum Watkins, 4. Joel Moon, 5. Ryan Hall, 6. Danny McGuire, 7. Rob Burrow, 9. Matt Parcell, 10. Adam Cuthbertson 11. Jamie Jones-Buchanan, 12. Carl Ablett, 13. Stevie Ward, 14. Liam Sutcliffe, 16. Brad Singleton, 17. Mitch Garbutt, 18. Jimmy Keinhost, 19. Brett Ferris, 20. Anthony Mullally, 31. Jack Walker.

Prediction

This will be a close one. Hull by 4.

@iantomlinson59

 

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