Winless Warrington Wolves play host to high flying Hull on Saturday afternoon. The last time they met determined who would claim the League Leaders Shield and the time before that was the Challenge Cup Final. Though less is riding on the outcome of this game, both coaches will be desperate for the win. Tony Smith will want to get rid of the wolves at the door (pun intended) and Lee Radford will want to keep up the momentum going into a tough month of fixtures.
Last Time Out
Warrington visited St Helens where, after a scoreless first thirty minutes, quick fire tries from Zeb Taia, Jack Owens, and Adam Swift shocked the Wolves and they went in 18-0 down at the break. A try from Kurt Gidley gave Warrington hope but that was as good as it got and they were put to the sword with a penalty, two tries, and a cheeky drop goal from the returning Matty Smith.
Hull went to an understrength Wigan where, despite the Warriors injuries, it was always going to be a close encounter. FC quickly took the lead with a try from Steve Michaels, a try of the month contender from Albert Kelly, and one more from Jake Connor to go in 18-0 up at the break. A try from Jamie Shaul straight after half time made it 22-0. Hull then put the cue on the rack and an impressive display from Wigan’s youngsters brought them back into the game, with three of the Warriors four tries coming in a hectic eight minute period. At 22-20 Wigan had the chance to level the scores but a missed conversion meant the Black & Whites walked away with the points.
Hull will be without reigning Man of Steel Danny Houghton and it will be up to utility forward Danny Washbrook to fill the void. He did the job well against Wigan but will be up against England hooker Daryl Clark for this encounter.
Both sides welcome back big forwards this week with Liam Watts returning from a four game suspension for Hull and George King returning from injury for Warrington. Having a ‘rusty’ prop won’t be good for either team so both players need a big return.
In the halves, Kevin Brown and Kurt Gidley are slowly starting to gel. If they click it will be a tough encounter for Hull. Equally, if Albert Kelly and Marc Sneyd continue their good partnership it will be hard for Warrington to claim their first win of the season.
This is a really tough one to call and it really could go either way. Warrington are too good a team not to come right eventually and this could be the game to do it. Hull are in good form and Albert Kelly could be one of the signings of the season but they are missing some key men. In the end I think Warrington will come close but not close enough to their first win. Hull by 4
Wolves: Ryan Atkins, Kevin Brown, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Brad Dwyer, Rhys Evans, Kurt Gidley, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Jack Johnson, George King, Toby King, Harvey Livett, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Matty Russell, Ashton Sims, Joe Westerman, Ben Westwood.
Hull FC: 1. Jamie Shaul; 2. Mahe Fonua; 4. Josh Griffin; 6. Albert Kelly; 7. Marc Sneyd; 8. Scott Taylor; 10. Liam Watts; 12. Mark Minichiello; 13. Gareth Ellis; 14. Jake Connor; 15. Chris Green; 16. Jordan Thompson; 17. Danny Washbrook; 19. Steve Michaels; 21. Sika Manu; 22. Josh Bowden; 25. Jansin Turgut; 28. Brad Fash; 30. Jez Litten.