SUPER LEAGUE PREVIEW: Hull FC vs Warrington Wolves
After four wins on the bounce Warrington Wolves travel to the KCOM Stadium to take on Hull FC in order carry on their unbeaten run. Hull go into the match with the knowledge that the two points could put them top of the Super League.
LAST TIME OUT
Hull come into the clash off the back of a well deserved victory against league leaders Castleford. The black and whites went into their clash with Warrington off the back of a hiding from Leeds at home and a win away at struggling Leigh centurions. Their most recent results seemingly projected an image of a side stuttering, however, their 12-man 26-24 win over Castleford showed a team on the up. Scott Taylor opened the scoring under the sticks just 5 minutes, and was closely followed by Mahe Fonua just two minutes later. Sneyd’s kicking was on point, adding both conversions for the Hull side to lead 12-0 after just 10 minutes. Fonua struck again in the 13th minute with a walk in after a Mark Sneyd cross field kick that proved too testing for the visitors. Liam Watt soon after was shown a red card for a high tackle on Luke Gale, and it looked as though Castleford may come back and take the two points after scoring 2 tries in quick succession to bring the score back to 18-8. Mark Sneyd kept the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty before half time, only for Michael Shenton to reduce the black and white’s advantage just a minute before the break. Paul McShane added the extras and the sides went into half time with the scoreboard reading 20-14 to Hull. Sneyd’s pragmatic approach added another 2 points to Hull’s tally, just before Ben Roberts scored his second of the game to put the visitors within 4. Carlos Tuimavave stopped the rot with a sensational finish after an Albert Kelly kick while hull stayed strong in defence until the last minute of the game, where Mike McMeeken scored a consolation try that brought the visitors within 2.
The Warrington outfit similarly found themselves in a tight encounter last time out, when they triumphed over Wakefield at home. The Wolves’ 22-20 victory will have kept emotions running high in the Warrington camp after a dire start to the season. Going into the game they survived a near miss against Huddersfield at home, after an average showing away at Widnes the week prior. At the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Wakefield opened the scoring in the 8th minute with a try from Ashley Gibson, which Liam Finn converted. Wakefield backed up the try two minutes later with a break 30m break from Jacob Miller that put Mason Caton-Brown under the sticks. Liam Finn once again added the extras and Wakefield led 12-0. Warrrington replied soon after with a 70m solo effort from Ryan Atkins and Declan Patton added the extras to take the visitors’ lead to 6 points. Wakefield went into the break 14-6 after a Liam Finn penalty 3 minutes from half time. Warrington continued to concede under the Wakefield pressure with a try from Tom Johnston and it looked as though Wakefield would go the distance, however, Warrington mounted a comeback in the last quarter of the game with 3 unanswered tries, the last of which – a sublime finish from Tom Lineham, came in the 78th minute to secure the win for Warrington.
Both sides have some of the best outside backs in the league. Mahe Fonua and Carlos Tuimavave were key in Hull’s title challenge and Challenge Cup win last year and have carried on in the same vein this season. Fonua comes into this off the back of a double, and Tuimavave came away with a key 4 pointer against Castleford. Ryan Atkins comes up with the goods game after game for Warrington and both Atkins and Lineham provided key tries in the win against Wakefield last time out. Lineham and Atkins are less explosive than Fonua and Tuimavave, but get on the end of good structures and provide a great power game for the Wolves. Either way it’s going to be a cracking affair out wide on Friday.
Although Warrington go into the clash unbeaten in the last 5, they have been fairly average in each of their wins – 3 of which have been against the 3 sides below them in the league. They find it hard to close out a game and struggled to do so against the league’s stragglers in Widnes and Huddersfield. I have no doubts they will want to extend their winning run, but are missing that piece of class to get them over the line against sides at the top of the table. On the other hand, Hull come into the game with the 9th best home form in the league. However, if the black and whites come into the game with out of the sheds at the start of the game with the same attitude they had against Castleford, they’ll have too many points in them for the Wolves. Hull by 12
Hull FC: Jamie Shaul, Mahe Fonua, Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Mark Minichello, Gareth Ellis, Jake Connor, Chris Green, Jordan Thompson, Danny Washbrook, Steve Michaels, Sika Manu, Jansin Turgut, Jack Downs, Brad Fash, Jez Litten.
Warrington: Ryan Atkins, Kevin Brown, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Brad Dwyer, Rhys Evans, Kurt Gidley, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Benjamin Jullien, Tom Lineham, Harvey Livett, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Matty Russell, Andre Savelio, Ashton Sims, Joe Westerman
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