Hull are looking to cement their third place as they host the Catalans Dragons on Friday night. Here’s everything you need to know.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
With their victory over Wakefield and Castleford losing, it moved Lee Radford’s side up to third in the league. The win against Trinity showed character to come back after being heavily beaten earlier in the week.
Hull have only lost two of their past six matches and they were against the two sides who sit above them in the table.
Catalans won both of their matches over the Easter period, first away at London before following up at home to Castleford. However, they were soundly beaten away to St Helens, who currently lead the league.
Catalans currently sit sixth, two points behind Hull.
Lee Radford makes five changes, as the list rises to 16 missing players. Most crucially, he won’t be able to rely on the services of Albert Kelly and Marc Sneyd. Carlos Tuimavave, Danny Washbrook and Dean Hadley are the others who aren’t featuring.
Ratu Naulago is unable to be named, due to playing in the Army vs Navy game at Twickenham.
Mark Minichello, Jordan Thompson, Liam Harris, Levy Nzoungou and Kieran Buchanan are named in the squad. Harris is yet to feature this year and Buchanan would be making his Hull debut.
Hull FC 19-man squad: Faraimo, Griffin, Taylor, Houghton, Minichiello, Connor, Green, Thompson, Matongo, Fash, Manu, Paea, Logan, Nzoungou, Harris, Ellis, Wynne, Buchanan.
David Mead, Kenny Edwards and Michael Simon all miss the match due to concussion. Ben Garcia also is absent.
Fouad Yaha, Arthur Romano, Lucas Albert and Lambert Belmas all are included in the 19-man squad.
Catalans Dragons 19-man squad: Gigot, Wiliame, Langi, Smith, Casty, Moa, Bird, Bousquet, Jullien, Whitley, Da Costa, Goudemand, Belmas, Albert, Baitieri, Romano, Yaha, Kasiano, Tomkins.
HEAD TO HEAD
This will be the sides’ second meeting of the season, with the first ending in a climactic fashion. A disallowed try for a controversial obstruction decision looked like Catalans had blown their chance; however they struck with around two minutes to go to take the lead. With only four seconds remaining, Williame caught the kick off inside 10 metres and gave Sneyd an opportunity to take the match to golden point. He did and from the kick off, he hit the ball hard and low into touch, which allowed him to produce the match winning drop goal.
Hull boast a strong record at home to the Dragons. In the last seven meetings, the side from East Yorkshire have won five of these, mainly due to Catalans historically failing away from home.
Jake Connor (Hull FC) v Tony Gigot (Catalans)
Due to injuries, the halfback pairing for Hull will probably be Jake Connor alongside Liam Harris. Connor is versatile in the Hull side but is a top player in each role he is asked. He is a strong runner with the ball and a short kicking game to match, often a try scorer but he can also wind up players. Arguably one of the most improved players, he will get numerous assists if Hull are to be victorious.
His opposite number, Tony Gigot, is similar in being able to wind players up and he is a key asset to this Catalans side. He is a player who can star, but goes missing in matches and usually that is when the Dragons side offer less in attack. He links well with Sam Tomkins and they must have a strong chance against this weakened Hull side.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday 3rd May
Venue: KCOM Stadium
Kick-off: 7:45 PM
Referee: Ben Thaler
WHO WILL WIN?
A trick match for Hull against a Dragons side who have been hammered on the road a couple times this season. With key injuries, Hull are depleted and it should be a good opportunity. But with the players Radford have available I still think they will beat the Dragons.