Hull FC host Castleford Tigers as both sides begin their quest for Challenge Cup glory. Here’s everything you need to know.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Hull have been hit and miss so far this season. Three wins in a row put them in a good position before a heavy defeat to Saints. However, a success against Wakefield was followed with a lacklustre home performance against Catalans. Hull did have 17 players missing in key positions though. Hull are currently 5th in the league.
Daryl Powell’s side have slipped down to seventh after just one win in their last five. The most recent was against Warrington and they gave a good account of themselves. They have fallen short in tricky ties which could have gone the other way. They are playing better than results suggest however.
The Black and Whites welcome back half-back pairing Albert Kelly and Marc Sneyd. Dean Hadley, Cameron Scott and Ratu Naulago also return, with the latter scoring last weekend for the British Army at Twickenham.
Josh Bowden returned after a 363-day absence in a reserve match earlier in the week.
Hull FC squad: Faraimo, Griffin, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Hadley, Minichiello, Westerman, Connor, Green, Matongo, Fash, Manu, Paea, Logan, Scott, Naulago, Ellis.
The Tigers are without prolific try-scorer Greg Eden for the trip to Hull. Paul McShane, Daniel Smith and Lewis Peachey are also missing from the squad. Peachey signed a two year contract extension during the week.
Head coach Daryl Powell welcomes back Jesse Sene-Lefao, Matt Cook, James Clare and former Black and White Jordan Rankin, who all return from injury.
Castleford Tigers squad: Aston, Blair, Clare, Clark, Clarkson, Cook, Egodo, Maher, Massey, Mata’utia, McMeeken, Milner, Minikin, O’Neill, Rankin, Sene-Lefao, Trueman, Turner, Watts.
HEAD TO HEAD
This cup tie will be the second time the two sides have met this season. The first went in favour of the visitors a 26-18 Super league away win which set them in good stead for the season. Hull were continuing their losing streak at the time.
The two sides met in the Quarter Finals in 2017, with the Black and Whites winning on a hot summers day before lifting the trophy for a second year in a row later on in the year at Wembley. It was a tough ask as Castleford dominated the regular season but a 32-24 home win was well deserved. Both sides scored four tries each but eight goals from Jake Connor were the difference.
Albert Kelly (Hull FC) vs Jake Trueman (Castleford)
Both players have a huge impact on their side and could be the reason for success. Kelly missed last weekend’s fixture and along with other key players out, Hull lacked creativity. Kelly attacks the line and has pace, which results in him terrorising defences. A try in the derby win proved his classy ability.
Jake Trueman has stepped up this season and been depended upon. Without Luke Gale, the majority of creativity in the Castleford side has been down to him. Trueman is a valuable asset, especially when his assists set up a lot of tries. He links well with Cory Aston and he marshalls his team well. A real talent in the game.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday 10th May
Venue: KCOM Stadium
Referee: Robert Hicks
WHO WILL WIN?
A close contest will be expected but the returns of Kelly and Sneyd will give Hull an edge. Castleford will run them close but they will struggle without players like Paul McShane. The venue will be part of the reason for a Hull win