Fourth placed Hull travel to another play-off hopeful Castleford Tigers in round 18 of the Betfred Super League.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Tigers bounced back to winning ways after a goal point victory over Huddersfield. The 27-26 win was secured in the second half of golden point, when Peter Mata’utia produced the winning drop goal. Daryl Powell’s side have only won two of their last six matches, this includes a defeat to Hull during this period.
The Black and Whites recorded a second win in a row since their Magic Weekend blunder. The 35-32 win over Salford looked in potential jeopardy, as the Red Devils ran in three tries in the final 10 minutes, however they held on despite playing the last seven minutes with only eleven players.
Daryl Powell makes two changes from the side which beat Huddersfield last weekend. Jesse Sene-Lefao and Junior Moors return to the squad, meanwhile Mitch Clark and Will Maher are the duo to miss out.
Castleford Tigers squad: Aston, Blair, Clare, Clarkson, Cook, Eden, Massey, Mata’utia, McMeeken, McShane, Millington, Milner, Minikin, Moors, Rankin, Sene-Lefao, Smith. Trueman, Watts.
Lee Radford makes three changes from his victorious team last weekend. Josh Griffin sits out due to a one match suspension. Josh Bowden and Sika Manu are also missing, with Manu suffering from a dead leg.
Scott Taylor, Kieran Buchanan and Jack Brown are the three players to enter the squad.
Hull FC squad:Shaul, Faraimo, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Hadley, Minichiello, Westerman, Connor, Green, Fash, Paea, Litten, Washbrook, Naulago, Savelio, Brown, Buchanan
HEAD TO HEAD
This will be the third meeting of the season so far. Both previous meeting have been held at the KCOM, first in the league and more recently in the Challenge Cup. The Tigers ran out 28-16 victors in the league, however Hull reversed the form just over a month ago in the cup with a 28-12 win.
Out of the last three meetings at The Jungle, Hull have come out on top twice, 48-16 on one occasion and 24-22 on the other, with the Tigers also winning the other match 24-22. Hull lead the head to head out of the last ten matches, six to four.
Jake Trueman vs Marc Sneyd
Jake Trueman has stepped up this season in the absence of Luke Gale. Trueman currently has the produced the most attacking kicks in the league, 20 more than his nearest rival and it shows how dependant the Tigers are on him. With six try assists and three tries, Trueman will allow his forwards to do the work before showing his attacking prowess closer to the opponents line.
Marc Sneyd’s stats clearly show why he is a key figure in the Hull side. 18 try assists put his joint top with Jackson Hastings. Sneyd and Albert Kelly compliment each other well and it shows when Hull are in fine try scoring form. Sneyd has only crossed for one try this season, however he is very influential so try scoring is not an issue. The kicking game he produces both grubbers and in the air threats the opponents defence and until the Tigers nullify their ex player, it could be a tough match for them.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Thursday June 13th
Venue: Mend-A-Hose Jungle
Referee: Robert Hicks
WHO WILL WIN?
As the table suggests, this will be a tough contest. The sides have both beaten each other on one occasion this year, but are yet to feature at Castleford. The Tigers haven’t played that well recently and are beginning to struggle. With Hull finding more form recently I think it could be their night. Hull will edge this tight affair.