It’s tenth vs third in Sunday’s game at Headingley. The Black and Whites are only four points adrift of Warrington in second whereas Leeds are only two points off bottom side London. Here’s everything you need to know about this game.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Rhinos have had contrasting fortunes of late, winning three of their last six. Wins at Catalans and Castleford were pocketed before a defeat against Hull KR meant they’re still in the relegation mix.
Equal on points with Hull KR and with just two points seperating the two of them with London in 12th, the Rhinos need to start getting points on the board or they are at serious risk.
Following two defeats to Hull KR and St Helens, Hull clung on for a win against London last time out. They ran in six first half tries to a 34-0 lead but fell asleep in the second half and claimed a 35-22 victory.
The Airlie Birds will need to put in an 80-minute performance against Leeds in order to break the Headingley hoodoo that currently sits over them.
The Rhinos welcome back prop Brad Singleton following suspension and he should give some much-needed power to their pack. Nathaniel Peteru also returns following a cheekbone injury suffered at Magic Weekend.
Half-back Richie Myler serves a one-match ban.
Leeds 19-man squad: Walker, Briscoe, Hurrell, Handley, Cuthbertson, Singleton, Merrin, Dwyer, Sutcliffe, Ferres, Peteru, Smith, McLelland, Donaldson, Newman, Seumanufagai, Lunt, Lui, Martin.
Gareth Ellis and Jordan Lane look set to play this Sunday after recovering from injuries. Both were included in last week’s 19-man squad but were given the extra week to recover.
Albert Kelly is still sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Hull FC 19-man squad: Shaul, Faraimo, Tuimavave, J Griffin, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Bowden, Hadley, Minichiello, Westerman, Connor, Green, Fash, Manu, Lane, Paea, Naulago, Ellis.
HEAD TO HEAD
Hull have not won at Headingley against the Rhinos for twelve years, that win coming in 2007 which prevented Leeds from lifting the League Leader’s Shield. It has become a fortress for Leeds against Hull in the past but Hull will be looking to change that today.
In the only previous meeting this season, Hull managed a 34-10 win at home so will be looking to make it two from two.
Konrad Hurrell (Leeds) v Josh Griffin (Hull FC)
Two powerful centres who have dabbled in the second row before are this game’s key battle.
Konrad Hurrell has been one of the standouts of this Leeds side in 2019. Although he can be inconsistent and has dubious control of the ball at times, he is usually one of the ones trying whilst others’ heads have dropped. However, he cannot win on his own.
Josh Griffin has been a surprise this season. He had been solid last season yet has gone up another level this year. He looks set for a future in the second row with Hull signing so many backs for next year, with coach Lee Radford already admitting this. There were many Hull fans surprised that he was not named in the England performance squad during the week but this could drive him on to improve his game even more to get a spot.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Sunday 21st July
Venue: Emerald Headingley Stadium
Referee: Marcus Griffiths
WHO WILL WIN?
This is a tough one to call, especially considering that the odds are stacked against Hull. However, with the way Leeds have been playing lately, Hull should have just enough to give them a win. It will either be a complete whitewash or a close-knit game.