Wakefield Trinity will attempt to win for just the second time in 10 Super League matches whilst Hull FC want to end their own two-match losing streak, in all competitions, when the two sides clash at the Mobile Rocket Stadium on Sunday. Trinity are looking to steer themselves away from a relegation battle whilst FC want to maintain third place in the table and fend off the chasing pack. Here’s everything you need to know.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Where to start with Wakefield. Their season started so promisingly and even held hopes of reaching the play-offs, but they are most certainly in a relegation fight now, with five fixtures left to play. They were beaten 26-6 by League Leaders’ Shield winners St Helens in their last Super League game and have now lost four on the bounce and nine of their last 10 league games. They currently sit in ninth position, two points above bottom side London Broncos and with a significantly better points difference than the capital club, which could prove crucial come the end of the season.
After valiantly exiting the Challenge Cup the weekend previously, at the semi-finals stage, Hull were beaten by the in-form Wigan Warriors at the KCOM Stadium last time out, going down 15-14 courtesy of a late Zak Hardaker drop goal. However, the Airlie Birds did win their two league games prior to that defeat with a narrow, two-point, win away at Leeds Rhinos as well as defeating London at home. Currently in third position, a win on Sunday would move them level on points with Warrington Wolves and know a defeat could see them drop to fifth should results elsewhere not go in their favour.
Chris Chester has made four changes from last week’s defeat to Saints.
New signings Morgan Escare and Adam Tangata, signing on loan from Wigan and Halifax RLFC respectively, are both included and are in-line to make their Trinity debut’s.
As part of the deal to bring Tangata to the club, Keegan Hirst misses out on selection having moved in the opposite direction.
Elsewhere, Pauli Pauli and James Batchelor return to the squad with captain Jacob Miller also in contention to start.
Max Jowitt and George King miss out on a place in Wakefield’s 19-man party with their other new signing, Chris Green, ineligible to play against his parent club.
Wakefield’s 19-man squad: Annakin, Arundel, Batchelor, Brough, England, Escare, Fifita, Hampshire, Jones-Bishop, Kirmond, Kopczak, Lyne, Miller, Pauli, Randell, Tangata, Tanginoa, Tupou, Wood.
Hull coach Lee Radford has made four changes to his 19-man squad from the side that were narrowly beaten by Wigan last time out.
New signing Tevita Satae, who arrived from NRL side the New Zealand Warriors this week, is included and in line to make his Super League debut.
Jack Logan returns from an elbow injury with Kieran Buchanan and Danny Washbrook also included in the squad.
Out of the squad go Green who, as already mentioned, is ineligible, Albert Kelly who has a rib injury, Mickey Paea who has a shoulder problem and Joe Westerman who misses out through illness.
Hull’s 19-man squad: Shaul, Faraimo, Tuimavave, Griffin, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Bowden, Minichiello, Connor, Matongo, Fash, Lane, Logan, Washbrook, Naulago, Ellis, Buchanan, Satae.
HEAD TO HEAD
Hull have won seven of the last 10 meetings between the two clubs, including their most recent battle in April when they recorded a 30-14 victory at the KCOM Stadium. However, the two players who scored two tries that afternoon, Westerman and Jowitt, are both missing on Sunday.
Trinity have beaten FC this season however, winning 32-12, also at the KCOM Stadium, back in March with Bill Tupou crossing for two tries to help the visitors to a comfortable victory.
The last meeting between the sides at the Mobile Rocket Stadium came in an extraordinary 72-10 home win for Wakefield. The Dreadnoughts ran in 12 tries with Ryan Hampshire kicking an impressive 12 goals from 13 attempts to hand Hull their biggest ever Super League defeat.
Morgan Escare (Wakefield) v Jamie Shaul (Hull FC)
With nearly all of Wakefield’s current squad looking badly out of form, the Dreadnoughts must turn to new signing Morgan Escare for inspiration on Sunday afternoon. The France international full-back has only played six times in the competition this season, last featuring for Wigan in their 18-8 win against London back in early May.
However, whilst the diminutive Frenchman might be a little rusty, he will be itching to prove himself in a Wakefield shirt and if on form has the wow factor that Trinity have lacked in the second-half of the Super League season.
Should he operate at full-back, Escare will be up against the livewire Jamie Shaul who perhaps hasn’t scored as many tries as he would have liked in 2019, touching down six times in 18 Super League appearances this year.
That said, his all-around contribution to the way in which Hull play is vital and is another player that has that wow factor any team needs its full-back to possess. Having played in that 72-10 defeat to Wakefield last season, I’m sure Shaul will want to put the record straight on Sunday afternoon.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Sunday 11th August
Venue: Mobile Rocket Stadium
Referee: Liam Moore
WHO WILL WIN?
Even with the additions of Escare and Tangata, Wakefield will need to be at their very best if they are to come away with the two points on Sunday. Escare adds some much-needed flair and creativity to Trinity’s attack but will it be enough to end their losing run? Hull have a few injury problems and Kelly is a big miss for them, but they should have enough to return to winning ways in the league. Hull to win by eight points.