Hull FC host Wakefield Trinity in round six as both sides look to put themselves in the top five. Here’s everything you need to know.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Hull have impressed in recent weeks with three victories in a row, including last week’s home success against the Leeds Rhinos. The Black and Whites got off to a sluggish start but then scored 34 unanswered points to put the game to bed. In the previous week, Hull had scored 22 unanswered points away at Huddersfield. The East Yorkshire side sit fifth in the table.
Trinity come into this match after a tough match against FC’s rivals, Hull KR. Chris Chester’s side went down 10-6 in a game which only contained one try scored by Craig Hall in the 72nd minute. Previously, Wakefield notched up back to back success: first against Catalans Dragons before a very impressive 35-18 away victory against Leeds.
Hull are looking for their fourth win in a row. This run follows a poor 13 match losing streak and Lee Radford only makes one change to his squad.
Mickey Paea misses out due to a rib injury and he is replaced by 23-year-old Brad Fash, who is yet to make an appearance so far this season.
Hull FC 19-man squad: Shaul, Faraimo, Tuimavave, Griffin, Kelly, Sneyd, Houghton, Hadley, Minichello, Westerman, Thompson, Matongo,Fash, Manu, Lane, Litten, Naulago, Ellis
Trinity boss Chris Chester makes two changes with Matty Ashurst and Jordan Crowther returning.
As a result, Keegan Hirst drops out and James Batchelor misses out due to injury.
Wakefield Trinity 19-man squad: Arona, Arundel, Ashurst, Brough, Crowther, England, Fifita, Hampshire, Horo, Johnstone, Jones-Bishop,King, Kirmond, Kopczak, Lyne, Miller,Pauli, Tupou, Wood
HEAD TO HEAD
Hull had a very strong record over Wakefield until last season. The Black and Whites had won eight matches in succession against the West Yorkshire club until a 72-10 hammering back in July. The 12 try-route was an embarrassing performance with two late tries for Hull avoiding the dreaded zero to their name.
The last time Wakefield travelled to the KCOM, the game was decided by a Marc Sneyd drop-goal from just inside his own half, similar to one former Black and White Jacob Miller produced against Catalans at the Magic Weekend back in 2016.
Scott Taylor (Hull FC) v David Fifita (Wakefield Trinity)
Both sides like to play on the front foot and one key way this happens is through offloads after contact. Scott Taylor returned last weekend after a three match suspension and helped his hometown club to victory. Taylor’s hard running game often gives opportunities for players around him to support such as Jamie Shaul, Albert Kelly and as he proved last week, Marc Sneyd as well.
Taylor’s opposite number is David Fifita. The Tongan is a fan’s favourite and it is clear to see why. An player with explosive power and is able to run over defences. He offers a lot in attack with his style being looking to offload. This allows space for Jacob Miller and Danny Brough to manipulate, often for in-form winger Tom Johnstone. It will be a tough ask but Fifita is one of the players who could influence this match into Trinity’s favour.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday 15 March
Venue: KCOM Stadium
Referee: Liam Moore
WHO WILL WIN?
Wakefield have shown a mixed bag in terms of performances this year. A poor start to the season has been followed with impressive displays against Leeds and a gritty win over Catalans. Hull have been on a roll in recent weeks and only look to be getting stronger. Still with some injuries, key players are returning to the squad and many fringe players have stepped up so far, as well as useful finds such as Ratu Naulago. It could be close depending on what Wakefield side turn up, however I still think Hull will come out on top.