Pr: Hull FC vs Hull KR
The Hull derby is arguably the biggest and best derby in rugby league. Highly anticipated every year this is more so than usual. Last season saw the game played behind closed doors. With the return of fans this time the MKM Stadium will be rocking in expectancy from all areas of the ground.
The hosts, Hull FC, enter the game with four defeats on the bounce. It has been a rough return after weeks of postponements. The latest game did offer plenty of hope for the Black and Whites with a spirited 31-16 defeat to league-leaders Catalans Dragons. The old adage for a game such as this is “all form goes out the window,” FC will be hoping this is true. Brett Hodgson welcomes back a host of key men. Jake Connor signed a new contract earlier in the week and returns to the 21-man squad. Jamie Shaul returns after 10 months on the sidelines with an ACL injury. Marc Sneyd missed the Catalans game also is included in the squad, whilst trio Andre Savelio, Jordan Johnstone and Connor Wynne return from suspensions. The squad news is not all positive as the Airlie Birds will be missing the influential forward Chris Satae and back Mahe Fonua.
The Derby splits families and even our sports team.
Simon Bromwich (right) in his KR shirt and Martin Cattle (left) in FC colours.
Hull Kingston Rovers have been without a win over the old foe in over two years, it was an 18-10 victory at Craven Park in late June 2019. Two victories on the bounce have seen the Robins progress beyond FC into the play-off places. Despite the difficulties faced in the victory over Leigh, Rovers looked a force to be reckoned with in a 26-14 victory over Wigan last time out. Tony Smith is without a list of key players, the only change to the 21-man squad is enforced with winger Ethan Ryan fracturing his wrist and being replaced by Mikey Lewis.
In recent years Hull FC have dominated in the forward areas, without Satae due to an injury this means their main weapon on the front row is missing. Equally, in the halves, Jordan Abdull has been one of the main components for the Robins and without him, KR may struggle with game management. Comparatively for FC, they have both half-backs available with Sneyd returning. On the defensive side of the ball Rovers are still without a recognised full-back.
Martin prediction: Hull FC by 2 points.
Simon prediction: Hull KR by 6 points.
Reported by: Simon Bromwich