Match Preview: Hull FC vs Hull KR
Ahead of the 233rd instalment of the Hull Derby, the Black & Whites are targeting a third consecutive victory which could take them up to third in the Super League table.
Lee Radford’s side face Hull Kingston Rovers tomorrow, the first Good Friday Derby to be held at the KCOM Stadium since 2013.
Boosted by the dramatic 31-30 Golden Point win over Catalans Dragons in Perpignan, the Airlie Birds are in high spirits.
Meanwhile, Hull KR scraped past Championship side Leigh Centurions in the fifth round of the Challenge Cup last Thursday.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of tomorrow’s big Derby clash!
What’s the team news?
Lee Radford has been given a timely boost in the forwards department, with Scott Taylor and Masi Matongo returning from injury, along with Mickey Paea who has served a one-match suspension.
Fresh from signing a contract extension earlier in the week, Marc Sneyd is set to feature once again.
A drop-goal in tomorrow’s Derby would take the two-time Lance Todd Trophy winner to a quarter of a century of field goals for the Black & Whites.
FC are still without nine players for the Derby, however. They include Jamie Shaul (head), Chris Green (achilles), Josh Bowden (knee), Ratu Naulago (shoulder), Andre Savelio (ankle), Jack Sanderson (shoulder), Liam Harris (hamstring), Matty Dawson-Jones (knee) and Levy Nzoungou (ankle).
For tomorrow’s visitors, prop forward Lee Jewitt could make only his third appearance of the season after a one-month spell on the sidelines through injury.
Shaun Lunt and 2019 recruit Mitch Garbutt have returned to the Robins’ 19-man squad after missing last week’s cup clash with Leigh.
Former City of Hull Academy winger Will Oakes replaces the suspended Ryan Shaw.
FC 19-man squad: Bureta Faraimo, Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Dean Hadley, Mark Minichiello, Joe Westerman, Jake Connor, Masi Matongo, Sika Manu, Jordan Lane, Mickey Paea, Jack Logan, Gareth Ellis, Connor Wynne, Jack Brown
KR 19-man squad: Craig Hall, Ben Crooks, Jimmy Keinhorst, Danny McGuire, Robbie Mulhern, Shaun Lunt, Joel Tomkins, Weller Hauraki, Mitch Garbutt, Tommy Lee, Lee Jewitt, Chris Atkin, Junior Vaivai, Danny Addy, George Lawler, Kane Linnett, Josh Drinkwater, Will Oakes, Owen Harrison
What’s the lowdown on The Robins?
It was a case of what might have been for Hull FC in the opening round of the 2019 campaign, when Jimmy Keinhorst’s last gasp try stole the Derby bragging rights away from the Black & Whites with just six seconds on the clock
But since that dramatic 18-16 win for KR, Tim Sheens’ side have struggled to hit their straps, picking up only another three wins this season.
Their most recent league outing saw them comfortably dispatch of bottom-of-the-table Leeds Rhinos, but St Helens, Warrington Wolves, Castleford Tigers, Catalans Dragons, Salford Red Devils and Huddersfield Giants have all managed to beat The Robins in 2019.
However, after coming from behind in last week’s Challenge Cup fixture against Leigh Centurions, Hull KR also head into the Derby fixture with back-to-back wins.
What’s the memorable match?
Many will vouch for a particular game that has been their favourite down the years, given that the two Hull clubs have met on 232 competitive occasions.
But one of the most popular matches that is etched on the minds of thousands of Hull FC supporters is the heroic comeback in 2016.
The Airlie Birds found themselves 20-0 behind, with 20 minutes on the clock. But up stepped Jamie Shaul to breathe life into the comeback.
Danny Houghton, Mahe Fonua and Steve Michaels all crossed in the closing stages to help Lee Radford’s side record one of Super League’s most remarkable comebacks ever.
Who are the ones to watch?
HFC: Every Hull FC player will want to stamp their authority out on the field tomorrow afternoon, but the occasion will be especially momentous for former Hull KR halfback Albert Kelly, who is set to feature in his first competitive Derby at the KCOM Stadium. Lee Radford will have something of a selection dilemma when it comes to the halves, as Jake Connor and Marc Sneyd are both fit and firing, but with the former’s utility value enabling him to fit into the centres, Kelly will be eager to start the game at six.
HKR:Mitch Garbutt’s introduction from the interchange bench in the season opener against Hull FC helped change the tide of the match, and the 2019 recruit has proved to be a key asset for Rovers so far this season. The former Leeds Rhinos prop is well accustomed to playing in the big games, and he will be looking to add to his try scoring tally of four at the KCOM Stadium tomorrow.
What are the match details?
Where: KCOM Stadium, Walton St, Hull HU3 6HU
When: Friday 19th April 2019, 12.45pm kick-off
Tickets: Tickets can be bought from the KCOM Stadium ticket office and over the phone on 01482 505600 until 5pm this evening, and then from 9am until kick-off tomorrow. Supporters can book tickets online right up until kick-off, through the night for any last minute decisions!