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BIG MATCH PREVIEW: HULL FC V SALFORD CITY REDS
By | Thursday, 23 February 2012
After securing a win and a draw in their first two home fixtures of the new Stobart Super League season, Hull FC leave the KC Stadium this weekend in search of their first points on the road in 2012.
Following the cancellation of their clash with Catalans Dragons in the south of France earlier this month, the Black and Whites will be looking to secure their first away win when they travel to face a confident Salford City Reds side tomorrow evening.
With a dangerous Reds team now brimming with confidence after a big win over Widnes in their last match, Hull’s first trip to the new Salford City Stadium will certainly present a challenge to coach Peter Gentle’s team.
The loss of Sam Moa and Joe Westerman this week to suspension and injury respectively has not helped FC’s cause, but Gentle says he has every confidence in the players who will take their place in the team.
“We’ve spoken a lot about having a squad and having some good young junior players ready to step into the first team. There is no point having them training in those positions throughout pre-season and then not giving them the opportunity,” he said.
“Everybody in the squad knows what is asked of them and they all play to the same structures and calls. With that in mind, it’s the same as usual for us going into this game, just with a few fresh faces.”
One such player is 20-year-old prop Josh Bowden, who could make his first team debut if selected. The academy graduate is also joined in the 19-man squad by youngsters Chris Green and Jamie Ellis, meaning one of the trio will play their first Super League match for the Black and Whites in the fixture.
Jordan Turner also looks set to make his first competitive appearance of the season against his former club, after narrowly missing out in Hull’s previous fixtures against Warrington Wolves and London Broncos.
Meanwhile, the Reds will be without Vinnie Anderson as they go in search of a first Super League win at their new stadium after being edged out by Castleford Tigers in snowy conditions on the opening weekend.
However, with coach Phil Veivers set to retain much of the side that secured a 38-18 win over Widnes Vikings on Sunday for the fixture against the Black and Whites, Gentle has warned his Hull FC side they must be on their guard defensively.
“We’ve had a look at Salford and Sean Long has them throwing the ball around a lot more than they did last year. They are a very dangerous team with the ball and playing expansively can be very hard to defend against if it clicks into place,” he said.
“I expect Salford to get better as the season progresses and they get used to their new style of rugby, but they are certainly a tough opposition for us in the here and now.
“It’s the same for us though and we are still looking to improve each week. We don’t want any peaks and dips in our performances, we want consistency and a steady improvement in what we are doing in attack and in defence. If we do that, we know we’ll keep putting ourselves in good positions to pick up the wins.”
Hull FC squad:
Aspinwall, Bowden, Briscoe, Ellis, Green, Horne, Houghton, Lynch, Manu, Martin, McKinnon, Nicklas, O’Meley, Seymour, Sharp, Tickle, Turner, Whiting, Yeaman.
Patten, Broughton, Gleeson, Gibson, Williams, Holdsworth, Smith, Jewitt, Sidlow, James, Ashurst, McPherson, Wild (C), Nero, Adamson, Owen, Howarth, Palea'aesina, Boyle