We look ahead to tomorrow’s Betfred Super League Round 16 clash with Leeds Rhinos at the MKM Stadium.
The Black & Whites will play in front of an unrestricted MKM Stadium crowd for the first time in sixteen months tomorrow, hoping to get back to winning ways after last week’s defeat to Huddersfield Giants.
Despite being ranked further down the Super League table, Leeds will travel to East Yorkshire in a confident mood after their comfortable win over Salford Red Devils last time out.
Brett Hodgson could welcome back five players to his matchday squad tomorrow night, with Josh Reynolds, Manu Ma’u, Joe Cator, Bureta Faraimo and Connor Wynne all passing their Covid-19 Return To Play tests.
Andre Savelio is unavailable as he serves the first of a three-game suspension.
Jamie Shaul (ACL), Scott Taylor (foot), Josh Griffin (Achilles), Masi Matongo (knee) and Jake Connor (knee) remain sidelined for the Airlie Birds.
For the Rhinos, New Zealand international Zane Tetevano is in contention to return after recovering from the after effects of Covid-19.
Luke Gale, Tom Holroyd and Mikolaj Oledzki were named in Leeds’ 21-man squad last week, but took no part in their win over Salford. But the trio could be back in action at the MKM Stadium this week.
Bodene Thompson, Rob Lui, Jack Broadbent, Jack Walker and Alex Sutcliffe are still unavailable for Richard Agar’s men.
Hull 21-man squad: Faraimo, Tuimavave, Fonua, Reynolds, Sneyd, Houghton, Satae, Ma’u, Sao, Johnstone, Cator, Lane, Fash, McNamara, Brown, Swift, Bowden, Wynne, Scott, Vulikijapani, Logan
Rhinos 21-man squad: T Briscoe, Newman, Hurrell, Handley, Gale, Oledzki, Leeming, Prior, Mellor, Martin, Tetevano, Dwyer, Myler, Smith, Holroyd, Vuniyayawa, Walters, McLelland, L Briscoe, Donaldson, O’Connor
What’s the lowdown on the Rhinos?
Despite a slow start to the season, the Rhinos have been resurgent in recent weeks, keeping their hopes of reaching the play-offs well and truly alive.
Only top-of-the-table Catalans Dragons have managed to beat Leeds since Hull won at Headingley at the end of May – even in their two encounters with the in-form French outfit Leeds have looked strong.
Mikolaj Oledzki and Matt Prior have both been in tremendous form, leading from the front in the pack. Much of their upturn in form has delivered success over the last couple of months, with the club posting notable wins over Castleford Tigers and Warrington Wolves.
Timely returns of key players could work in Leeds’ favour, too, as they prepare for a late assault on the play-off places.
Ones To Watch
Hull: Adam Swift – With ten tries in all competitions this season, Adam Swift is one of Hull FC’s most dangerous players in 2021. He had a first half field day on the left edge when Hull beat Leeds at Headingley earlier in the season, scoring twice in what proved to be a hard-fought win for the Black & Whites. There is some pace in the Rhinos’ three-quarter line tomorrow, with Harry Newman and Ash Handley both named in the squad. That could prove to be an interesting battle at the MKM Stadium.
Rhinos: Kruise Leeming – Perhaps one of the more underrated in-form players in Super League so far this season, Hull will need to keep the Leeds hooker at arms length tomorrow. Able to rotate with Brad Dwyer off the bench, not playing full 80 minute spells allows Leeming to come on with a second wave of energy to try and chip away at the opposition. Not only is he a threat out of dummy half, but with seven tries in the league this season, the international hooker has shown his appetite for getting over the whitewash.
Key Match Details
Where: MKM Stadium, Hull, UK
When: Thursday 29 July, 7.45pm kick-off
Coverage: Sky Sports, FREE commentary on Hull FC Live