Hull FC can move to within a point of 2nd placed Leeds with a win at Headingley on Thursday night Rugby.
Only 5 days after the nail-biting Wembley win over Wigan the black and whites are back in action tonight against a Leeds side thirsting for revenge after losing to Lee Radfords men in the cup semi final 5 weeks ago , the Rhinos though won both regular season games against the Airlie Birds .
Radford has resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes with only Watts, Minichello and Griffin rested, as for the Rhinos Golding comes in for Jordan Lilley.
The bookies make the Rhinos around 1/3 favourites to win here mainly due to the short turnaround from Wembley,
Leeds were also enjoying a week off last week so the advantage is firmly with them.
Given Hull were heavily beaten the week after Wembley last year it’s no surprise they are available at around 5/2 to win here in what is a tough game to call.
It’s hard to imagine though anything other than a home win given the circumstances, the Rhinos have also won both their Super 8 home games so far.
Leeds have to concede a 6 point start on the handicap and it’s tough to argue a case either way until we see Lee Radfords final 17, Wembley can be very energy sapping and the emotion of winning the cup there can take it out of teams. Leeds themselves have also struggled in the past the week after cup success so they really should be winning this one by at least 2 scores, a winning margin of about 11-15 points in the home sides favour could be the value.
Hull though can ill afford any more slip ups as defeat here will mean the winner of tomorrows Saints v Wigan game will be within 2 points of knocking them out of the top 4.
The bookies have taken the Wembley factor into account though, the handicap would be no more than 2 if this game was played under normal circumstances.
Hall heads 1st try lists at 10/1 my pick though would be ex Airlie Birds winger Tom Briscoe at 2 points bigger, Wembley 2 try hero Mahe Fonua is the value on the 1st try list at 16/1.
Finally the man of the match, it’s hard to see past Wembley man of the match Marc Sneyd, even at a very short 6/1. He’s no real value as it means he’s even money to win the award if Hull win the game given they are 5/2 for the win. Despite heavy pressure on the Wigan line last week it was his kicking game that was the difference with the likes of Albert Kelly, who’s 9/1 tonight largely ineffective, ex Rhino Gareth Ellis could be a sentimental choice in black and white at 25/1 in probably his last game at Headingley.
As for the hosts Matt Parcell heads the way at 8/1 followed be Joel Moon at 9/1.
It’s hard to go against signing of the season Parcell but there may be a bit of value in the 12/1 for Danny Mcguire taking advantage of a tired Hull outfit, so it’s Mcguire and Sneyd for me.
Small matter of Saints v Wigan tomorrow, as always please gamble responsibly.