Both Hull teams have enjoyed superb seasons thus far. Hull KR have been the entertainers whilst at times Hull FC have shown signs of future Champions under Brett Hodgson. In fact, both teams have exhibited the qualities you’d see in a side on the up. Right now, it seems both have concrete play-off hopes and today’s clash should be a superb contest as the two continue to pursue a place in the top six. To get you ready for this blockbuster clash, we’re giving you our combined XIII from the two Hull clubs.
Fullback: Jake Connor
Adam Quinlan has been a superb servant for Hull KR. He has a touch of class, knows how to nick a try and create one. Overall, he’s the complete fullback and the Robins will lack something now that he’s injured. However, I couldn’t look beyond Jake Connor. He just offers something extra special with ball in hand and can win games in single play thanks to his wide-ranging skillset.
Wingers: Adam Swift and Ryan Hall
Between the two of them, the two Hull clubs arguably have the two in-form wingers in the league. Adam Swift has excelled this season on the back of Hodgson’s decision to trust him on the left flank. He’s poached 11 tries this campaign but offers so much more in defence and attack and can even do a job at fullback. Meanwhile, Ryan Hall is a player you’d never think about playing anywhere else other than the wing considering he’s pretty much the perfect player for the role. He’s back to his best in 2021 and has 13 tries to his name already and sits top of the try scoring charts. Capable of hard carriers, moments of sheer skill and world class finishes he’s once again been on top of his game this season. The extra pressure of being a leader in Hull KR’s side has also added a new element to his game.
Centres: Josh Griffin and Shaun Kenny-Dowall
Over the last few years, Josh Griffin has been one of Super League’s finest centres. With strength, speed and skill he has everything you’d want from a centre and more. His season ending injury earlier this year was heart-breaking to say the least. Hull have missed him ever since. Unlike Griffin, Hull KR’s star centre and captain fantastic Shaun Kenny-Dowall is fighting fit despite an injury scare last week. He is pretty much the complete centre and has bags of experience enabling him to get on top of his opposite number on most occasions.
Halfbacks: Marc Sneyd and Jordan Abdull
Jordan Abdull has arguably been Super League’s best halfback this season which takes some doing when you consider the quality across the league. Somehow, he seems capable of organising and creating. In fact, he’s even able to poach tries himself which is an underrated quality in a halfback. Right up there in the chase for the Man of Steel before his injury, he’s settled in perfectly at Hull KR. Alongside him in this team is the brilliant Marc Sneyd. Capable of conjuring up a 40/20 from almost anywhere, he’s a master at territorial kicking and game management.
Props: Chris Satae and Ligi Sao
In the absence of Scott Taylor, Chris Satae and Ligi Sao have stepped up and become one of the best front rows in the league. With power and explosivity, the pair don’t just generate metres but they create attacking opportunities thanks to their ability to make half breaks.
Hooker: Matt Parcell
Danny Houghton has been one of the top number nines for the last 10 years, but the Hull KR pair of Matt Parcell and Jez Litten has taken Super League by storm in 2021. They’re the heart of Hull KR’s attack and dovetail masterfully offering speed and skill around the ruck.
Second-Rowers: Kane Linnett and Brad Takairangi
Remarkably, Kane Linnett has poached 10 tries this season which is almost unheard of for a second-row. This term he’s become an integral part of Hull KR’s prolific and scintillating left edge. He does the hard yards and is a great leader but he offers so much more. As for Takairangi, he wears 11 but plays a lot of rugby in the halves or at centre. He’s been superb for the Robins in attack thanks to his unique blend of skill, size and power. He’s brilliant to watch.
Loose-Forward: Joe Cator
The two Hull clubs have two of my favourite loose-forwards in Joe Cator and George Lawler. Lawler was very close to taking this final spot but his recent move to the bench for the Robins has left the role wide open for Joe Cator to take the spot. However, you can consider Lawler a member of the unofficial bench where this team is concerned. Nonetheless, Cator has been superb this season. He has a great work rate but also a little something extra which makes him the ideal number 13.