Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson is determined to win his last game of the 2022 Super League season.
It will come against their bitter rivals, Hull KR, and the winner will get bragging rights over the other in terms of finishing one place ahead in the Super League table.
So for that, Hodgson has dismissed claims that this is a dead rubber game.
“It’s not a dead rubber. We know in the context of the season that we can’t make the finals but no way is this a dead rubber for us.
“I think you can imagine that Hull KR are the same. I expect it to be a big Derby with plenty of noise and plenty of rugby played. Hopefully we come out on the right side of the result.
“It is crucial that we perform well and get some more positivity. Not only as a club, but as a group of players and a team it can give us some enjoyment going into the off-season.”
“We’re disappointed with where we sit in the table,” Hodgson added. “We wanted to be in the top six this year and that was a big goal of ours.
“There has been a little bit of frustration at certain times of the year but there’s also optimism. I see plenty of things happening at our club and not all of them on the field.
“There’s plenty of good things happening behind the scenes with the youth set up, the women’s game, the centre of excellence progressing, and the recruitment – there’s plenty of positives. It takes time and we’re at the first steps of all that but it’s exciting and again it fills me with that optimism that we are heading in the right direction.”
Saturday’s fixture will be Hodgson’s fourth Derby since joining the club, with Hull’s head coach explaining his love for the fixture.
“I’ve loved them – I really have. Hearing the crowd that’s potentially going to be there is the biggest one I’ve been witness to as well so I’m super excited about that.
“I think both sets of fans have understood where both teams are sitting and the adversity that they’ve both faced, but that means nothing on Saturday. We’re really excited about performing well and playing some good footy.
“They are different (to NRL games and Origin). It’s more of a battle between the two Hull teams. I just love the rivalry and I love how it separates families from each other for the week. It pretty much makes or breaks everyone’s week for the following week. It’s second to none and a huge occasion. It would have been great to play in one but to coach in these ones I am very privileged for that.
“You don’t get the rivalries as much in the NRL and I think that is something that is very unique to the English game. I thought that coming over here with the singing and the crowds and some of the anger the supporters throw your way when you’re on the field.
“The pure hatred for each other over the eighty minutes doesn’t exist in Australia and it’s something that I love over happy. There is a little bit of it in Origin but it’s just for a short period. Here it’s season long. It’s awesome.”