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Hull FC suffer heart breaking setback before season opener

When Hull FC confirmed the team news for this evening’s Betfred Super League Round One clash against Hull KR they wouldn’t have foreseen a disappointing blow before kick-off.

The Black & Whites take on the Robins in the first game of the new season in front of the competition’s biggest opening night crowd for over 17 years.

Tony Smith has handed competitive debuts to six of his new singing; Morgan Smith, Fa’amanu Brown, Herman Ese’ese, Franklin Pele and Jayden Okunbor all start, while Jack Walker makes his second debut for the club. Jack Ashworth is also named on the bench.

Young winger Lewis Martin makes his second start for the club, and his first at the MKM Stadium having made his senior debut in the last game of the 2023 season.

Captain Danny Houghton lines up in his record-extending 39th Hull Derby.

Hull are without Liam Tindall, Carlos Tuimavave and Brad Fash through injury, while Jake Trueman and Mitieli Vulikijapani continue their recovery from longer-term issues.

Adding to those blows, Hull FC had to withdrawn Liam Sutcliffe from the team just before kick-off.

Bad start for Hull FC

Hull FC v Hull Kingston Rovers Betfred Super League 07/04/2023. TRY Hull Kingston Rovers loose forward Elliot Minchella 13 scores in front of the Hull KR supporters during the Betfred Super League match between Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers at the MKM Stadium, Kingston upon Hull, England on 7 April 2023. Kingston upon Hull MKM Stadium East Riding of Yorkshire England

Making matters worse for Hull FC they conceded the first try of the game as well. The Black and Whites blinked first in the set by set game giving away a penalty through Franklin Pele who was not square.

Then a lovely disguised set play emerging from lead runner Elliot Minchella with Tyrone May and Tom Opacic linked to flick the ball out to Niall Evalds to score on debut and make it 4-0.

Compounding things, they have lost Joe Cator to injury and Herman Ese’ese to a sin bin for a high tackle.

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