Hull FC v Widnes Vikings: Preview

Castleford Hull combined team

Hull FC come into the game after a solid win against St Helens, meanwhile Widnes are struggling for form and points, having suffered a 34-0 drubbing at home to the Castleford Tigers.

Black and Whites’ back-rower Sika Manu has told the Hull FC website that he is expecting another physical game on Friday night. Manu, who in his second season at Hull, says Friday’s game against Denis Betts’ side will be as physical as the Saints test. “Widnes are a physical team as well, hopefully we’ll get the job done against them.” He added: “Every team has got a squad that’s tough so we’ll expect a tough game again this week, which we’ll get prepared for in training.”

This Friday’s game is the second home match in a row for the Airlie Birds and as they face a Vikings side short on confidence. Denis Betts has said that his side lacked desire, commitment and belief when they faced the Tigers last Sunday afternoon and they will need to improve considerably to test Hull.

At his weekly press conference, Betts gave an injury update ahead of the trip to the KCOM Stadium. Winger Patrick Ah Van withdrew from the squad in the warm-up prior to the 34-0 loss at home to the Tigers. He hopes that Ah Van will be available for selection this week and the same can also be said for Gil Dudson who missed out with a back problem. “I don’t think there is too much wrong with him (Ah Van). Pat hadn’t torn anything and it was just the possibility of him not being able to finish the game,” Betts said. “That’s tough for a winger and if he’d not been able to play the full 80 that would have disrupted us massively.”

Betts also singled out Albert Kelly as a thorn in the Hull FC side and said he could cause the Vikings problem, “He (Kelly) does the unexpected. He’s got that extra bit of quality that can break a game open. You saw that last week. When he gets on the ball he’s hard to tackle.”

Hull FC Squad: Shaul, Fonua, Tuimavave, Griffin, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Minichiello, Ellis, Connor, Green, Thompson, Washbrook, Michaels, Manu, Bowden, Downs, Matongo.

Widnes Squad: Armstrong, Bridge, Buchanan, Cahill, J. Chapelhow, T. Chapelhow, Craven, Dudson, Hanbury, Heremaia, Houston, Johnstone, Leuluai, Marsh, Olbison, Runciman, Thompson, White, Whitley.

Referee: C Campbell

Touch-judges: P Brook and R Thompson