This is not the Hull derby fans wanted or expected when the fixtures revealed that the final fixture of the campaign would see a tussle between the two Hull clubs.
Instead of being a decider in the play-off race, it’s merely a battle for local pride with one win a piece between the two so far this season whilst a win for either side would see the victor finish above their rivals.
Both ravaged by injury and suspension, it should certainly be an interesting battle especially with Hull KR only able to name a 16-man squad.
Remarkably, Hull FC have been able to name a 21-man squad despite 14 players out. This is because Danny Houghton and Darnell McIntosh are back in the mix even though it seemed their season was over. Brad Fash remains banned.
Hull KR are without the banned Korbin Sims whose career is now over. Matt Parcell and Will Maher are both injured leaving Hull KR with just 16 players meaning they will not be able to name a full 17 with their appeal of Jez Litten’s ban failing.
Match Preview – Key Battles:
Jake Connor vs Ethan Ryan: Ethan Ryan had to shift to fullback on Monday and did a terrific job even getting over the whitewash being a great attacking threat. To outshine Jake Connor though he’ll need a stunning performance especially after Connor was back to his best against Toulouse and the big stage will bring the best out of him.
Darnell McIntosh vs Ryan Hall: Darnell McIntosh is back for one last hoorah before the end of the year and could cause Ryan Hall problems but Hall is still one of the best wingers around and his strength will make him a real threat to Hull FC.
Will Smith vs Rowan Milnes: Will Smith has been a success at Hull FC and is full of tricks which could lead Hull FC to victory. Rowan Milnes meanwhile has been tasked with being Hull KR’s organiser with all of Hull KR’s pivots out injured and it’ll be a great to see him take on these responsibilities on the big stage.
Where the game will be won and lost:
A battle between two teams lacking their star players with injuries and suspensions tearing through both squads ahead of this battle for local pride. The fact that Hull FC can rely on more of their spine players than Hull KR could give the Black and Whites the edge.
Score Prediction: Hull FC 22-20 Hull KR