Two teams with nothing left to play for this year meet with their eyes firmly fixed on 2023.
Hull FC have seen their play-off hopes dissipate over the course of the season but reminded everyone of what they can do when they pushed the in form Salford all the way last week and will be looking for another improved performance here so they can generate momentum for 2023.
Speaking of doing just that, Toulouse will be hoping to do the same so they can bounce straight back to Super League after losing their Super League status on Thursday against their French rivals Catalans. They’ll be optimistic about winning promotion next year but a strong finish to the season will certainly help them.
Hull have plenty of players injured and out for the rest of the season including Danny Houghton, Joe Lovodua and Manu Ma’u and after picking up an injury on Thursday against Salford, Connor Wynne may join them in the treatment room for this week’s game. Meanwhile, Brad Fash has picked a two-match ban which will end his season.
As for Toulouse, the French side are without Corey Norman and Tony Gigot with the former still banned and the latter suffering with an elbow problem. Mathieu Jussuame and Matty Russell could possibly return to the mix on Sunday.
Match Preview – Key Battles:
Jake Connor vs Olly Ashall-Bott: Jake Connor returned to fullback on Thursday and made an impact with a lovely try. He’ll be up against one of Toulouse’s best players and an underrated star in the shape of Ashall-Bott who scored another try the other day even outfoxing Sam Tomkins. An explosive and elusive runner, he’ll be a real threat come Sunday.
Will Smith vs Chris Hankinson: Playing out of position, Hankinson like Ashall-Bott got a lovely try on Thursday with his running game paying off. Will Smith likewise had a big attacking influence on Thursday with a try and an assist and should really catch the eye come Sunday.
Where the game will be won and lost:
Two teams free to express themselves, it could be quite the entertaining game but with Hull FC having the likes of star players like Jake Connor looking to finish the year with a flourish, they’ll back themselves to pick up the win here.
Score Prediction: Hull FC 26-12 Toulouse Olympique