Last Sunday was a very differing Sunday for both Hull FC and Wakefield.
Whilst Wakefield almost certainly secured their survival with a shock win over second place Wigan, Hull FC’s solid start against St Helens evaporated with the Champions running in 11 tries to claim a 60-6 triumph over the Black and Whites.
That was a defeat that leaves Hull FC’s play-off hopes dangling by a thread. Low on confidence taking on a side certainly on the up, this could be a tough game for the Black and Whites.
Hull are short of fullback options after another devastating foot injury to Jack Walker and Jake Connor coping a one match ban. Kane Evans has also joined him in receiving a ban this week. Meanwhile another fullback option in Darnell McIntosh is also absent with injury. Ligi Sao and Manu Ma’u return at least in a much needed boost.
Wakefield have again lost Kelepi Tanginoa to a three-match ban after the win over Wigan. They’ve also lost fellow forward in the shape of the in form James Batchelor to injury and making matters worse their own fullback can’t play with Jamie Shaul not allowed to play against his parent club. Fortunately, they have Max Jowitt back in the mix.
Match Preview – Key Battles:
Ben McNamara vs Max Jowitt: It’s been a funny old week for fullbacks at both clubs with Hull FC losing two fullbacks to injuries and another to suspension whilst Jamie Shaul, a Hull FC player on loan at Wakefield, isn’t allowed to play against his former club. This could see Ben McNamara start at fullback and come up against the returning Max Jowitt in a surprise battle.
Ligi Sao vs Jai Whitbread: Ligi Sao is back in time to battle with one of the league’s in form forwards in the powerful and explosive Jai Whitbread fresh off the back of a try against Wigan.
Luke Gake vs Jacob Miller: Another former Hull FC man is back in town. It’s true he’s come into his own at Wakefield though his time there may be finally coming to an end but a last hoorah here to edge Wakefield to mathematical survival but he’ll be up against another experienced halfback in Luke Gale. It’s certainly not been the year he’d have wanted at Hull but this will be a chance for him to remind everyone of his quality against another of Super League’s top halves who like Gale can organise and create.
Where the game will be won and lost:
Momentum is key in rugby league and Wakefield seemingly have it all in this game after the results last week. This could see Wakefield find a way to win here especially if they can again contain a big pack as they’ve done recently against the likes of St Helens. Then their recent resurgence in attack could see them claim a vital win.
Score Prediction: Hull FC 10-18 Wakefield Trinity