Good Friday is the first of three Super League Big City Derby games between Hull FC and Hull KR for the 2018 season.
The home side have done their best to sell out their tinpot ground, with tickets now available for trade on Craigslist. Both chairmens desire for a breakaway competition between the two sides is still relevant, but plans for further cash cows have been put on hold as Rovers fight the threat of relegation once again. Ohhhhh Gareth O’Brien.
Hull FC meanwhile have named a strong side, with club captain and ear tape enthusiast Danny Houghton back amongst the ranks. Mickey Paea is also back, and Albert Kelly will return to the ground where he was only a hero two and a half years ago. Fickle bastards. Ole ole ole ole.
There is no Sika Manu to the relief of every East Hull man and his dog, and Dean Hadley has been sidelined with a knee injury, so young Jordan Lane is set for his first taste of a first grade Hull Derby. No dramas.
Scott Taylor will lead the line, after his comments were completely brought out of proportion by the local media this week. It’s just two Super League points on offer right? It’s not a Cup final. Well for some it might be. Our Cup final is at Wembley.
To no surprises Danny McGuire has hired the services of his miracle worker again and will feature for the Dobins. We thought Jesus rose again on the Sunday? Never mind. He will referee the game and complain when things don’t go his way. Elsewhere the Red and Shites have filled their squad with journeymen, fornicators and former Whinos misfits. The fastest prop in rugby league though, Robbie Mulhern, is out as he searches for the lungs he left at Huddersfield.
On the wing, the pantomime bed-hopping villain Justin Carney takes the role formerly held by Ben Cokayane. As pointed out last time by the wits of Mr French, Carney earned the nicknames “Thing On The Wing” and “Tank on the Flank” while at Salford and Castleford, but we much prefer the name “Lowlife Who Shags Your Wife”.
Shaun Lunt is also back after running his leg through a glass door. We don’t know why, but we instantly thought of the Happy Gilmore scene where Happy throws his grandmas repo man through a couple of French doors. “He hates me”. One of the best movies ever that one.
Of course Rovers’ turnstile defence and ability to blow 20-0 leads paved the way for three Hull victories in 2016, with the Derby now back after the formers spell in the “Not quite good enough” league.
Notable absentees for both sides include Bobby Bubbles and Eddie Hemmings. The latter one is worthy of a party in its own right.
Hull Starting XIII: 1. Jamie Shaul, 2. Bureta Faraimo, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 4. Josh Griffin, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 6. Albert Kelly, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Scott Taylor, 9. Danny Houghton, 12. Mark Minichiello, 13. Josh Bowden, 14. Jake Connor, 15. Chris Green, 16. Jordan Abdull, 17. Danny Washbrook, 20. Brad Fash, 23. Mickey Paea, 26. Jordan Lane, 29. Masimbaashe Matongo.
Rovers: 1. Adam Quinlan, 3. Thomas Minns, 5. Ryan Shaw, 7. Danny McGuire, 8. Nick Scruton, 9. Shaun Lunt, 10. Mose Masoe, 11. Maurice Blair, 12. James Greenwood, 13. Ben Kavanagh, 14. Lee Jewitt, 15. James Donaldson, 17. Chris Clarkson, 19. Tommy Lee, 20. Matty Marsh, 22. Liam Salter, 23. Josh Johnson, 24. Chris Atkin, 36. Justin Carney
Hull by 10.