The games are coming thick and fast now, with Hull FC set for the first of two fixtures this weekend at the behind closed doors neutral venue of Langtree Park.
Wakefield are up first before Castleford in the cup on Sunday with the squad therefore pushed to its limit. For one reason or another eleven players are missing, but Wakefield too are battling their own demons in this farce of a season and have also named a more younger looking squad than usual. Survival of the fittest comes to mind.
What to expect then? Well Hull, whilst showing plenty of effort and endeavour against Warrington last week, made far too many unforced errors and the defence couldn’t hold out. When it gets tough this side can lack that bit of fight or know how to get out of those situations. The manner of the tries conceded told you everything but it’s what Hull did with the ball that came under the most criticism. They were unorthodox, predictable and found metres tough to come by. On the contrary against Huddersfield there was an energy about Last’s side and the simple mileage they got into the ball resulted in points.
Hull must sort their defence out, get a better completion rate and show some adventure against Wakefield to have any chance of winning but not just for one half or sixty minutes, but for a full game. It’s been a common pattern to see promising Hull performances fade away in the second half of games. We saw it in the reverse fixture back in March where it took another swing of Marc Sneyd’s boot to get a victory that should have been much more comfortable.
Energy could be tough to come by with what’s coming on Sunday but there is an element of youth amongst this Hull side and youth generally brings enthusiasm. Sure it has been a tough year with what’s happened with lockdown, the season suspension and then our own covid issues, but Wakefield are in the same boat. We’re not on the side of excuses at the moment. You never know what you’re going to get with this Hull side, but after a bad performance, we are usually due a good one.
The basket case case that is 2020
What a week ey. We had the news that despite belting each other for eighty minutes over the course of a rugby league game, players are now not allowed to celebrate together after a try is scored with a few Wigan players already copping a ban for doing so. Embarrassing.
Now after new rules introduced half way through a season, the goalposts have been moved again with the Super League table listed by a points per game ratio. That means Catalans are now top despite having four less points than the big three over the Pennines. Obviously the powers that be assume that not every club will forfill their fixtures, a negative outlook and a solution that should have been put in place if/and when actually necessary. Then again it won’t affect Hull as we won’t get anywhere near the top four and we’re not interested in a pissing contest to see who finishes higher in the mid-table mediocrity battle.
It has got to the stage now where all that matters is the completion of all contractual and sponsorship obligations for the sake of the competitions long-term survival. Anything else is pretty much irrelevant. That attitude goes hand in hand with what Hull have delivered this year, we’ve been well off the pace and we can’t even get in the ground to see it, so November really can’t come quick enough. Not that next year with the latest bullshit in the news will offer any normality at this rate. Christ this is depressing…
Hull originally made seven changes to the squad. Jamie Shaul, Bureta Faraimo, Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Manu Ma’u and Jordan Johnstone all dropped out. Ligi Sao is suspended.
Joe Cator, Masimbaashe Matongo, Andre Savelio, Connor Wynne, Lewis Bienek, Ratu Naulago and Jude Ferreira came into the squad.
However a late change sees Naulago out and Faraimo back in.
Hull Squad: 2. Bureta Faraimo, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Jake Connor, 9. Danny Houghton, 10. Chris Satae, 14. Albert Kelly, 15. Joe Cator, 19. Masimbaashe Matongo, 20. Brad Fash, 21. Jordan Lane, 22. Josh Bowden, 23. Andre Savelio, 24. Mahe Fonua, 25. Connor Wynne, 26. Kieran Buchanan, 28. Lewis Bienek, 30. Jack Brown, 31. Cameron Scott, 34. Charlie Patterson-Lund, 35. Ben McNamara, 36. Jude Ferreira.
Wakefield Squad: 1. Alex Walker, 3. Bill Tupou, 4. Reece Lyne, 5. Ben Jones-Bishop, 13. Joe Westerman, 14. Jay Pitts, 15. Craig Kopczak, 17. Chris Green, 19. Jordan Crowther, 21. Max Jowitt, 22. George King, 23. Josh Wood, 26. Titus Gwaze, 29. Ryan Hampshire, 20. Yusuf Aydin, 31. Connor Bailey, 36. Kelepi Tanginoa, 37. Romain Navarrete, 38. Liam Kay, 39. Tony Gigot, 40. Innes Senior.
Last Five Meetings
2020: Wakefield 26 Hull 27
2019: Wakefield 16 Hull 26
2019: Hull 30 Wakefield 14
2019: Hull 12 Wakefield 32
2018: Hull 13 Wakefield 31
Super League Head to Head
Played 54 – Hull wins 39, Wakefield wins 14, draws 1
Hull by four points.