Hull FC have a sniff of second place now, but more importantly with just four regular season rounds to go, there’s an immediate need to guarantee a place in this year’s Super League play-offs.
To do that nothing but victory will do and like Wakefield, whilst not being mathematically so, it’s another must win game. Two points and Hull go outright second on the table. Potential scenes.
Tevita Satae should make his Hull FC debut against Salford. He was named in the squad to face Wakefield last week but he wasn’t risked having only landed in the country days before. He’s now had a week and a half over here, training most days.
Hull worked hard to get Satae over for the rest of the 2019 season. He’s explosive, and should provide some real impact off the bench. He’s a monster of a human being, a metre machine, and therefore will take some real stopping when he gets going.
Hull have ground Salford down in both meetings so far this season, so the onus will be on Scott Taylor, Gareth Ellis, Josh Bowden and the returning Mickey Paea to do so again. Attitude and effort has been unquestionable since the Magic Weekend defeat, so let’s hope they can lead from the front and set the platform for victory.
Hull’s right edge tore Salford apart during the last KCOM meeting. That night it consisted of Sika Manu, Albert Kelly, Jake Connor and Ratu Naulago. The only change in personal here will see Carlos Tuimavave come in for Kelly, with Connor in the halves. Hopefully it’ll be an area where Hull can get at their opposition once again.
The original Red Devils have won their last four Super League matches and that puts them right in the mix for a play-off spot. It’s a remarkable achievement from coach Ian Watson and his playing squad, who have defied the odds to reach the top five with just four games to go.
Salford currently sit four points behind Hull, but with a far superior points difference an away win blows everything wide open. The incentive for both sides is there. They’ve had two close encounters so far this season on paper. Hull were comfortable in the away win earlier this season, whilst they looked to take Salford to the cleaners at home before a late comeback made thing a little nervy. This will be far from easy.
Hull welcome back Mickey Paea and Sika Manu into the side. New signing Tevita Satae should also make his club debut. Joe Westerman is still missing with illness, whilst Albert Kelly (ribs), Mark Minichiello (groin), Levy Nzoungou (hamstring), Andre Savelio (foot) and Matty Dawson-Jones (ACL) are all out injured.
Hull Squad: 1. Jamie Shaul, 2. Bureta Faraimo, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 4. Josh Griffin, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Scott Taylor, 9. Danny Houghton, 10. Josh Bowden, 14. Jake Connor, 19. Masimbaashe Matongo, 20. Brad Fash, 21. Sika Manu, 22. Jordan Lane, 23. Mickey Paea, 30. Danny Washbrook, 33. Ratu Naulago, 34. Gareth Ellis, 37. Jack Brown, 39. Tevita Satae.
Salford Squad: 1. Niall Evalds, 3. Kris Welham, 5. Jake Bibby, 8. Lee Mossop, 9. Josh Wood, 10. Gil Dudson, 11. Josh Jones, 13. Mark Flanagan, 14. Joey Lussick, 15. Adam Walker, 16. Greg Burke, 18. Ben Nakubuwai, 19. Logan Tomkins, 23. Ken Sio, 26. Krisnan Inu, 29. Ryan Lannon, 30. Tui Lolohea, 31. Jackson Hastings, 32. Josh Johnson.
Last Five Meetings
2019: Hull 35 Salford 32
2019: Salford 16 Hull 23
2018: Hull 45 Salford 14
2018: Salford 24 Hull 8
2017: Hull 32 Salford 18
It will be tough but Hull by 8 points.