Super League: Hull FC v St Helens preview
Last Updated: 31/07/14 11:03am
St Helens will bid to move one step closer to securing the Super League’s League Leaders’ Shield when they travel to the KC Stadium to face Hull FC on Friday.
Nathan Brown’s Saints currently hold a two-point advantage over second-placed Leeds Rhinos with five rounds of action to play in the regular season; their opposition meanwhile are languishing in 12th with just seven wins to their name.
While members of the chasing pack have faltered in recent weeks, St Helens have maintained the pace with a sequence of three victories, the most recent of which saw them smash Widnes 44-22 last Friday.
Meanwhile, the Airlie Birds enter Round 23 on the back of an 18-18 stalemate against Castleford meaning Lee Radford’s men are winless in their last six Super League outings.
Saints prevailed in the reverse fixture at Langtree Park in February and have not been beaten by Hull since March 2012, although they did hold the three-time champions to a draw in June 2012 and February 2013.
Ahead of the Saints’ arrival Hull coach Radford has made two changes to the squad which held the Tigers last time out.
Injuries continue to take their toll at the KC Stadium with Jordan Rankin joining a growing injury list after sustaining a torn meniscus in the draw.
There is a boost for the hosts however, with experienced half-back Richard Horne making a welcome return from his own injury and will join forces with youngster Jordan Abdull, who overcame concussion to retain his place.
Aaron Heremaia returns to Radford’s 19-man squad after being called up late for the Tigers match in place of hooker James Cunningham.
Former FC full-back Shannon McDonnell could face his former team-mates after being named in Brown’s 19-man squad for the first time this season.
The Australian flyer gets the nod as one of three changes to the Saints squad, with Greg Richards and Luke Thompson also making comebacks.
Saints face their first outing without half-back Luke Walsh after he underwent surgery on a broken leg following the victory over the Vikings in Round 22.
Hull FC: Abdull, Bowden, Ellis, Green, Hadley, Heremaia, Horne, Houghton, Lineham, Paea, Paleaaesina, Sa, Shaul, Talanoa, Thompson, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, Yeaman.
St Helens: Makinson, Turner, Jones, Masoe, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Amor, Wellens, Walmsley, Percival, Wheeler, Dawson, Richards, Thompson, McDonnell.
First Utility Super League
Fri 21st Aug - Super 8s
Hull FC22 - 36Leeds Rhinos
Warrington Wolves0 - 28Wigan Warriors
Sat 22nd Aug - Super 8s
Catalans Dragons44 - 26Castleford Tigers
Thu 3rd Sep - Super 8s
Huddersfield GiantsvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 4th Sep - Super 8s
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sat 5th Sep - Super 8s
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Sun 6th Sep - Super 8s
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Thu 10th Sep - Super 8s
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 11th Sep - Super 8s
Wigan WarriorsvsHull FC
Sat 12th Sep - Super 8s
Catalans DragonsvsLeeds Rhinos
Sun 13th Sep - Super 8s
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Thu 17th Sep - Super 8s
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 18th Sep - Super 8s
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 19th Sep - Super 8s
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Fri 25th Sep - Super 8s
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Hull FC0 - 0Catalans Dragons
St Helens0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Super League 2014, Round 23
Daryl Powell refused to dwell on Castleford's 64-18 win over London Broncos, preferring to focus on the Challenge Cup.
Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson hailed a 'near perfect' first half display after they beat Wakefield 36-18.
Castleford moved to within two points of the Super League summit with 64-18 thrashing of London Broncos.
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- Horne helps Hull shock Saints
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- Monaghans inspire Warrington
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