Super League: Hull KR v Hull FC preview
Last Updated: 17/04/14 8:41pm
Both Hull KR and Hull FC have hit form at the right time ahead of their first derby clash of the season on Thursday, live on Sky Sports.
The Robins go into the game fresh off a superb 25-12 away triumph over Warrington, their third straight win in Super League having previously claimed just one point from their opening five matches.
They have also received a boost on the eve of the big game with the announcement of the signing of Wayne Ulugia, though Rovers fans will have to wait to see the former North Queensland Cowboy in action for their club.
Still, the addition of the utility back - one who has represented New Zealand at junior level and can play either at full-back, on the wing or in the centres - creates further competition for places in Craig Sandercock's playing squad.
The Australian coach is able to recall Justin Poore for the clash with the Black and Whites, the prop having now completed a three-match ban for dangerous tackle made against Bradford in March.
His return is a timely one, considering Rovers have now lost Adam Walker to an ankle injury that is expected to keep the prop sidelined for some time.
"With Adam out injured alongside his brother Jonny, it's really important to have Justin back," Sandercock told the Hull Daily Mail. "We need him back because we need as many of our front rowers available as possible."
Rovers won the Easter clash last year at the KC Stadium but were beaten in the remaining two derbies, including a 38-20 reverse at Craven Park that means they have lost the last two matches against their city rivals on home turf.
If they can end the run and make it four league wins on the spin they will go above their neighbours in the table and into the play-off positions.
Hull FC coach Lee Radford is getting set for his first derby since taking the top job, and the former forward knows there are more than two Super League points on the line.
"They're obviously intense," he told Sky Sports. "With the geography of both clubs being so close together, and the meaning to both sets of spectators, it obviously adds a bit more motivation coming into the fixture.
"When one half of your family are black and white, then the other half are red and white, you know you're going to cop a bit of flak when you get home, that is for sure."
Radford has seen his team win their last two league outings, though they have sandwiched a golden-point loss to Salford in the fourth round of the Tetley's Challenge Cup.
However, they bounced back from the disappointment of seeing their dreams of reaching Wembley dashed with an impressive 30-6 result at home to Huddersfield in front of the Sky cameras, scoring four tries in a blistering first quarter of the match at the KC Stadium.
Understandably Radford has kept faith with the players that performed so well against the Giants, the only change in the 19-man squad seeing the fit-again Richard Horne return in place of hooker Aaron Heremaia.
Hull KR: Burns, Carlile, Caro, Cockayne, Costigan, Cox, Gardner, Green, Hall, J. Hodgson, Horne, Keating, Larroyer, Lovegrove, Netherton, Poore, Salter, Welham, Weyman.
Hull FC: Bowden, Carvell, Colbon, Ellis, Hadley, Horne, Houghton, Miller, Paea, Paleaaesina, Rankin, Shaul, Talanoa, Thompson, Tuson, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, Yeaman.
Watch Hull KR take on Hull live on Sky Sports 1 at 8pm on Thursday.
First Utility Super League
Thu 6th Aug - Super 8's
Wigan WarriorsvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 7th Aug - Super 8's
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Hull FC
Leeds RhinosvsWarrington Wolves
Sat 8th Aug - Super 8's
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Thu 13th Aug - Super 8's
Castleford TigersvsWarrington Wolves
Fri 14th Aug - Super 8's
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
St Helens0 - 0Hull FC
Thu 20th Aug - Super 8's
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 21st Aug - Super 8's
Hull FC0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Sat 22nd Aug - Super 8's
Catalans DragonsvsCastleford Tigers
Thu 3rd Sep - Super 8's
Huddersfield GiantsvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 4th Sep - Super 8's
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sat 5th Sep - Super 8's
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Sun 6th Sep - Super 8's
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Thu 10th Sep - Super 8's
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 11th Sep - Super 8's
Wigan WarriorsvsHull FC
Sat 12th Sep - Super 8's
Catalans DragonsvsLeeds Rhinos
Sun 13th Sep - Super 8's
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Thu 17th Sep - Super 8's
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 18th Sep - Super 8's
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 19th Sep - Super 8's
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Fri 25th Sep - Super 8's
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Hull FC0 - 0Catalans Dragons
St Helens0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Super League 2014, round nine
Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson is hoping his side's 42-22 win at Salford can kick-start their season.
Aaron Murphy scored a hat-trick of tries as Huddersfield ended their poor recent run by beating Salford 42-22.
Castleford head coach Daryl Powell admitted he had some harsh words for his side at half-time in the win at Wakefield.
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