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Super League: Wakefield Wildcats v Hull FC preview
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Wakefield Wildcats could move level with Hull FC as Lee Radford’s side make a trip to the Rapid Solicitors Stadium as part of a Super League Sunday triple bill.
The Wildcats welcome Hull with only two points separating the sides, although victory would not be enough to see Wakefield steal 10th spot from the visitors, who boast a far superior score difference.
The arrival of James Webster as head coach at Wakefield – replacing Richard Agar on June 2 – has brought an upturn in form for the West Yorkshire club, who have won both matches since the change at the helm.
After beating relegation-threatened London Broncos 18-10, the Wildcats turned in a thrilling performance to overturn reigning champions Wigan Warriors last time out.
Danny Kirmond, Tim Smith, Richard Owen and Richard Moore all crossed the whitewash as Wakefield claimed their first victory over the Warriors in five years, running out 36-28 winners on home soil.
Contrastingly, Hull enter Round 18 on the back of defeat to Catalan Dragons, who brought Radford’s side crashing back down to earth after successive half centuries.
Hull appeared to have turned a corner with 50-12 and 56-6 victories over the Broncos and Widnes Vikings respectively, but losing 20-16 in Perpignan saw them slip back into 10th as the race for play-offs places intensifies.
With no fresh injury concerns to contend with, Webster names an unchanged 19-man squad for the visit of Hull.
Lee Gilmour has extended his loan deal from Castleford Tigers having made a first start in the victory over Wigan Warriors, with the agreement between the two clubs to be continued on a week-by-week basis.
Chris Annakin continues to serve a suspension with Dean Collis still some weeks off returning from knee surgery. However, Ali Lauitiiti took part in training this week as he looks to make a recovery from the knee injury that threatened to end his season.
Meanwhile, Hull coach Radford names two changes to his preliminary squad to face the Wildcats.
Liam Watts returns to the Black and Whites’ travelling party after missing out in France last week despite showing good form in the run-up to the game.
He is joined in the squad by Jacob Miller, who returns from his loan match with Doncaster last weekend replacing fellow Australian half Jordan Rankin, who has been granted compassionate leave meaning he will miss the fixture.
Ben Crooks also misses out on the 19-man squad after picking up a minor injury at the Gilbert Brutus Stadium last Saturday.
Wakefield Wildcats: Mathers, Riley, D. Smith, Walshaw, Sykes, Godinet, Anderson, McShane, Gilmour, Kirmond, Washbrook, Ryan, Owen, Moore, T. Smith, Tautai, Lyne, Scruton, Raleigh
Hull FC: Bowden, Ellis, Heremaia, Hadley, Horne, Houghton, Lineham, Miller, Paea, Paleaaesina, Sa, Shaul, Talanoa, Thompson, Tuson, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, Yeaman
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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