Friday's Super League talking points and team news
Warrington take on Hull KR at the Halliwell Jones Stadium with an 8pm KO; Hull FC are up against the Castleford Tigers, live on Sky Sports Arena with kick-off at 8pm; Jake Connor returns for the black and whites while Tigers coach Lee Radford returns to face his old side
By Sky Sports Rugby League
Last Updated: 21/07/22 9:43pm
We take a look at the team news and what is being said as Hull FC take on Castleford Tigers while Warrington Wolves welcome Hull KR.
Hull FC vs Castleford Tigers, Sky Sports Arena, 8pm
Castleford will be without Niall Evalds as they travel to Hull, with the fullback potentially out for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.
The only other change for Lee Radford's side comes as Cheyse Blair is replaced to serve a two-match suspension.
Friday's match-up will be Radford's first return to the MKM Stadium as an opposition coach and expects to receive some jeers when he makes the trip to his old club Hull next week where he worked for six and a half years, just as his predecessor Peter Gentle did.
"He's done a great job for the club but he was copping stick right, left and centre," Radford said. "It's safe to say I might be in that position this time next week."
However, Radford is aware that his side has suffered some significant injuries over the past few weeks that could be key as they continue to work towards a play-off place.
"His shoulder popped out, so we lose another one," Radford said. "In three weeks that's Ryan Hampshire, Jake Trueman and Niall Evalds and they are massive blows for us.
"But they are an unbelievable group at swimming against the tide. We're fighting above our weight, we keep fighting and scrapping.
"The build-up has been all about returning players but for us, it was about getting back to showing the efforts we've shown over the last month.
"There was a period when the game swung away from us but fortunately we found some answers, we found a way to win the game, which was an important game for us."
Hull coach Brett Hodgson will be looking for a response from his side after losing 60-0 to the Wigan Warriors last week.
They will be boosted by the return of Jake Connor, with Ligi Sao, Kane Evans, Jordan Johnstone and Connor Wynne all back from suspension as well.
Hodgson admitted that the performance was just not good enough last week as they crashed to their fifth defeat in six matches and will be looking to find that vital win as the season draws closer and closer to a close.
Hodgson said: "Wigan were exceptional. They were hurting from the loss last week against St Helens and the way that happened. It was pretty much men versus boys for the majority of the contest. I am disappointed, obviously, there were reasons why we performed like that, but it is still not good enough.
"The third try they got against the run of play where Field picked it up and ran the length, I think that broke us. I don't feel it was the same capitulation against Leeds. Wigan were white-hot and basically speed kills."
Hull FC: Jake Connor, Darnell McIntosh, Luke Gale, Ligi Sao, Danny Houghton, Jordan Lane, Joe Lovodua, Kane Evans, Brad Fash, Jack Brown, Jordan Johnstone, Connor Wynne, Mitieli Vulikijapani, Jacob Hookem, Scott Taylor, Harvey Barron, Davy Litten, Matty Laidlaw, Jack Walker, Josh Simm, Ellis Longstaff.
Castleford: Derrell Olpherts, Jake Mamo, Bureta Faraimo, Danny Richardson, Paul McShane, George Lawler, Kenny Edwards, Adam Milner, Joe Westerman, George Griffin, Mahe Fonua, Alex Sutcliffe, Daniel Smith, Greg Eden, Suaia Matagi, Brad Martin, Sam Hall, Gareth O'Brien, Cain Robb, Jason Qareqare, Alex Mellor.
Warrington Wolves v Hull KR, Halliwell Jones Stadium, 8pm
Warrington will be hoping to win back the support of their fans as they welcome the Robins on Friday night.
Daryl Powell, who has made only one change to his squad with Kyle Amor returning from injury, went over to appease disgruntled Warrington fans on the terraces after his side suffered a 35-22 defeat at the hands of his old club Castleford.
The Wolves never recovered from a disastrous start, trailing 27-0 before staging a spirited, if fruitless, fightback, and remain in ninth place in Super League, well adrift of the play-offs, after winning just seven of their first 19 matches.
Powell, who spent eight years in charge of his hometown club before leaving to join the Wolves at the end of last season, was ridiculed by the Castleford supporters and booed by the travelling fans until addressing them post-match.
"I'm always open to talking to people," he said. "I'm not going to walk away from fans.
"Things are not going the way we wanted them to go but I came here to change the culture and turn the club into a championship-winning team and I'm still doing that.
"The fact is a lot needed to change and I asked them to give me time. I'm working seven days a week to get us to where want to be.
"The chances are we're not going to win the comp this year but we've a great chance of winning it next year."
Powell, who has made a host of high-profile signings for 2023, including Josh McGuire and Matt Dufty, admitted his team's disappointing performance on his return to Castleford had taken the gloss of their win over Catalans Dragons at the Magic Weekend.
"I had a great time here," he said. "It's been a pretty harsh experience because they kept asking me what the score was and I hate losing games.
"Coming here and losing is tough, especially the way we did. Last week was about as complete a performance as we've had but this week we were all over the place.
"How we started the game was as dumb as you are ever going to see. We put ourselves under way too much pressure. We were poor defensively and conceded some real soft tries.
"The boys are trying hard but not using brains in an effective way. We handed Castleford gilt-edged opportunities to attack our line."
Hull KR will travel to Warrington with some key injuries from their win over Wakefield, Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Dean Hadley both being ruled out the fixture and adding to a long list of missing players.
Despite his squad carrying heavy injuries, interim Rovers head coach Danny McGuire believes his side can now begin to look towards reaching the play-offs after a hard-fought victory against Wakefield.
"We're obviously relieved to get the win, it was a bit tense at the end," explained McGuire.
"We were way off in the first half and I told them that at half-time.
"It's probably the most aggressive I've been as a coach, but the players responded to that really well.
"Conditions were tough, we can't get away from that, but Wakey carried with intent and put us on our back more.
"Our passing was poor, kicking game dire, but you've got to give our players credit for getting the job done.
"I'm very pleased with the response and I think we've got to look up the table now.
"We're not too far away from where we want to be and if we can string a few games together, we can be in the mix."
Warrington: Stefan Ratchford, Peter Mata'utia, Matty Ashton, George Williams, Daryl Clark, Ben Currie, Oliver Holmes, Jason Clark, Joe Bullock, Danny Walker, Matt Davis, Robbie Mulhern, James Harrison, Greg Minikin, Josh Thewlis, Connor Wrench, Tom Whitehead, Kyle Amor, Thomas Mikaele, Jake Wardle, Matty Nicholson.
Hull KR: Lachlan Coote, Ben Crooks, Ryan Hall, Matt Parcell, George King, Jez Litten, Korbin Sims, Elliot Minchella, Jimmy Keinhorst, Will Dagger, Mikey Lewis, Rowan Milnes, Will Maher, Ethan Ryan, Sam Wood, Greg Richards, Will Tate, Phoenix Laulu-Togaga'e, Charlie Cavanaugh, Connor Moore, Sam Royle.