Match Preview: v Hull FC (24.03.17)

Opponents: Hull FC

Date: 24.03.2017

Venue: DW Stadium

Tickets: https://www.eticketing.co.uk/wiganwarriors/default.aspx

A look at the Opposition

Hull FC come into the game in third position and with the favourites tag ahead of Friday nights clash against top of the table and the unbeaten, Wigan Warriors. Hulls only defeat of the season came at home against the Catalan Dragons, when they came up against a Greg Bird inspired Dragons team. A close encounter which they eventually lost in the arm-wrestle. Other than that, a tight affair on the opening day of the season at Wakefield, owing mainly to muddy pitch conditions and a close game against St Helens – Hull have looked like they building on last year’s success.

The acquisition of Albert Kelly has added a new dimension to their attack, he has scored six tries already this season, the third top try scorer in the Super League behind the two Gregs at Castleford. His ability and willingness to take on a defensive line, curtailed with the control that Mark Sneyd can apply, makes them a dangerous pairing at halfback.

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The Hull FC forward pack, led by Man of Steel, Danny Houghton is as strong as it was last year, with the evergreen Minachello and Ellis supported by probably the best player Wigan have let go in the past 5 seasons, Scott Taylor.

This game has the feel of the game at the DW last year in the regular season, when Sam Tomkins made his second debut for Wigan – Hull look to be hitting form whereas Wigan seem to be hitting injuries. Hull will rightly be favourites for Friday’s game.

Team News

Hull will be without Tuimavave and Talanoa for Friday’s game due to an ankle injury and concussion respectively. The Hull FC website states: “Tuimavave, who has played in all five of Hull’s games this year, has been ruled out with an ankle problem whilst Talanoa, who missed last week’s win over Widnes Vikings, is ruled out through concussion again. Young forward Brad Fash has been called into the 19-man squad for the first time this season and there are places for Masi Matongo and Jack Downs. Lee Radford is still without prop Liam Watts”.

  1. Jamie Shaul
  2. Mahe Fonua
  3. Josh Griffin
  4. Albert Kelly
  5. Marc Sneyd
  6. Scott Taylor
  7. Danny Houghton
  8. Mark Minichiello
  9. Gareth Ellis
  10. Jake Connor
  11. Chris Green
  12. Jordan Thompson
  13. Danny Washbrook
  14. Steve Michaels
  15. Sika Manu
  16. Josh Bowden
  17. Jack Downs
  18. Brad Fash
  19. Masi Matongo

Wigan’s 19 man squad see’s Liam Farrell, Sean O’Loughlin and Jack Wells replaced by Nick Gregson, Callum Field and Josh Ganson.

Hull FC-3.png

Thoughts on the Game

Last week’s tip of Escare first try scorer was correct – other than Lee Gaskell scoring the game’s first try – we are still claiming that as a success!

This week could a struggle for Wigan it could be the week that the early season injuries finally catch up with the team. Having said that, Hull missing Tuimavave and Talanoa could even things out slightly although the centre/wing partnership of Griffin and Fonua against an inexperienced Wigan centre/Wigan partnership fills me with dread.

For Wigan to get a result on Friday, the likes of Joel Tomkins, Thomas Leuluai and George Williams will have to lead the young players around the park and control the game. Wigan’s forward pack, although missing many, still looks pretty good and should provide a good challenge for Hull.

I am more hopeful this week than expectant, but I am very excited to see what youngsters we play and how they go. I am hoping that we get to see Josh Ganson, a player who has been ripping it up in the 19’s and reserve grade from the hooking role.

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The Wigan Rugby Blog predicts:

Score: Wigan 20 – 16 Hull (hopeful but we can’t be the Wigan Rugby Blog if we predict against Wigan!)

First Try Scorer: Tom Davies

Don’t forget, you can vote for your Man of the Match after the game at www.wiganrugby.blog or on our social media platforms on Twitter and Facebook

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