Match preview: Hull FC v Huddersfield Giants
Huddersfield head to Humberside for their first match since their controversial exit from the Tetley’s Challenge Cup, as they lock horns with Hull FC at the KC Stadium in Thursday’s televised clash.
That 17-16 defeat will no doubt still leave a bitter taste in the mouths of Giants fans, but they have a quick turnaround to put things right, and try and finally cement some sort of form in the league, after a stuttering start to 2014. However, they will have to do it without star forward Brett Ferres, who is serving the first of his five-match ban following the spear tackle that saw him see red.
Huddersfield will also be without David Faiumu, who has headed home for compassionate reasons for a short period.
The Black and Whites have been able to call on the services of captain Gareth Ellis again, after he finished his two-match suspension. Garreth Carvell is also expected to feature, having been rested for FC’s Challenge Cup defeat to Salford Red Devils last weekend.
Hull FC: Bowden, Carvell, Colbon, Ellis, Hadley, Heremaia, Houghton, Miller, Paea, Paleaaesina, Rankin, Shaul, Talanoa, Thompson, Tuson, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, Yeaman
Huddersfield Giants: Grix, McGillvary, Wardle, Murphy, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Lunt, Kopczak, Chan, Bailey, Lawrence, Ta’ai, Wood, Broughton, Kaufusi, Fairbank, Johnson, Connor.
Huddersfield will be looking to replicate the scoreline from the last time the two sides met – in last year’s play-offs. The Giants won 76-18, the biggest winning margin Huddersfield have posted over Hull in the modern era.
Kyle Wood needs one appearance to reach 150 for his career. Wood has played 26 games in two spells for Huddersfield (2011 & 2013-2014), and has also made appearances for Doncaster (27 games, 2008), Sheffield (36 games, 2009 & 2011), Batley (10 games, 2010), Castleford (5 games, 2010) and Wakefield (45 games, 2012-2013).
Craig Kopczak is one appearance away from 150 (115 for Bradford, 2006-2012 and 34 for Huddersfield, 2013-2014)
Perhaps the toughest game of the weekend to call, this. However, home advantage could prove pivotal – as could the return of Gareth Ellis from injury. Hull FC win, but only just.