A fan panel special: The Hull Derby

As a special preview for the return of the Hull Derby, we asked out expert KR and FC fans – James Deighton and Sarah MacKenzie, to give us their take on the game.

What makes the Hull Derby so special to you?

JD: Well it’s the only true derby in Super League, there are no two closer teams in distance and rivalry; the Back to Back Challenge Cup wins and the team relegated from Super League in 2016, as we are tediously reminded every day.

SM: It’s always been a special event. The build-up of the banter and then the knowledge that if we lose we won’t hear the end of it. The fact that wherever you are you know Rovers fans. There’s no escaping from the build-up!

What gets the nerves going the most, the fear of losing or the joy of winning?

JD: For me, I don’t think a fear of losing exists, if you adopt that approach going into a game you’re never going to win so definitely the joy of winning and having the bragging rights for the next couple of months gets my nerves going.

SM: In the build-up it’s the anticipation of it, the fear of not performing well and knowing if we lose we will somehow be the “lesser team”. It’s the knowledge that the city will be red and white and there’ll be gloating for weeks to come!

What have you made of the other side’s season so far?

JD: I honestly thought the back to back Challenge Cup winners would have started the season a little stronger, however, I do believe the history-making trip to Australia took a lot out of Lee Radford’s men as they’ve struggled to maintain any real form. On paper Hull have one of the easier Easter weekends and will be expecting to pick up four points, however Tim Sheens and Chris Chester will have something to say about that.

SM: Rovers have actually done better than I thought so far this season. They’ve picked up a couple of wins and come close in a few matches.

If you HAD to have one player from the other team, who would it be?

JD: Without a doubt, Jordan Abdull. He was one of the keys to our success during our Championship campaign and I’m extremely surprised we didn’t table an offer to the Black and Whites in the off-season. He would’ve been my priority signing as I expect him to guide Hull FC to the three wins they need to make the Challenge Cup Final.

SM: I would like Chris Atkin. I think he’s a good halfback with the potential to do something special

What makes you believe you’ll win this game?

JD: If passed fit at the 11th hour, Shaun Lunt will be the match winner. His ability to steal a try out of nothing is up their with the best and I’m sure skip and the boys will be doing all they can to get the win for George Lawler, who I wish a speedy recovery and can’t wait to see in a Rovers shirt once again.

SM: On paper we have a much stronger team. I think the real battle will be the organisation of Maguire against Sneyd. The return of Danny Houghton should provide us with some much-needed zip and direction from the play the ball which I think will be key for us.

Score Prediction?

JD: Hull KR 13-12 Hull FC
SM: Hull KR 16-28 Hull FC