Not one to ever mince his words, Hull FC coach Lee Radford has labelled Friday night’s clash with in-form Huddersfield as “Judgement Day” as they look to give themselves a chance of a top-four finish.
Hull know that they could finish the weekend as high as third – but they could also be as low as sixth should results go against them.
Only a win tonight against the Giants gives Hull any chance of the top four going into the Super 8s – and Radford knows how important a game it is.
He said: “It’s Judgement Day for us. We have an opportunity to go third and we have an opportunity to go sixth. The latter option is not what we strived for at the beginning of the year. We are striving for the top four.
“If we can finish the 23 round inside the four and with the semi-finals on the horizon that will be mission accomplished. But if that doesn’t happen we have done ourselves an injustice.”
Radford also says the prospect of an extra home game – especially given Hull’s geographical location – would be huge.
He quipped: “The extra home game is big. The M62 is shut every Friday night and the last thing I want to be doing is taking an extra trip to Salford, Wigan or St Helens for instance!
“The home game is big financially for the club and for the fans. I’d like to avoid getting in at 3am on a Saturday morning as much as we possibly can.”
However, Radford is fully aware they will be facing a Huddersfield side on Friday night eyeing up an unlikely push for the play-off places themselves.
Of the Giants, who could finish the weekend just three points adrift of the four, he said: “They had a fear of dropping into the Qualifiers solely because of injuries. When we played them earlier in the season they had upwards of 13 blokes missing. I almost felt sorry for them that night and was worried we take them for granted.
“I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that they have got some troops back and made some recruits like Jordan Rankin and they are pushing up the table. That’s credit to their coach.”