For the fans, the thought of defeat is unimaginable, for the players, the ridicule for being on the losing side can be overbearing, and for the coaches, a loss could see the fans turn against you.
There’s no hiding place when it comes to the Hull derby, one of, if not the most passionate and fierce rivalry in Rugby League.
The two sets of fans despise the other and the city is well and truly divided by their loyalty to the club on the East or West. It really is as big as it comes.
So the prospect of losing a game of such magnitude is quite simply unthinkable for those involved. No matter the circumstances, it is a must win game.
Unfortunately, one team will leave on the losing side and be forced to deal with the gloating for the next two months until they face off again at Magic Weekend. It’s something that no supporter wants to deal with.
But which team needs to win the most? With so much passion, it is a very difficult question to answer. From Hull KR’s standpoint, the momentum picked up from finally securing their first win of the season was a huge boost, but that would be punctured by defeat to the Airlie Birds. With Huddersfield and Wakefield facing off a few hours later, they’re guaranteed to move down to 11th in the table if they lose, which is hardly ideal.
As for Hull FC, their momentum has only just started to inflate again after beating Wakefield, which came after three consecutive defeats at the hands of Castleford, Wigan and Widnes. In that regard, the game against Rovers presents a huge opportunity, not only to banish the memories of those defeats but potentially move them back into the top four if St Helens lose to Wigan. By doing that, there would be a feel good factor again, something the KC Stadium desperately needs if they are to push higher up the table.
However, a loss would be a double blow for Lee Radford, who, rightly or wrongly, is unpopular with a certain section of the club’s fanbase. Losing to Rovers would only heighten the volume of his critics, but also see the club drop down the table rather than potentially push into the top four.
With James Webster new into the job at Rovers, a derby day win would do the world of good to his reputation, but with victory over Salford already putting him in the good books and easing the pressure on Rovers somewhat, there is definitely more at stake for Radford and FC in this Good Friday fixture.