Match preview: Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC

Leeds Rhinos will look to cement their position at the top of Super League this evening, as they take on out-of-sorts Hull FC at Headingley Carnegie. The Rhinos can potentially open up a three-point lead with a victory, and they are boosted by a couple of big returns for the clash.

Kallum Watkins returns from illness to add some strike to the Rhinos’ backline, whilst Tom Briscoe is recalled to Leeds’ 19-man squad, meaning he could play against his former club. Youngster Robbie Ward is also set for a debut, meaning Kevin Sinfield can revert to his customary half-back role.

Hull FC have been boosted by the arrival of Setimata Sa from Rugby Union outfit London Welsh, but prop Garreth Carvell has been ruled out with injury. Gareth Ellis is set to make his first appearance at Headingley since leaving for Wests Tigers, having suffered a foot injury in the warm-up during last year’s clash.

The Squads
Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Leuluai, Ablett, Sinfield, S. Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Singleton, R. Ward.

Hull FC: Bowden, Crooks, Colbon, Ellis, Hadley, Heremaia, Horne, Houghton, Miller, Paea, Paleaaesina, Rankin, Sa, Shaul, Talanoa, Thompson, Watts, Westerman, Yeaman.

The Stats
Leeds have won their last seven home meetings with Hull FC. The Black & Whites’ last win at Headingley was 17-6 on 7 September, 2007.

Leeds’ Kevin Sinfield has scored in 19 consecutive games against Hull FC, a streak which began in the Rhinos’ 23-16 defeat at the KC Stadium on 4 August, 2006.

The Prediction
With the likes of Watkins and Briscoe returning to the field, Leeds should be too strong for a Hull FC side that are desperately searching for some healthy form. Expect the Rhinos to cement their position at the head of Super League.

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