After two disastrous home defeats Hull FC got back on the horse last week with a solid win away at Leigh Centurions in the second of their Easter fixtures. This was a much needed win for Lee Radford’s side as they kept their unbeaten record away from home going. At the KCOM Stadium the Black and Whites have not got as good a record though. With three defeats at home already this season it is important Hull start to make the KCOM a harder place for opposition teams to visit. They couldn’t have been given a much harder task though as they look to avoid their third straight home defeat because the Castleford Tigers are in town.
Castleford have been a revelation so far this season and they have stormed to the top of the table by playing some outstanding attacking rugby and have put teams like Leeds and Wigan to the sword along the way. They sit three points ahead of Hull going into the game but they were beaten at St Helens on Easter Monday and Hull will be hoping to make it two defeats on the bounce for Daryl Powell’s side.
Lee Radford has been able to name the Man Of Steel Danny Houghton in his squad for this week which is a huge boost for Hull. In the 4 games Houghton has missed Hull’s defensive organisation has been lacking and he will help to rectify that which will be imperative against a team like Castleford. Josh Griffin and Chris Green also return with Fetuli Talanoa and Josh Bowden Hull’s only major injuries at the moment.
Castleford have made only one change to their squad this week as Joel Monaghan replaces Matt Cook. The League Leaders are fairly healthy at the moment with few major injuries.
Where will the game be won and lost?
Organisation: For Hull to have any hope of winning tomorrow they have to remain organised in defence throughout the game. Castleford have been playing Harlem Globetrotter rugby this season and attack from all angles so Hull will have to scramble at times. If they can keep their goal line defence disciplined and in sync they will have a much better chance of thwarting Gale and co
Stop the offload: Castleford have scored countless tries this season on the back off offloads. Their forwards have a great ability to get the ball away in the tackle so players like Luke Gale can spread it wide to the wings and open up gaps. With forwards like Jesse Sene-Lefao, Junior Moors and Grant Millington at their disposal The Tigers are blessed with some great ball handling forwards but Hull have just as good a forward pack and if they can muscle up in defence and smother the ball Castleford will not find it anywhere near as easy to score points.
Get on the front foot: Hull will have a much better chance of winning this game if they get off to a good start. They need to complete their sets, not give penalties away and kick Castleford to death early on to assert some authority and get on top early in the game. If they can score a couple of quick tries this will stop Castleford gaining any momentum and this is very important because if Castleford get on top early on they can quickly steamroller you. Lee Radford will no doubt be revving his players up to really take it to Daryl Powell’s men early on. The first 20 minute battle may well prove to be crucial come the end of the game so Hull have to start well.