Opposition Profile – Hull FC
Leeds Rhinos play consecutive home fixtures for the first time this season on Sunday afternoon, facing off against Lee Radford’s Hull FC at Emerald Headingley Stadium, kick off 3pm.
Currently third in the table behind Warrington and St Helens, Hull will be looking to break a twelve game losing streak against the Rhinos and take a step closer to the Play Offs. For Leeds, a win is vital after last week’s defeat to Hull KR.
Ahead of this massive fixture, here is an in depth look at Sunday’s opponents:
Despite only eight points separating them from the Rhinos in tenth, Hull FC look set to compete in the Play Offs for a fourth season. Should they catch Warrington in second, currently four points in front of the Airlie Birds, it would be Hull’s highest finish since 2006, when they reached the Grand Final for the first time in the Super League era.
With a Challenge Cup semi final coming up next week, the five time winners will be eager to return to Wembley. The competition has also allowed Radford’s side to build their form; the 51-8 win over Catalans in the cup started a four match winning streak that saw Hull beat Salford, Castleford, Warrington and Catalans again.
Consistent weekly performances have been a downfall for the Black and Whites though this season. Last week’s win against London Broncos at the KCOM Stadium looked comfortable as the home side took a 34-0 lead at half time, thanks to tries from Carlos Tuimavave, Bureta Faraimo, Joe Westerman, Jake Connor, Ratu Naulago and top try scorer Josh Griffin. It proved a game of two halves in the second period, with London scoring four tries to make the final score 35-22.
Since Hull first entered the Super League in 1998, they have only won at Emerald Headingley three times. The first came in 2001 when they edged Leeds by two points thanks to two tries from Tony Smith plus scores from Matt Crowther and Deon Bird.
A year later, the Rhinos recorded their biggest win against the Black and Whites, scoring nine tries in a 52-10 rout. Keith Senior, Tonie Carroll, Matt Adamson, Karl Pratt, Francis Cummins, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Ben Walker were all on the scoresheet for Leeds, as well as future Hull winger Mark Calderwood, who scored twice.
From 2008 to 2018, the Rhinos have won twelve matches against Hull FC including all three meetings in 2015 and 2017. From 2012 to 2014, Hull only scored one try in each game against the home side; Richard Horne (2012), Joe Arundel (2013) and Jamie Shaul (2014) grabbing the only points for FC.
Previous Meetings at Emerald Headingley
Record Against the Rhinos
With only thirteen wins over twenty years, Hull FC’s record against the Rhinos is heavily weighted towards Leeds. Hull’s only wins at Emerald Headingley have come in 2001, 2007 and 2006, when a hat trick by Gareth Raynor helped the Black and Whites record a 44-28 win (their biggest over Leeds).
Leeds though have 38 victories, including a twelve match winning run on home soil. Starting in 1999, Leeds have won both home and away fixtures against the Airlie Birds ten times (1999, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017).
The Rhinos have also won three Play Off matches, all of them at Emerald Headingley. Wins in 2002, 2011 and 2017 have seen 17 different players score tries as the Rhinos have progressed through, ultimately winning the Grand Final in 2011 and 2017.
In The News
Last week, Hull announced the signing of New Zealand international front rower Manu Ma’u from Parramatta Eels. He becomes the club’s fourth signing for 2020 after Mahe Fonua confirmed his return to the club.
Three FC players have been included in the revised England Elite Performance squad for 2019. Jake Connor (pictured), Scott Taylor and Jamie Shaul have all retained their places, with Connor and Taylor featuring in the Baskerville Shield winning squad.
Tackle Busts: 63
Red Cards: 1
Drop Goals: 7
Missed Tackles: 67
Last Time Out
When both sides met at Emerald Headingley last March, the Rhinos claimed their third win of the season, beating Hull FC 20-16. Left edge partners Tom Briscoe and Kallum Watkins both scored two tries for the Rhinos, who had a 20-6 advantage with twenty minutes left to go. Dean Hadley, Jordan Abdull and Fetuli Talanoa were the only scorers for Hull, who dropped to seventh in the table.
Lee Radford has made one change ahead of Hull FC’s trip to Emerald Headingley. Youngser Jordan Lane makes his first appearance since Good Friday. He replaces the injured Kieron Buchanan.
Centre Josh Griffin is set to make his 150th Super League appearance on Sunday whilst Mickey Paea will make his 100th Hull appearance over two spells at the club.
Albert Kelly, Andre Savelio, Matty Dawson-Jones, Jack Logan and Jack Sanderson remain on the sidelines through injury.
Ahead of kick off against Hull FC, make sure you’re a Emerald Headingley early to see Leeds Rhinos Women take on St Helens Women in the Women’s Super League, kick off 12:30pm. Both sides are level on points in the league and after the Coral Women’s Challenge Cup semi final between the two sides, the game promises to be an exciting one!
Tickets for Sunday’s family fun day and double header start from just £12 for juniors, from £16 for concessions and from £24 adults for. Book before midnight on Saturday to guarantee the best price for your ticket and save £3 on match day prices.