Opposition Profile: Hull FC

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 08/09/2017 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League - The Super 8's - Hull FC v Wigan Warriors - KC Stadium, Kingston upon Hull, England - Hull FC's Mahe Fonua is congratulated by Sika Manu on his try against Wigan.

In a late change in the fixture schedule following the return of three positive Covid-19 tests in the Castleford Tigers’ camp and a further six players being stood down as part of track and trace protocols, Hull FC have stepped in to fulfil tonight’s fixture to Emerald Headingley, rearainging their ROund 18 ‘home’ fixture against the Rhinos, kick-off 7:45pm.

Let’s take a closer look at Hull FC here:


Overview

Hull FC led the way in major recruitment prior to the 2020 season starting by signing the likes of former winger Mahe Fonua from Wests Tigers, Great Britain international Josh Jones and the Tongan Terminator Manu Ma’u.

FC opened the season at Emerald Headingley and flexed their muscles against the Rhinos, winning 30-4 with impressive performances from winger Ratu Naulago, who scored two tries, new signings Ma’u and Ligi Sao and long serving players Scott Taylor and Marc Sneyd.

Hull won their next game against Hull KR but lost four of their next five games, leading Lee Radford to be dismissed before Super League went into lockdown.

Hull were back to winning ways last Thursday against Castleford, beating the Tigers 32-28 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

Since August, under their new coach, club stalwart Andy Last, the black and whites have won four times in all competitions. An injury-ravaged FC side managed to claim a second win over Wakefield, following a 31-12 result against Huddersfield Giants, and have since beaten Castleford twice in the League and Challenge Cup, with homegrown half back Ben McNamara impressing on his first outing with the first team.


Last Time Out in Super League

Hull FC made it back to back wins over Castleford Tigers since the restart with a 32-28 win at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle last Thursday. Jake Connor was a stand out for Andy Last’s side, scoring the winning try, while in a week that saw the next generation of players step up to Super League, young half back Ben McNamara scored a try on his club debut.


Key Players

MARC SNEYD

Position: Half Back

Has scored points in his side’s last thirteen meetings with Leeds

SL Career Goals: 631

Former Clubs: Salford Red Devils, Castleford Tigers (loan), Hull FC

Bio: General of Hull’s attacking shape, Sneyd is the player Last looks towards to get his team to the next level. A revelation at Castleford on loan, the half back is now in his fifth season on the east coast and still as threatening as ever, sitting sixth in the League for attacking kicks, and is only three conversions away from drawing level with Iestyn Harris in tenth place in the list of Super League’s all-time conversions leaders.

CARLOS TUIMAVAVE

Position: Centre

Signed a new four-year deal with FC in September

SL Career Tries: 33 (5 coming in 2020)

Two time Challenge Cup winner with the club (2016 and 2017)

Bio: Versatile in Hull’s back line, Tuimavave will be sticking around for a bit longer after signing a new four year deal with the club in September. Having played over 100 times already for the club, and holding two Challenge Cup winning medals, he is the perfect mentor for the club’s upcoming talent.


Previous Meetings

As this is Hull’s home match, they will be hoping to make it three official home wins in three consecutive seasons against Leeds, having beaten the Rhinos 34-10 last year and 19-18 in 2018, which saw Marc Sneyd kick the winning drop goal.

For the Rhinos, their biggest win away at Hull was in the 2015 Treble year when Leeds fought back from two early Leon Pryce tries to score 43 unanswered points; Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow both scoring twice. Before that in 2009, Leeds won their fourth League match on the bounce with a 43-30 result against the black and whites. Having defeated derby rivals Bradford at Headingley the week before, Ryan Hall finished up with two tries against Hull, as the winger went on to finish as the club’s top try scorer, while Keith Senior, Ashley Gibson, Scott Donald, Kevin Sinfield and Lee Smith also scored tries for the Rhinos.

Leeds beat Hull FC twice at the KCOM Stadium in 2015.

One of Hull’s most memorable matches on home soil against the Rhinos came in 2002 as Shaun McRae’s side won convincingly in front of a home crowd. In the 38-6 result, Paul Cooke and Sean Ryan both scored two tries a piece while Richard Horne and former Rhino Gareth Raynor also got on the scoresheet. Marcus St Hilaire was Leeds’ only response as the Rhinos lost their first match of the new season.

Last ten meetings in all competitions

Leeds Rhinos 4 Hull FC 30 (SLR1, 02/02/20)

Leeds Rhinos 24 Hull FC 26 (SLR23, 21/7/19)

Hull FC 34 Leeds Rhinos 10 (SLR5, 8/3/19)

Hull FC 19 Leeds Rhinos 18 (SLR12, 19/4/18)

Leeds Rhinos 20 Hull FC 16 (SLR5, 8/3/18)

Leeds Rhinos 18 Hull FC 16 (SLSF, 29/9/17)

Leeds Rhinos 38 Hull FC 26 (SLS8-R4, 31/8/17)

Hull FC 43 Leeds Rhinos 24 (CCSF, 29/7/17) (at Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster)

Leeds Rhinos 10 Hull FC 7 (SLR22, 14/7/17)

Hull FC 24 Leeds Rhinos 52 (SLR9, 14/4/17)


Record against the Rhinos

Over 250 games have been played between Leeds and Hull FC in history and this will be the 123rd time Hull FC have officially hosted the Rhinos. Specifically on the east coast, the home side have won the most matches (72) while Leeds have only taken away 46 victories.

In Super League, Leeds have won 15 matches specifically at the KCOM Stadium. That includes a five match winning streak between 2003 and 2006 when the Rhinos won five times. Hull on the other hand have won three of their last clashes against the Rhinos both home and away. That includes a 19-18 result in 2018 when Marc Sneyd’s last gasp drop goal saw the Rhinos lose against the black and whites on the road for the first time since 2014.

Keith Senior has scored the most tries out of any Leeds player against Hull FC. Over his 12 year Leeds career, the centre racked up 18 tries both at Emerald Headingley and the KCOM Stadium.

There have also been four draws in Leeds’ trips to Hull that date back as far as 1910. The latest came in the 1993-94 Championship season when neither side could be separated in a 22 all stalemate; Richie Eyres, James Lowes, Gary Mercer and Garry Schofield all crossed the try line for Leeds while Simon Irving added three conversions.


Head to Head


Last Home Game Against the Rhinos

Last season Hull FC continued to make Leeds’ start to the campaign difficult; the Rhinos losing 34-10 at KCOM Stadium. Harry Newman burrowed his way over the line early on before Tom Briscoe dived his way into the corner to give Leeds an early 10-0 lead with under ten minutes on the clock but the home side fought back; Ratu Naulago, Masi Matongo, Marc Sneyd, Jamie Shaul and Albert Kelly scoring in the remainder of the first half before Dean Hadley added the only try of the second half to send the home side away with the points.