Opposition Overview: Hull FC

Picture by Jack Wray/Super League Europe/via SWpix.com - 06/03/2021 - Super League Season 2021 Pre Season Location Video Shoot and Stills Photography Portraits. Hull FC - Josh Reynolds

After beating Wakefield Trinity on home soil last Friday, Leeds Rhinos play their second consecutive home match in the Betfred Super League this Sunday against Hull FC, kick off 7:30pm.

Sunday will be the first time that fans will be allowed back into Emerald Headingley after a long 14 months and the match is set to be a blockbuster as the Rhinos look to make it back to back wins while Hull aim to get back to winning ways following Monday’s loss to Catalans.


2021 so far..

Having been undefeated in the opening four rounds of 2021, Hull FC have had a turn in fortunes in recent weeks, losing their last two matches.

Coming into the new season fresh from a play off appearance in 2020 and a new coach at the helm, the black and whites are set for another big year in Super League. Eleven players departed over the off season and the club’s only recruit was Josh Reynolds from Wests Tigers but it seems to be working for Brett Hodgson. Against Huddersfield, Salford, Warrington and Wakefield, the black and whites remained unbeaten winning three and drawing one, with Reynolds starring alongside Marc Sneyd. One of Hull’s unlikely stars so far has been Carlos Tuimavave, who signed a new four year deal in April. Along with two tries, Tuimavave currently is the club’s top offloader (11) and he is one of the club’s metre makers (845) and carriers with 93 (only Josh Griffin has set better numbers in those two categories).

Hull FC’s Carlos Tuimavave in action Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com

Despite beating Wigan for a place in the Challenge Cup semi finals, after the Warriors had edged Hull 16-14 the week before, on Monday Hull fell to a second consecutive defeat in the League at the hands of Catalans Dragons. Should they lose to the Rhinos on Sunday, the road doesn’t get any easier for Hodgson’s side as trips to St Helens and Castleford Tigers follow.


2021 Squad


First Four Fixtures


Top Performers

Goals

Marc Sneyd

20 goals (2nd in SL)

Try Assists

Jake Connor

5 Assists (6th in SL)

Tackles

Danny Houghton

243 tackles (3rd in SL)

Metres

Josh Griffin

762 tackles (5th in SL)


Key Player

Hull FC’s Marc Sneyd. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com

One player that makes Hull FC tick is their influential half back Marc Sneyd. Signed from Salford to join Leon Pryce in 2015, following a season on loan with Castleford, Sneyd has been one of Hull’s greatest assets when it has come to the big moments. He has helped the club lift two Challenge Cups, winning the Lance Todd trophy in both matches, and has been a pin point accurate kickers out of his hands and from the kicking tee during his time on the east coast.

This season, alongside new signing Josh Reynolds and new head coach Brett Hodgson, Sneyd looks to be having one of his best seasons. He led Hull around the field against Wigan in the Challenge Cup and had one of his best performances in Super League against Warrington with six attacking kicks and 46 metres (his highest in 2021).


The Coach

Former Huddersfield and Warrington full back Brett Hodgson returned to the UK for the first time since 2013 to take up the head coach role at Hull FC, left vacant after interim head coach Andy Last departed for Wakefield.

Hodgson started his rugby career in 1997, playing for Western Suburbs for two years before later moving to Parramatta, where he won the 2001 NRL minor Premiership title but lost out to Newcastle Knights in the Grand Final, the full back scoring two tries. Two years later, he was on the move again, this time signing with Wests Tigers, where he finally lifted the NRL Grand Final trophy in 2005, kicking five out of six conversions in the 30-16 win. That year, he also won the Dally M medal for the League’s best full back

He arrived in Super League in 2009 with Huddersfield Giants and made an instant impact, playing in 28 games, scoring 14 tries and kicking 98 goals, totalling at 252 points, as the Giants reached the Play Offs and Hodgson became the first Huddersfield player to be awarded the Man of Steel. He only played for the Giants for two seasons before he was signed for Tony Smith’s Warrington side.

Hull FC coach Brett Hodgson is interviewed. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

While with Warrington, Hodgson claimed his first silverware in 2012 against the Rhinos in the Challenge Cup. Having lost out on a place in the Grand Final to Leeds the year before, thanks to a late Kevin Sinfield drop goal, the Wolves got their revenge a year later, beating Leeds 35-18 to deny the Rhinos from lifting the Cup for the third straight year.

Hodgson also represented NSW City and New South Wales in the State of Origin, playing in six matches between 2002 and 2006. While in England, he played for the Exiles three times, winning the tournament two times in 2011 and 2012.


Returning Faces

Out of the current squads, only Leeds’ Tom Briscoe has played for both Hull FC and the Rhinos. Before joining Leeds in 2014, he came through the Hull youth system as a centre but emerged to play on the wing and a year after making his debut, he was called up to the England squad for the International game against Wales, aged just 19.

In 2010 he finished as Hull’s top try scorer with 16 and made the most clean breaks.  He helped Hull to a Play Off finish in 2011 as joint top try scorer and best metre maker and was a try scorer in their Play Off Elimination loss to Leeds. He was named in that year’s Super League Dream Team. In 2012 he had his best attacking season for Hull, scoring 29 tries including three in their Play Off campaign. He played in two Challenge Cup Finals with Hull but lost to St Helens in 2008 and Wigan in 2013. Overall, he made 148 appearances for the black and whites and scored 90 tries.

Leeds fended off opposition from the NRL to sign Briscoe in 2014 and he made an instant impact, scoring a hat trick in round one against Hull KR. Since then, he has lifted two Grand Final trophies (2015 and 2017), one League Leaders’ Shield and has scored tries in all of the Rhinos’ last three Challenge Cup Finals (1 in 2014, 5 in 2015 and 1 in 2020).


Last Game vs Leeds at Emerald Headingley

Leeds and Hull kicked off the 2020 Super League season at Emerald Headingley and the black and whites made sure they took the first points, winning 30-6. Ash Handley was Leeds’ only try scorer in the match while Ratu Naulago scored the pick of the tries with a 70 metre effort.


Get your Dacia Magic Weekend tickets!

Don’t forget that the Rhinos take on Hull FC later this year as part of the Dacia Magic Weekend. Playing on Saturday 4th September, the two sides will meet at Newcastle’s St James’ Park so don’t miss out because this year it means MORE.

The weekend, made up of six games across Saturday and Sunday, could see teams either battling for a place in the play-offs, or to avoid relegation, meaning that this year’s Magic Weekend is more than just a fun day. If you’re a Rhinos member, book your tickets now and get 50% off.

Click here to buy your tickets now.