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 - Manu Ma'u
After being postponed in 2020, the Dacia Magic Weekend returns this week with six games over two days at Newcastle’s St James’s Park. The Rhinos close out Saturday’s fixtures with a headline clash against Hull FC, kick off 7:30pm, and with both sides fighting for a play off spot, a win is vital as the end of the regular season approaches.
Find out more about our opponents:
2021 so far..
As the climax of the 2021 Super League season draws nearer, Hull FC continue their fight for a place in the Play Offs. Brett Hodgson’s side currently are just outside of the top six but have two games in hand on sixth-placed Castleford, so if they can win their remaining fixtures, the black and whites could steal the final spot. They will have to fend off city rivals Hull KR though, who are closely behind, as well as the Rhinos and Wigan, who are also under threat of losing their post season place.
Hull started the new campaign strongly with three wins and one draw against against Huddersfield, Salford, Warrington and Wakefield. Having beaten Wigan for a place in the Challenge Cup semi finals, after the Warriors had edged Hull 16-14 the week before, the black and whites backed up a defeat to Catalans by beating Leeds by six points at Emerald Headingley.
Wins against Castleford, Leigh and Huddersfield lifted Hodgson’s side up to fourth place until their fortunes drop with four consecutive defeats. The Giants took revenge for their earlier defeat by running eight tries passed the visitors to the John Smith’s Stadium in round 15 before play off rivals Leeds, St Helens and Catalans also beat the black and whites. A delayed Hull derby resulted in the Airlie Birds get their first win in nearly two months against Hull KR by a drop goal in one of the matches of the season but further losses to Castleford and Salford have put Hodgson’s side outside of the top six.
Following Saturday’s third meeting with the Rhinos, Wigan pose Hull’s next threat as the cherry and whites also look to seal their place in the final six. A trip to the Mobile Rocket Stadium could also prove treacherous as both Leeds and Warrington have fallen to Willie Poching’s side in previous weeks.
Last Four Results
Hull’s top try scorer and top metre maker Adam Swift has had a break out year in 2021 and continues to be one of the most dangerous backs in Super League.
Signing from St Helens after falling out of favour under Kristian Woolf, Swift made the move to the east coast in 2020 but only made a handful of appearances under Andy Last and Lee Radford; debuting against Hull KR in round two. This season, he has only missed one match and has scored tries in ten out of seventeen games. He scored a brace to help Hodgson’s side beat Leeds in May, which contributed to seven tries in four games, and was also on the scoresheet in the 22-12 defeat to the Rhinos in July. With a number of younger players coming into the team over previous weeks, Swift will be a major asset ahead of Saturday’s Magic Weekend clash.
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.
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.
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.
Since joining Leeds 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 at the Dacia Magic Weekend
As the Magic Weekend moved to Anfield in 2019, Hull were demolished 55-2 by Huddersfield Giants at the home of Liverpool FC. Only a sole Marc Sneyd penalty goal was all that the black and whites could muster as the Giants ran ten tries passed Andy Last’s side; current Leeds player Alex Mellor was among the scorers.
Tickets and More Information
The Dacia Magic Weekend returns at Newcastle’s St James’s Park for 2021, with six matches across Saturday 4th September and Sunday 5th September in an action packed two-days. With the Dacia Magic Weekend coming at the crucial run in to the season this year for the first time, results could play a massive part in the outcome on each team’s season.
The Rhinos close out Saturday’s fixtures against Hull FC, kick off 7.30pm, following Castleford Tigers against Salford Red Devils and St Helens versus Catalans Dragons.
The next day will see Huddersfield Giants take on Wakefield Trinity, Wigan Warriors face Warrington Wolves and Leigh Centurions round off the weekend against Hull KR.