2018 Super League – Hull FC vs Huddersfield Giants Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Thursday 1st February, 19:45

Where? KCOM Stadium

What channel is it on? Hull FC v Huddersfield Giants will not be televised live

Are tickets still available? https://ticketing.hullfc.com/m...

Where can I stream the match? N/A

THE LOWDOWN

HULL FC

Head Coach: Lee Radford

Squad: Abdull, Bowden, Connor, Faraimo, Fash, Griffin, Hadley, Houghton, Kelly, Manu, Matongo, Minichiello, Paea, Shaul, Sneyd, Talanoa, Taylor, Turgut, Washbrook

Unavailable: Liam Watts, Carlos Tuimavave, Chris Green

  • Challenge Cup holders Hull FC will begin their Super League campaign with a home tie against Huddersfield Giants before flying out to Australia for their ground-breaking contest against Wigan Warriors.
  • Head coach Lee Radford has a relatively healthy squad to choose from with new signing Bureta Faraimo set to make his debut with Mickey Paea also set for his second debut having returned to the black and whites. Liam Watts, Carlos Tuimavave and Chris Green all miss out.
  • The black and whites have reached the semi-final stage in the previous two seasons and will be looking to go one better this season but must do so without talismanic captain Gareth Ellis who retired at the end of last year. Tongan powerhouse Mahe Fonua is also a big miss with the winger returning to the NRL having been signed by Wests Tigers.

HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS

Head Coach: Rick Stone

Squad: Brough, Clough, Ferguson, Gaskell, Hinchcliffe, Ikahihifo, Lawrence, Leeming, Mamo, McGillvary, McIntosh, Murphy, O’Brien, Rankin, Roberts, Smith, Ta’ai, Turner, Walne

Unavailable: Leroy Cudjoe, Shannon Wakeman, Alex Mellor, Tom Symonds

  • Huddersfield begin this campaign full of optimism as they look to improve upon their eighth-place finish last season. A slow start cost the Giants as they only just avoided the Middle 8s and will be hoping to give themselves a chance of making the top four this season.
  • Rick Stone is without captain Leroy Cudjoe as well as Shannon Wakeman, Alex Mellor and Tom Symonds. However, he’s been boosted by the news that star winger Jermaine McGillvary should be fit having been a doubt following his World Cup exploits for England.
  • A further boost for the Giants is the return of Jake Mamo. The Australian had an injury-ravaged first season in Super League but showed his quality when on the field and will be likely be the key man for his side this season.

KEY STATS

  • Hull FC have won 5 of their last 7 home Super League matches
  • Huddersfield Giants have lost 5 of their last 6 Super League matches
  • There has been a total of 289 points scored in the last 6 Super League meetings between the two sides at an average of 48.2 per game
  • There has been a total of 51 tries scored in the last 6 Super League meetings between the two sides at an average of 8.5 per game
  • Both Albert Kelly (Hull FC) and Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants) scored 19 tries in the Super League last season

THE PREDICTION

Hull and Huddersfield head into their season opener with both sides having plenty of questions to answer. Can Hull maintain their success over the last couple of years without two key men whilst also relying more on products from their academy? Can Huddersfield maintain their form from the second half of last season and pose a real threat as the league’s surprise package? It’s sure to be an interesting game but Hull will fancy their chances at home having ended last season with five wins out of seven on their own turf.