Leeds Rhinos vs Hull FC Semi-Final Preview

The Lowdown

LEEDS RHINOS

  • Leeds ended their season with a comfortable victory away at Huddersfield Giants to head into their semi-final with Hull FC full of confidence.
  • Brian McDermott has just one fresh injury to deal with as Leeds head into the game at near enough full-strength. Other than long-term absentee Keith Galloway, Brett Delaney is the only other man missing after picking up a hamstring injury.
  • Leeds earned themselves a home semi-final due to their second-place finish which was mainly thanks to their home form during the season. The Rhinos have won their last six at Headingley and will be confident of making that seven wins here.

Head Coach: Brian McDermott

Squad: Carl Ablett, Tom Briscoe, Rob Burrow, Adam Cuthbertson, Brett Ferres, Mitch Garbutt, Ashton Golding, Ryan Hall, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Jimmy Keinhorst, Danny McGuire, Joel Moon, Anthony Mullally, Matt Parcell, Brad Singleton, Liam Sutcliffe, Stevie Ward, Jack Walker, Kallum Watkins

Unavailable: Keith Galloway (Achilles), Brett Delaney (Hamstring), Josh Walters, Ash Handley

HULL FC

  • Hull FC finished the season in third-place, securing their place in the top four thanks to an impressive performance against an under-strength Castleford side.
  • Lee Radford has made just one change to his squad, opting to recall forward Jordan Thompson in place of Steve Michaels but it is expected that Josh Griffin coming into the 17 will be the only change from last week's team.
  • Hull's away form has been inconsistent of late with just two wins from their last six league games on the road. They now head to a ground where they haven't beaten Leeds for ten years, with Leeds winning all ten of those meetings at Headingley.

Head Coach: Lee Radford

Squad: Josh Bowden, Jake Connor, Gareth Ellis, Brad Fash, Mahe Fonua, Chris Green, Josh Griffin, Danny Houghton, Albert Kelly, Sika Manu, Mark Minichiello, Jamie Shaul, Marc Sneyd, Fetuli Talanoa, Scott Taylor, Jordan Thompson, Carlos Tuimavave, Danny Washbrook, Liam Watts

Unavailable: Steve Michaels

  • Leeds Rhinos have conceded just five tries in their centre zone all season - which is the lowest of all teams in the Super League. This accounts for just 4.6% of their conceded tries.
  • Hull FC are also solid in the centre, conceding just seven tries (6.1% of total) in this zone, second only to their opponents.
  • Hull FC conceded all three of their tries against Castleford last week in their LW zone, a weakness that the Rhinos may look to exploit.

Analysis - what to expect
The right to play Castleford in next week's Grand Final sees Leeds Rhinos host Hull FC. Leeds will believe they have the beating of Hull with the away side's hoodoo at Headingley a worrying factor for the Black and Whites. They haven't won at this ground since 2007 having lost on their last ten visits. The Rhinos' home form has been solid all season and coupled with their impressive home record against Hull, Leeds will think a place at Old Trafford next week is theirs to lose. However, records are there to be broken and this Hull side have overcome plenty of hurdles in the past 12 months. Leeds should win this because of their home record but it wouldn't be a surprise if Hull finally get the win they've been craving on this ground.