St Helens vs Hull FC Preview

The Lowdown

ST HELENS

St. Helens will be hoping to bounce back from last week's narrow loss away at Leeds with that result leaving the Saints six points away from the top 4.

Justin Holbrook must do without Matty Smith for an extended period after the scrum half suffered a freak eye injury in last week's game which has already resulted in two operations while Jon Wilkin also misses out after picking up a ban.

Another away loss for Saints probably wasn't that unexpected last week due to their poor form on their travels. The flip side to that is that their home form has been very impressive for a long period now with them only losing one of their last 15 home Super League matches.

Head Coach: Justin Holbrook

Squad: Kyle Amor, Luke Douglas, Theo Fages, Regan Grace, Morgan Knowles, Tommy Lee, Matty Lees, Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Ryan Morgan, Mark Percival, Dominique Peyroux, Danny Richardson, James Roby, Adam Swift, Zeb Taia, Luke Thompson, Alex Walmsley

Unavailable: Ben Barba (Suspended), Jon Wilkin (Suspended), Matty Smith (Eye), Jack Ashworth (Injured)

HULL FC

Hull fell to a close defeat against league leaders Castleford last week as the black and whites' late comeback wasn't quite enough to see them topple the Tigers.

Lee Radford has named an unchanged 19-man squad for the game but will be hoping to have Carlos Tuimavave fit again after the centre was a late withdrawal last week despite initially being named in the 19.

Hull have won five of the last seven meetings between the two sides in all competitions but were comprehensively beaten 45-0 at Magic Weekend the last time the two sides met.

Head Coach: Lee Radford

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

Unavailable: Gareth Ellis (Sternum), Chris Green (Sternum), Steve Michaels (Injured)


What to expect

This game has taken on some hefty significance for both sides following recent results. Saints' quest for a top 4 spot at the end of the regular season looks beyond them now and anything but a win against the side currently occupying 4th place will seal their fate. Hull have higher aspirations and 2nd place is still in their sights but they must respond to last week's disappointing loss to Castleford when they gifted plenty of points to their opponents. Despite Saints' impressive home form, Hull have generally got the better of Saints recently and with Matty Smith out injured, the black and whites can move a step closer to earning an extra home game in the Super 8s.