We take a look at the team news and what’s being said as Hull FC host Castleford Tigers while Warrington Wolves host Hull KR.
Hull FC vs Castleford Tigers, Sky Sports Arena, 8pm
Castleford will be without Niall Evalds when they arrive at Hull, with the full-back likely to be out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.
The only change for Lee Radford’s side was that Cheyse Blair was substituted for a two-match suspension.
Friday’s match will be Radford’s first return to the MKM Stadium as an opposition coach and is expected to receive some taunts as he makes the trip to the club his old set of Hull next week, where he’s been working for six and a half years, just like his predecessor Peter Gentle did.
Radford said: “He’s done a great job for the club, but he’s always stuck to the right, left and center. “It’s safe to say I could be in that position at this point next week.”
However, Radford knows his side have suffered a number of significant injuries over the past few weeks that could be key as they continue towards a play-off spot.
“His shoulder was exposed, so we lost another one,” Radford said. “For three weeks it was Ryan Hampshire, Jake Trueman and Niall Evalds and they were big hits for us.
“But they’re an unbelievable group when it comes to swimming upstream. We’re fighting above our weight, we keep fighting and eliminating.
“Building is all about returning players but for us it’s about coming back to showcase the efforts we’ve shown in the last month.
“There was a period when the game turned against us but fortunately we found some answers, we found a way to win the game, it’s an important game. for us.”
Hull coach Brett Hodgson will be looking for a reaction from his side following last week’s 60-0 loss to the Wigan Warriors.
They will be fueled by the return of Jake Connor, with Ligi Sao, Kane Evans, Jordan Johnstone and Connor Wynne all returning from suspension.
Hodgson admitted that the performance wasn’t good enough last week when they conceded their fifth defeat in six games and will look to seek that crucial win as the season draws to a close.
Hodgson said: “Wigan is special. They’ve been hurt from last week’s loss to St Helens and the way that happened. It was pretty much a male to male for most of the competition. I’m disappointed, obviously. Obviously, there are reasons why we act like this, but it’s still not good enough.
“The third try, they were up against a play where Field picked it up and ran for length, I think that let us down. I didn’t feel like it was against Leeds. Wigan were the ones. empty-handed and basically speed kills.”
Hull FC: Jake Connor, Darnell McIntosh, Luke Gale, Ligi Sao, Danny Houghton, Jordan Lane, Joe Lovodua, Kane Evans, Brad Fash, Jack Brown, Jordan Johnstone, Connor Wynne, Mitieli Vulikijapani, Jacob Hookem, Scott Taylor, Harvey Barron, Davy Litten , Matty Laidlaw, Jack Walker, Josh Simm, Ellis Longstaff.
Castleford: Derrell Olpherts, Jake Mamo, Bureta Faraimo, Danny Richardson, Paul McShane, George Lawler, Kenny Edwards, Adam Milner, Joe Westerman, George Griffin, Mahe Fonua, Alex Sutcliffe, Daniel Smith, Greg Eden, Suaia Matagi, Brad Martin, Sam Hall , Gareth O’Brien, Cain Robb, Jason Qareqare, Alex Mellor.
Warrington Wolves v Hull KR, Halliwell Jones Stadium, 8pm
Warrington is hoping to win over fans when they host Robins on Friday night.
Daryl Powell, who only had one change to his squad as Kyle Amor returned from injury, came to appease disgruntled Warrington fans on the pitch after his side suffered a 35-year defeat. -22 at the hands of former club Castleford.
The Wolves never recovered from a disastrous start, taking a 27-0 lead before going through a spirited, if fruitless game, and still in ninth place in the Super League, passing playoffs, after winning just seven of their first 19 games.
Powell, who spent eight years in charge of his hometown club before leaving to join Wolves at the end of last season, was taunted by Castleford supporters and booed by traveling fans. until solving them after the game.
“I am always open to talking to people,” he said. “I will not leave the fans.
“Things didn’t go as we wanted but I came here to change the culture and make the club a championship team and I’m still doing it.
“The reality is that a lot has to be changed and I asked them to give me time. I’m working seven days a week to get us where we want to be.
“We most likely won’t win the tournament this year but we have a big chance to win it next year.”
Powell, who has made a string of high-profile signings for 2023, including Josh McGuire and Matt Dufty, admits his team’s disappointing performance on their return to Castleford has brightened up their victory. them against the Catalans Dragons at Magic Weekend.
“I had a great time here,” he said. “It was a pretty harsh experience because they kept asking me what the score was and I hate losing games.
“Coming here and losing is tough, especially in the way that we did. Last week we had a complete performance like what we had but this week we finished everything.
“The way we started the game was stupid as you will see. We put ourselves under too much pressure. We defended poorly and conceded some light tackles.
“The boys are trying very hard but not using their brains effectively. We gave Castleford the opportunity to attack our squad.”
Hull KR will arrive at Warrington with several major injuries following the win over Wakefield, with Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Dean Hadley both left off the schedule and adding to a long list of missing players.
Despite his squad carrying serious injuries, Rovers interim head coach Danny McGuire believes his side can now start working towards reaching the playoffs after a tough win Wakefield front towel.
McGuire explained: “We were obviously relieved to get the win, it was a bit stressful at the end of the game.”
“We went astray in the first half and I told them that in the first half.
“It was probably the most aggressive I’ve ever done as a coach, but the players reacted to it very well.
“The conditions were tough, we couldn’t get out of it, but Wakey was intentional and put us on his back more.
“Our passing was poor, the game was disastrous, but you have to credit our players for getting the job done.
“I’m very satisfied with the answer and I think we have to look up the table now.
“We’re not too far from where we want to be, and if we can string a few games together, we can fit in.”
Warrington: Stefan Ratchford, Peter Mata’utia, Matty Ashton, George Williams, Daryl Clark, Ben Currie, Oliver Holmes, Jason Clark, Joe Bullock, Danny Walker, Matt Davis, Robbie Mulhern, James Harrison, Greg Minikin, Josh Thewlis, Connor Wrench, Tom Whitehead, Kyle Amor, Thomas Mikaele, Jake Wardle, Matty Nicholson.
Hull KR: Lachlan Coote, Ben Crooks, Ryan Hall, Matt Parcell, George King, Jez Litten, Korbin Sims, Elliot Minchella, Jimmy Keinhorst, Will Dagger, Mikey Lewis, Rowan Milnes, Will Maher, Ethan Ryan, Sam Wood, Greg Richards, Will Tate , Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e, Charlie Cavanaugh, Connor Moore, Sam Royle.