Hull are possibly in the best position to challenge St Helens, with the influence of Peter Sharp converting the team from play-off qualifiers to play-off challengers. They are now much fancied by many in the world of Rugby League.
After last season’s 2nd placed finish and Grand Final defeat, Hull have consolidated their squad with the arrival of several solid signings. Sure they missed out on David Solomona to Bradford, but spending the cap on 3 solid players rather than 1 superstar is perhaps testimony to the shrewd management Sharp operates.
The arrival of Matt Sing on the wing, one of the most respected players in the NRL, is sure to add yet more firepower to the Hull back line. Together with Yeaman, Domic and Raynor, Hull’s backline has to be one of the most prolific in Super League. With Cooke and Horne now blossoming in to a quality half back partnership, Hull can boast arguably the strongest 1-7 line up in the top flight.
In the pack, Wayne Godwin has been brought in from Wigan to provide competition for Richard Swain at hooker. Both seem positive about their competition, with Godwin set to be groomed as Swain’s replacement when the Kiwi leaves the KC Stadium at the end of 2007.
Hull have also benefited from the relegation of Castleford, with the arrival of another proven NRL star – second rower Willie Manu. He bolsters the back row, together with Danny Tickle, who’s potential went untapped at Wigan. He’ll be one player looking to prove a point on arrival at the KC.
In the front row, the ever improving Garreth Carvell is joined by Hutch Maiava, who not only brings physical strength, but strength in depth too. In fact, it’s hard to pick out any faults with the side that Peter Sharp has now made his own. His first full season in charge is filled with potential, and it’s now up to the team to stay focused and go all the way.
Last season’s run will have done wonders for their big game experience. If Hull make it in to the top two, you’d have to fancy them to go all the way.