SL Preview: Hull FC v Leeds

Hull FC welcome Leeds Rhinos to the KC Stadium on Thursday evening looking to return to winning ways after back-to-back defeats to Warrington and Salford.

The Airlie Birds include Australian centre Steve Michaels, who has a warrant out for his arrest in Australia due to his alleged involvement in the drugs scandal centred on his former club Gold Coast Titans.

“I’ve had no contact from Titans, the NRL, the Queensland Crown Commission or the old bill over here,” Hull coach Lee Radford told BBC Sport.

“At the moment it’s just a newspaper.

“It’s been tough for Steve. He’s been rattled, and we’re hoping a ball in his hand will be the best thing for him.”

Gareth Ellis returns to the Hull squad to face his former club after recovering from injury.

Leeds are unchanged, but Rob Burrow will be hoping to make the matchday 17 after being left out by coach Brian McDermott in recent weeks.

Kevin Sinfield will be looking to extend his scoring streak against the Black and Whites. He has scored in 21 consecutive games aginst Hull, a streak which stretches back to August 2006.

Prediction: Home advantage could help Hull, who will be desperate to record their second win of the season. Leeds may just have too much for Lee Radford‘s men, however, and should win by at least 10 points.

Hull FC (19-man squad): Bowden, Ellis, Green, Houghton, Lineham, Michaels, Minichiello, Paea, Paleaaesina, Pryce, Rankin, Sa, Shaul, Sneyd, Talanoa, Thompson, Watts, Westerman, Yeaman.

Leeds Rhinos (19-man squad): Hardaker, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Achurch, Cuthbertson, Sutcliffe, Singleton, Walters.

Stats:

Hull FC‘s Joe Westerman has the longest run of consecutive appearances amongst Super League players, with 47. Westerman last missed a Hull game on 25 May, 2013 – a 22-16 Magic Weekend win against Hull KR at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium. His streak then started on 31 May, 2013 – an 18-6 home win against Leeds.

Tom Briscoe needs one appearance to reach 200 for his career. Briscoe is in his second season with Leeds, and has played 34 games for the Rhinos. He was previously with Hull FC, making 147 appearances for the Black and Whites (2008-2013). He has also represented England 18 times (2009-2013). Brisoe is also four tries away from 100 (83 for Hull FC, 2008-2013 and 13 for Leeds, 2014-2015).

Danny McGuire needs one appearance to reach 350 for Leeds. McGuire made his Leeds debut as a substitute in a 56-6 Headingley win against Salford on 6 July, 2001.

Rob Burrow needs 15 points to reach 1,000 for Leeds. Burrow’s total of 985 has been reached with 169 tries, 152 goals and five field goals in 411 games for the Rhinos since 2001. He is also two tries away from 150 for Leeds.

Super League Summary:

Hull FC won 11

Leeds won 28 (includes wins in 2002 and 2011 play-offs)

1 draw

Hull FC highest score: 38-6 (H, 2002) (also widest margin)

Leeds highest score: 52-10 (H, 2002) (also widest margin)

Last Ten Meetings:

Hull FC 24, Leeds 19 (SLR27, 12/9/14)
Leeds 20, Hull FC 6 (SLR14, 23/5/14)
Hull FC 18, Leeds 6 (SLR17, 31/5/13)
Leeds 36, Hull FC 6 (SLR1, 1/2/13)
Leeds 21, Hull FC 6 (SLR20, 6/7/12)
Hull FC 34, Leeds 20 (SLR13, 5/5/12)
Leeds 42, Hull FC 10 (SLEPO, 18/9/11)
Hull FC 22, Leeds 38 (CCQF, 24/7/11)
Leeds 20, Hull FC 0 (SLR22, 15/7/11)
Hull FC 18, Leeds 32 (SLR2, 18/2/11)

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