SL Preview: Leeds v Hull

Much of the focus at Headingley tonight will be on the return of Gareth Ellis, who is set to make his Hull FC debut in front of the SKY Sports cameras.

Ellis enjoyed four successful seasons with the Rhinos, before establishing himself with Wests Tigers as one of the best British imports to hit the NRL in recent years.

He now spearheads Peter Gentle’s Hull revolution, and is joined in the 19-man squad by fellow new signings Joe Arundel, Jason Crookes, Ben Galea, Daniel Holdsworth, Paul Johnson and Shannon McDonnell.

It’s an early test to Hull’s 2013 credentials, with many tipping them to be the team most likely to crack the nut that is the top four.

There’s not much that can be said about Leeds that hasn’t already. An imperious, champion team, this match is likely to be the first step on the road to yet more final appearances – they played the maximum number of games possible by any team last season.

They too have a couple of new faces in the line-up; Australian winger Joe Vickery fills in for the absence of Ben Jones-Bishop, while high-profile signing from Salford Joel Moon is set for his bow, as is ex-Manly forward Mitch Achurch.

Paul McShane returns to the Leeds line-up, having spent the second half of last season on-loan at Widnes.

Leeds 19-man squad: Hardaker, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, McShane, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Griffin, Vickery.

Hull 19-man squad: Arundel, Briscoe, Crookes, Ellis, Galea, Green, Heremaia, Holdsworth, Horne, Houghton, Johnson, Lynch, McDonnell, O’Meley, Pitts, Seymour, Westerman, Whiting, Yeaman.

Prediction: It’s hard to look past Leeds at Headingley – home win.


Leeds have won their last six home meetings with Hull FC. The Black & Whites’ last win at Headingley was 17-6 on 7 September, 2007.

Leeds’ Kevin Sinfield has scored in 17 consecutive games against Hull FC, a streak which began in the Rhinos’ 23-16 defeat at the KC Stadium on 4 August, 2006.

Last 10 meetings:

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)
Hull FC 14, Leeds 18 (SLR27, 4/9/10)
Hull FC 24, Leeds 48 (CCR4, 17/4/10)
Leeds 46, Hull FC 30 (SLR11, 11/4/10)
Hull FC 30, Leeds 43 (SLR19, 4/7/09)

Super League summary:

Leeds won 26 (includes wins in 2002 & 2011 play-offs)
Hull FC won 9
1 draw
Leeds highest score: 52-10 (H, 2002) (also widest margin)
Hull FC highest score: 38-6 (H, 2002) (also widest margin)


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