Hull FC return to action this weekend when they take on Huddersfield Giants at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Sunday, kick off at 4.15pm.
Here, FC reporter William Jackson previews the clash.
Opinion – Undercooked FC must dig deep.Hull FC will be glad to return to the field on Sunday and bring an end to what has been a nightmare three-week period for the club.
FC came in for criticism from far and wide after their loss to Salford Red Devils. Their mental strength was questioned as a group, while individuals were rightly singled out for failing to show the attitude expected in defence.
What they didn’t need at that stage was 14-days in self-isolation and the unwarranted and unfair criticism that came their way after the club reported 12 positive cases of coronavirus.Players hit back on social media and Andy Last will be hoping his players can channel that angry energy into the game to silence the critics and get their season back on track.
The sandwich game of the triple-bill pits Hull FC and Huddersfield in what should be an intriguing affair, as both teams have a similar record, albeit of mediocrity. Huddersfield stand at 4-3, with a slightly more winning record than losing, which is reflected in their points differential, and were unlucky to lose against the Wolves, a fortnight ago by 1.
Hull have not played for 3 weeks and may be rusty after suffering some Covid-19 issues, since their hiding against Salford when they lost 54-18. Their differential is ugly, after that game in particular and will need to improve their defence if they are salvage anything from the odd season that is 2020.
Connor, Jones, former NRL player Sao, Bowden and Savelio are all still out of the Hull team due to Covid-19 and other ailments, while Taylor and Matongo are both injured also. That leaves a host of inclusions, namely Swift, Buchanan, Jack Brown, Patterson-Lund and McNamara who were not in the side that were flogged by Salford.
The Giants have named a strong squad for this clash, with stars such as Sezer, Gavet, Matagi and Senior expected to play a major role in all the playmaking. Coach Woolford of Huddersfield is wary of the Hull outfit, as he has made his team aware of the fact that Hull will improve and to be strong in defence as they have some large go-forward merchants.