On paper, it looks like a total mismatch between Super League’s top points scorers St Helens and injury-ravaged Hull FC who in recent weeks have shipped 72 points and 80 points respectively during embarrassing visits to
Wakefield Trinity and Warrington Wolves.
But while Saints’ boss Justin Holbrook sympathies with the plight of his opposite number, Lee Radford, he will be hoping to add to his misery at the Totally Wicked Stadium tonight (Friday) and at the same time help his players lift the League Leaders’ Shield for the sixth time since 2005.
Hull are currently having a tough time and it isn’t easy when you are missing your best players but they can still be a dangerous side and we will have to be wary of thatJustin Holbrook
Holbrook said: “Hull are currently having a tough time and it isn’t easy when you are missing your best players but they can still be a dangerous side and we will have to be wary of that.
“I feel for Radders but all we will be worrying about is how we perform not only against Hull but in our other remaining Super 8 games until the semi-final play-off
“Naturally, we want to win all these game but will we not be resting any players for the sake of it. I’ve said this all year and won’t be changing my mind.
“We want to play well leading into the semi-finals but we know we will eventually be judged on that semi-final and beyond.”
Hull cross the Pennines on a hiding to nothing and their injury crisis depended further after they had released their original 19-man squad on Wednesday lunch-time.
Veteran Danny Houghton (calf), Carlos Tumavava (shoulder) and Jamie Shaul (achilles) all withdrew during the captain’s run with the only crumb of comfort the unexpected early return of Jake Connor from injury.
Radford said “We’re facing a unique situation at the moment and will be asking for dispensation from the RFL to see if we can draft some of our young blokes in moving forward.
“Had Connor not returned we could have been playing with 16 men and I’m not joking.”
Saints have won six of the last 10 league and cup encounters and will be hoping to extend it further.
The result in this period are: Hull FC 18, St Helens 34 (SLR21,
13/7/18), St Helens 25, Hull FC 22 (CCQF, 3/6/18), St Helens 26, Hull
FC 12 (SLR10, 6/4/18), St Helens 6, Hull FC 8 (SLS8-R2, 11/8/17), St Helens
19, Hull FC 12 (SLR21, 7/7/17), Hull FC 0, St Helens 45 (SLR14 at
Newcastl 20/5/17), Hull FC 24, St Helens 14 (SLR4, 10/3/17), St Helens 31, Hull FC 10
(SLS8-R4, 2/9/16), Hull FC 32, St Helens 24 (SLR16, 28/5/16), St
Helens 18, Hull FC 47 (CCR6, 8/5/16).
Hot-shot Danny Richardson has the longest streak in the game. The scrum half has registered points in Saints’ last 30 games, starting with the opeing fixture of the season against Castleford Tigers at the Totally Wicked Stadium when he landed seven goals in a 46-6 victory
Winger Tomm Makinson also needs three tries to reach the century mark while stand-off Jonny Lomax requires two points to amass 500 in his Saints’ career.