This Sunday, all eyes will be on Craven Park as Hull KR plays host to Hull FC in the second installment of their highly anticipated derby clash this season. In their previous encounter on Good Friday, KR dominated the match, leaving FC with a bruising 40-0 defeat. Recent history has favored the Robins, as they have emerged victorious in three out of their last four meetings since the start of 2022.
Sitting four points ahead of their cross-town rivals in the Super League standings, KR enters the match as the favored team. The Robins have showcased their strength at home, securing six wins in their last seven games at Craven Park. Despite FC’s improved form since their last meeting, KR remains the team to beat, and a potential double victory seems within their grasp, especially with the support of a familiar face.
In terms of team news, Hull KR’s decision not to extend the loan spells of Tanguy Zenon and Fouad Yaha has raised eyebrows, as both players have returned to their parent club, Catalans Dragons. However, the Robins will be without the services of back-rower Elliot Minchella due to a shoulder injury. On a positive note, wing Ethan Ryan is set to make his comeback after recovering from a broken jaw, while academy half-back Lennie Ellis has earned his place in the squad.
Hull FC, on the other hand, faces fewer selection concerns, with Adam Swift, Tex Hoy, and Liam Sutcliffe all expected to feature in the upcoming clash.
Examining the statistics, Hull KR’s recent track record against FC is impressive, with three victories in their last four encounters, including the convincing 40-0 win on Good Friday. Ryan Hall made a significant impact in that match, securing a remarkable hat-trick. Hall also contributed to KR’s success last September when they emerged as 36-4 winners. In terms of try-scoring prowess this season, Hall leads the way with nine Super League tries, followed closely by FC’s Adam Swift, who has crossed the line eight times. Darnell McIntosh of Hull FC has also been a strong contributor, registering seven tries so far.
Hull KR’s strong home form adds further weight to their prospects, having won six of their last seven games at Craven Park in all competitions. Conversely, Hull FC has struggled on their travels, suffering defeats in their last two away matches.
The prediction for the upcoming clash leans in favor of Hull KR, given their superior performance over the past 18 months. Under the guidance of Willie Peters, the Robins have displayed resilience, even amidst recent injury challenges. On the other hand, Hull FC, despite their talented roster, has struggled to find cohesion under the leadership of Tony Smith. It may take time for Smith’s plans to come to fruition, possibly not until 2024. Additionally, Smith’s return to Craven Park, where he left KR last July before joining their local rivals, is unlikely to be met with a warm welcome. Hall’s triumphant return to the side during the Challenge Cup victory over Salford in June showcased his class, and his earlier hat-trick this season highlighted his scoring prowess.