HULL FC coach Lee Radford knows what he is talking about when it comes to prop forwards.
He wasn’t a bad one himself during his playing days and realises just what is needed to be successful in one of the sport’s toughest positions.
So, it is with some credence, that Radford has targeted Castleford Tigers’ front-row – particularly Andy Lynch, who he has both played with and coached – as the key battleground for Sunday’s crucial game at the KC Stadium.
Hull beat Wakefield Trinity last week to move back into the last play-off spot of eighth with three games to go but in-form top-four chasing Castleford have won five successive matches.
“Winning breeds confidence and that’s what has happened to Castleford,” said Radford.
“People that they retained from last year in Andy Lynch and Grant Millington have been fantastic for them all year.
“They are arguably two of the best front-rowers running about in the competition. The job we do on them is going to be vitally important for us on Sunday.
“They’re dominant in terms of metres, but they can also play with the ball. They can find a pass and they can offload. That adds to their strike.”
Hull are without one of their own key props Mickey Paea (ban) and Feka Palea’aesina.
“Without Mickey it will be a difficult task with the forward battle against those blokes,” said Radford.
“Liam (Watts) will have to start really big for us and whoever starts up there with him will have to be massive as well.
“I think Liam is up there this season when it comes to the top props in Super League.
“Thankfully we have a lot of options to replace Paea in the side – Chris Green, Josh Bowden and Jordan Thompson.
“Obviously Gareth Ellis could move up there as well.”