HULL FC head coach Lee Radford has likened his video review sessions to a horror show –and that is nothing to do with his own side’s performance.
After letting a 14-point lead slip in the last 13 minutes to draw at home to title-chasing Castleford Tigers last week, you could understand if that was the source of his anguish. However, it is witnessing their next opponents that always puts the frighteners on him.
They host leaders St Helens tonight, fresh from a 44-22 rout of Widnes Vikings, and Radford said: “Every team we play have a big win prior to us playing them.
“It’s like doing a horror show when I do my previews on the other teams.
“Saints are top of the table for a reason and arguably have one of the best packs in the comp’ who can do some damage up front. We were disappointed not to get two points last week, to lose the lead in the manner we did.
“Some blokes have been kicking themselves down because of that and we’ve had to pick them up mentally.”
Hull’s hopes of securing a first win in seven games are increased given their visitors are bereft of any regular half-backs.
Australian Luke Walsh is out for the season after badly breaking his leg last week and they are also missing Kiwi Lance Hohaia plus Jonny Lomax and Jon Wilkin meaning ex-Hull centre Jordan Turner might have to fill in.
“The likelihood is they’ll go through Jordan Turner and Gary Wheeler, but they’re probably lacking a little in the kicking and organisation that Walsh brings to the table,” said Radford.
Of course, though, all eyes will be on Shannon McDonnell.
The Australian is set to make his Saints debut at his former club having left Hull in dispute last month. McDonnell was consistently overlooked by Radford, who preferred youngster Jamie Shaul at full-back, and he has not featured at first-team level since being injured in the Challenge Cup semi-final 12 months ago.
“Shannon will be looking for a big game,” said the coach.
“I still believe off-field wrangles are going on, but I’m sure he’ll be wanting to put on a performance in front of Jamie Shaul, that’s for sure.”