Warrington v Hull: Airlie Birds on their guard as Wolves plot first win

Gareth Carvell with the ball for Hull.
Gareth Carvell with the ball for Hull.
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HULL FC coach Lee Radford has warned his side Warrington Wolves will be “desperate” tomorrow.

The Airlie Birds head to Cheshire keen to deliver their second win of the season after losing at leaders St Helens last time out.

Struggling Warrington, usually such a dominant force, are at risk of a third successive defeat but Radford feels that makes them all the more dangerous.

“They will be desperate,” he said, as Tony Smith’s side try to adapt without retired talisman Lee Briers.

“They are last year’s Grand Finalists, they are at their place and so we know what awaits us.

“They are a risky team in that the ball is in the air a lot. We are expecting a real challenge for sure.

“They are not just missing Lee Briers, but Brett Hodgson, Gaz Carvell and Adrian Morley, all senior blokes you’d look to to settle a game down a bit.

“With them gone they are looking for that to come from someone else. From what I’ve seen so far that hasn’t and they’ll be looking for someone to do it now.”

Warrington lost 18-12 at Headingley last week but Radford insisted: “You only have to look at their squad to know they are going to be boxing around the top end of the table later in the season.

“We are expecting a real tough encounter. A lot of people said Warrington were poor last Friday at Leeds, a top-end team, but I didn’t think they were that bad.

“They were missing the composure they’ve had, but they are winless and we know we have everything coming at us this week.”

Having defeated Catalan 36-34 in their opener and then lost on Merseyside, Radford’s own squad has had a mixed start.

“With the ball in hand we are really happy with how things have gone,” he said. “But we’ve flipped things around to 12 months ago when we were basing our results on defence.

“We have concentrated a lot on our attack in pre-season and I am sure once we see some of the desperation that we defended with last year and everybody buys into what we are doing, we’ll certainly be better.”

Meanwhile, Carvell – the ex-Warrington and England prop who joined Hull after a brief spell at Bradford – is out.

“He’s struggled at training and there’s still a bit of inflammation in his ankle,” explained Radford.

“He’ll push to play in the Bradford fixture. They are obviously both his former clubs and he wants to participate in both games, but he has to put the team first and somebody else gets an opportunity who is ready to go.”

That person seems to be Jay Pitts, who has been playing with Doncaster but is recalled to the 19-man squad.