HULL FC head coach Lee Radford hopes the return of key half-back Marc Sneyd can crucially “spark” their attacking play.
They sit second bottom of Super League yet have the second best defensive record in the competition, behind only Huddersfield Giants, whom they host tonight.
However, for all their strength in keeping opponents at bay, their creativity leaves a lot to be desired.
Sneyd – who made more try assists than any other player in Super League last year while at Castleford Tigers – is fit again for the first time since suffering an ankle injury on March 27.
“The combination of having Marc and Leon (Pryce) together again will, hopefully, spark one or two more opportunities for us to help us get a really valuable two points,” said Radford, who expects prop Mickey Paea to sign a new deal next week.
“We’ve a couple of players back which I am pleased about, because any is a bonus.
“To have Sneyd is a plus for us, but Josh Bowden as well.
“From day one, I feel we’ve defended really well and the group have bought into the structures we have in place.
“We have started creating chances too, but we do need to be more clinical when they come.”
Hull – who have admittedly won their last three games after a difficult run – started the year with a 19-0 victory at Giants.
Their opponents have risen to fifth since but are similarly inconsistent and Radford added: “We need again what the players brought in round one.
“The difficulty is I think Huddersfield will expect that. How this game pans out I would imagine will be slightly different from last time.
“You’ve two very good defensive teams and it’s a must that when we get down their end we have to be very clinical.”
Radford believes Giants’ hopes lie mainly with the form of Danny Brough, the former Hull FC half-back who won ‘Man of Steel’ in 2013.
“Huddersfield don’t chance their arm coming out of their end of the field and rely heavily on Brough kicking them out of trouble,” he said.
“They then wait for you to make a mistake. Coming out of our own end of the field, we need to make sure our percentages are very high and then take our chances at their end.”
Hull will give a late fitness test to England loose-forward Joe Westerman who missed Sunday’s Challenge Cup win at Sheffield Eagles with an abdomen injury but did train yesterday.