Derby day in Newcastle welcomed by Radford

Hull FC head coach, Lee Radford.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Hull FC head coach, Lee Radford. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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ALWAYS expect the unexpected is, essentially, what Hull FC head coach Lee Radford concludes when combining Magic Weekend and their derby with Hull KR.

The fierce rivals meet once more in Newcastle on Sunday night for a fixture that ordinarily produces some sort of controversy or talking point.

Given their stunning form of late, which sees them joint-top of Super League, Hull are clear favourites to prosper once more.

They also overcame a 20-point deficit to win 22-20 at Rovers earlier this season.

But Radford insisted: “As a rule these games have never been straightforward at Magic.

“I’m not expecting them (KR) to perform like they have been the season. I’m expecting what they produced in the first 60 minutes at their place.

“That’s what derby rugby does to you and it gets more intensity out of each individual.

“This game in particular has a big-game feeling about it because of the surroundings and being on the road. It’s a really intense game because of the venue and the packed stadium.”

Radford’s squad is almost at full-strength which brings its own problems.

He added: “It’s a unique weekend in the calendar and it’s one that everybody wants to play in.

“Unfortunately, only 17 will get selected and those blokes will have to warrant their selection this week and justify it on Sunday.”