VIDEO: Pressure mounting as Hull prepares for derby

HULL’s derby, regarded by traditionalists as the biggest and only true derby in Super League, has suddenly just got bigger.

Chris Green.

For those involved in the cross-city battle between Hull FC and Hull KR, either as fans or players, that isn’t really possible; simply everything already revolves around this game regardless.

However, when they meet on Friday night for the 226th time, events that have unfolded over the competition’s 21 rounds so far means the stakes are as high as they have been for some time.

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If Hull prosper when they make the familiar six-mile trip east to KC Lightstream Stadium, they will, crucially after another season of inconsistency, secure their place in the Super 8s and a chance to bid for a Grand Final.

Chris Green.

However, furthermore, they will also ultimately dash Rovers’ already fading hopes of making the play-offs and instead condemn them to the perils of the Qualifiers – that dreaded new seven-week mix of Super League strugglers penned in with Championship high-fliers for that opens up the very real prospect of, dare anyone mutter it down Holderness Road, relegation.

The prospect is enough to have Black and Whites fans salivating at the prospect; this is bragging rights to a whole new degree.

That said, if Hull KR do win they will draw level with their rivals in eighth spot and only trail them by an inferior points difference, presuming the victorious margin is not more than a highly unlikely 28 points.

With just one regular round then remaining – Hull host Wigan Warriors on Thursday week, Hull KR visit champions St Helens the following night in two televised games – all would still be to play for.

All of this is not lost on Chris Green, the rangy Hull prop who is already enshrined in Black and White folklore for his involvement in this fixture having scored that farcical last-second try from a clearly offside position that handed FC a controversial win at Magic Weekend in 2013.

“We’d definitely take confidence from that,” he said, when asked about the double whammy his side could inflict.

“I can’t speak too much about them, though. It’s all about us and how we perform. If we do that we’ll have every chance.

“You look forward to every derby and this will be no different. It’ll be a hostile environment, something we all thrive on.”

He enjoyed Sunday, too, when a depleted Hull side battled back from 14-6 down to win 21-18 against a Castleford Tigers outfit angling for a sixth successive win.

Shorn of fellow props Mickey Paea and Feka Paleaaesina, plus first-choice second-row pairing of captain Gareth Ellis and former NRL star Mark Minichiello, Green clearly took on extra responsibility in a youthful pack.

“Everybody just worked hard for each other,” said the 25-year-old, as Hull put timely back-to-back wins together to reignite their play-offs hopes after defeating Wakefield Trinity previously.

“We spoke about those guys missing but credit to the boys; everyone stepped up to the plate and performed when needed.

“We’ll take confidence from that. It’s another two points that brings us closer to securing the top eight which is a massive relief.

“This part of the year is critical to our season; every point matters and it showed on Sunday. The confidence we picked up, we’ll now take into the derby.”

They hardly need confidence there given the last time they met Rovers at Magic Weekend in May, a substantial 46-20 defeat.

It was one of their best 2015 displays though the memory of one of their worst – an Easter loss to KR – still lingers, too, highlighting the maddening inconsistency of this talented but fragile side.

Green, who spent spells with Doncaster and Featherstone Rovers last season but has come to the fore this time around making 16 appearances so far, said: “Playing with confidence (is key).

“That brings the best out of us. We know how to play and have the guys in (half-backs) Leon Pryce and Marc Sneyd to do it.

“When they take control, settle things down in key areas, we look a decent team and we can play when we want. It’s about getting consistency in the chances we create and the chances we take.”

Paea, meanwhile, will appeal today in an effort to get the second game of his two-match ban for a dangerous tackle overturned – and free him to play KR.