Wakefield Trinity v Hull FC: Brett Hodgson targets positive end to campaign

To some, tonight’s game is merely a dead rubber but Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson insists their trip to Wakefield Trinity is “huge.”

Wakefield Trinity's Lee Kershaw. Picture: Tony Johnson

Both clubs have long since seen their play-offs hope disintegrate but neither have been in danger of relegation.

Nevertheless, Hodgson realises his squad, on the back of a woeful run of just one win in nine outings, have to deliver in their final match of another disappointing campaign.

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“It is huge; it’s all we’ve spoken about all week,” he said, having been kept pointless at home to Wigan Warriors on Saturday.

“There’s 17 players that take to the field on Friday night and have the chance to let us go into the off-season with the supporters having something to cheer.

“That is hugely important for our own mindset going into the off-season. It’s a long off-season if you don’t have that win at the end of the year.”

Wakefield have enjoyed a revival under caretaker coach Willie Poching since he took over from the sacked Chris Chester last month, winning four of their next six fixtures although they did lose 26-18 at bottom-placed Leigh Centurions on Sunday. Hodgson insisted: “We’re playing a team that are going to be very dangerous. They wouldn’t be happy with their performance against Leigh and they’ll want to turn that around at home.

“We have to show that strength and character to make sure we are, on the day, at our best.

Hull FC's Brett Hodgson. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“It’s going to be a big challenge but we need to be there.”

Wakefield, though, have seen in-form winger Lee Kershaw ruled out for nine months after rupturing an ACL against Leigh.

He has made a first-team spot his own in 2021 and Poching admitted: “When you look at how he’s performed this year, it is a significant loss for us.

“He’s been fantastic in the way he’s developed, come on and taken his chance.

“That’s fantastic to see and great for him and for us. I know (England centre) Reece Lyne personally has enjoyed having him outside him and Reece has helped bring him on, too.

“This, now, is tough on Kersh’ but he’s a positive kid.”

Kershaw, 22, is out of contract at the end of the season and had not yet signed Trinity’s offer of a new deal. Academy player Lewis Murphy could come in to replace him tonight and make his debut.