Hapless Hull could be crushed by Castleford
Huddersfield can put up a fight at Warrington
Hull v Castleford
Sky Sports Arena, 7.45pm Friday
This time last year, Hull were basking in the glory of a second consecutive Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win and looking forward to a crack at the Betfred Super League playoffs.
This year, they’re in a mess. A week ago, the Black & Whites lost for the seventh straight match, conceding more points than ever before in an 80-10 annihilation at Warrington which promoted a furious reaction from owner Adam Pearson.
Branding the last two months totally unacceptable, he threatened a widespread wielding of the axe in the off-season.
Punters have no doubt that another heavy defeat is in the offing at home to Castleford with the Tigers backed down from an opening show of 8-13 to as short as 1-6.
The handicap start handed to Hull has been hiked to 14 points and could rise further with coach Lee Radford revealing he has only 17 fit players after Jordan Abdull, Josh Griffin and Mickey Paea joined the list of casualties that already includes star men Marc Sneyd, Albert Kelly and Jake Connor.
Hull can be expected to show more fight than they did at Warrington but with a number of inexperienced youngsters set to play, things could get ugly.
With the competition’s 2017 top tryscorer Greg Eden now free from the hamstring problems that dogged him early this season, Castleford’s flying winger could have a field day.
He’s notched two hat-tricks in his last four appearances. Last season he had six hauls of three tries or more in 31 starts, so the 11-1 against him scoring a trio of tries looks tempting.
So does the 9-4 against Jake Trueman getting on the scoresheet. The highly talented teenage half-back has notched in five of his last seven outings.
Warrington can book their semi-final spot and eliminate Huddersfield from the equation if they land odds of 2-7 at home to the Giants.
Huddersfield’s brilliant run under Simon Woolford came to an abrupt halt when they were hammered 42-16 by Wakefield last time out but the layers may have overreacted by handing them a 14-point start for this assignment.
The Giants' last two road trips produced excellent victories at Castleford and St Helens and there’s every chance the visitors can make the Wolves work for the two points.
G Eden to score a hat-trick
1pt 11-1 Ladbrokes, Coral
J Trueman to score a try
1pt 9-4 Sky Bet
2pts 10-11 Paddy Power
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