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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Hull and Wakefield set to slug it out in cagey contest

Points could be scarce at KCom

Hull's Sika Manu is held up by the Wakefield tacklers
1 of 1

Super League Super 8s
Sky Arena, 8pm Thursday

The scramble for semi-final spots in the Betfred Super League playoffs is heating up and with two rounds to go in the Super 8s, four teams still have a chance of joining Castleford and Leeds, who have already booked their tickets for the post-season.

Two of those sides go head to head as Wakefield travel to the Kcom Stadium to face Hull and both teams are looking to bounce back from disappointing losses last time out.

A last-gasp St Helens try sank Trinity at Belle Vue, while the Airlie Birds led Wigan late on despite a first-half red card for Liam Watts but they were ultimately reeled in by the Warriors.

Hull have already beaten Wakey twice this term and are 2-5 to compete a hat-trick while the visitors can be backed at 11-4 to leapfrog their opponents and go third in the table.

Hull coach Lee Radford has captain Gareth Ellis and winger Steve Michaels back from bans, while prop Liam Watts is also available after it was deemed his sending-off against Wigan didn't merit a suspension.

However, outside backs Carlos Tuimavave and Fetuli Talanoa are doubtful due to injury.

Wakey boss Chris Chester is boosted by the return of Kyle Wood for a match his team cannot afford to lose.

The visitors receive an eight-point handicap start and while that seems a fair assessment, the total points line of 48.5 may be pitched too high, especially with showers forecast for the early evening.

At this stage of the season when a win is priceless, it would be no surprise to see a cagey contest. When the sides clashed at Belle Vue this time last year, Hull won 18-12.

Backing the scoring to be opened by a penalty proved profitable last week and it may be worth going to the well again.

Arbiter Phil Bentham is Super League's least whistle-happy referee but the experienced official is likely to stand no nonsense after last Thursday's ill-tempered Hull-Wigan game.

Meanwhile, bookmakers have eased Grand Final favourites Castleford to 6-4 after news emerged that playmaker Luke Gale has had an appendix operation and could miss the rest of the season.

Under 48.5 total match points
3pts 10-11 Betfair
Hull penalty first scoring play
0.5pt 9-1 Betfair, Paddy Power
Wakefield penalty first scoring play 
0.5pt 10-1 Betfair, Paddy Power

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When the sides clashed at Belle Vue this time last year, Hull won 18-12
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