sunday’s-super-league-talking-points

Sunday’s Super League talking points

We look at what is being said and team news as Hull FC host the Catalans Dragons and Wigan Warriors take on the Salford Red Devils in the Betfred Super League on Sunday…

Hull FC vs Catalans Dragons (6.45pm, live on Sky Sports)

Highlights of Catalans Dragons' win against Salford Red Devils in the Super League

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Highlights of Catalans Dragons’ win against Salford Red Devils in the Super League

Highlights of Catalans Dragons’ win against Salford Red Devils in the Super League

Brett Hodgson is expecting the battle of the forwards to be even more pivotal than usual when Hull FC take on Catalans Dragons on Sunday evening.

Both teams have imposing packs and it is set to be a fascinating contest to see which will be able to lay the foundation for their exciting backs to perform at the MKM Stadium.

Although he was a renowned full-back in his playing days, Hull FC head coach Hodgson knows nothing gets done without the work done by the pack and expects no different against the Dragons.

“I’ve said it countless times that the pack is where the game is won and the skilful players determine by how much and this week won’t change,” Hodgson said.

“If anything, it highlights more how you need to complete high and get the opposition coming off their try-line, and that’s a big thing for us.

“Their halves are two of the best in the competition off the back of a really strong forward pack. It’s going to be a different challenge, but one we’re certainly up for.”

Highlights of Hull FC's clash with Warrington Wolves in the Super League

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Highlights of Hull FC’s clash with Warrington Wolves in the Super League

Highlights of Hull FC’s clash with Warrington Wolves in the Super League

Scott Taylor is set to return to boost Hull FC’s pack for the match after recovering from injury, although the hosts will be without Luke Gale after he picked up a two-match ban. Connor Wynne is also out after failing a head injury assessment in Monday’s 18-16 win over Warrington Wolves.

Catalans, who cemented third place in the Super League table with a 36-10 win over Salford Red Devils on Easter Monday, have Julian Bousquet back in contention.

However, Joe Chan starts a two-match ban after being sin-binned in the win at Salford and Dragons head coach Steve McNamara is frustrated by his side’s disciplinary lapses.

“I am sick of defending with 12 players at the minute,” McNamara said. “There were a couple of back-to-back penalties we conceded and at that stage we were in control.

“It could have changed the dynamics of the game, but thankfully it didn’t.”

Live Betfred Super League

April 24, 2022, 6:30pm

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Named squads

Hull FC: Jake Connor, Carlos Tuimavave, Darnell McIntosh, Josh Reynolds, Ligi Sao, Danny Houghton, Chris Satae, Manu Ma’u, Jordan Lane, Joe Lovodua, Kane Evans, Brad Fash, Jack Brown, Jordan Johnstone, Josh Bowden, Mitieli Vulikijapani, Jacob Hookem, Aidan Burrell, Jamie Shaul, Scott Taylor, Harvey Barron.

Catalans Dragons: Arthur Mourgue, Tom Davies, Fouad Yaha, Mitchell Pearce, Josh Drinkwater, Gil Dudson, Micky McIlorum, Julian Bousquet, Matt Whitley, Benjamin Garcia, Alrix Da Costa, Benjamin Jullien, Paul Seguier, Mickael Goudemand, Matthieu Laguerre, Arthur Romano, Tyrone May, Dylan Napa, Mathieu Cozza, Cesar Rouge, Sam Kasiano.

Wigan Warriors vs Salford Red Devils (12.30pm)

Highlights of Wigan's win against Wakefield in the Super League

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Highlights of Wigan’s win against Wakefield in the Super League

Highlights of Wigan’s win against Wakefield in the Super League

With the news breaking that Zak Hardaker will be leaving Wigan with immediate effect, and some key personnel out injured, the returns of Iain Thornley and Liam Marshall to the Warriors’ squad are a welcome boost to Matty Peet’s side.

Sam Powell drops out as he begins his six-match suspension for a crusher tackle on Jonathan Bennison in the Good Friday derby against against St Helens.

Wigan head coach Peet believes his side will face the best of what the Red Devils have to offer in this game.

He said: “We saw in the last game here that it was a tight affair. There is a bit of local pride at stake when Salford come here, they always put in a proud performance and I don’t think many of those games have been blowout scores by a long way.

Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Salford Red Devils and Leeds Rhinos

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Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Salford Red Devils and Leeds Rhinos

Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Salford Red Devils and Leeds Rhinos

“We’re expecting the best of Salford, they’re very competitive, they have attacking threats across the field and we know that it’ll be a test but really it’s about us improving. We say it every week, but regardless of who we play and what form they are in – we have to be better. We have areas of the game that we need to nail, and if we do that it’ll help us get wins.”

There are also two changes in the Salford squad, with Ryan Lannon and Amir Bourouh coming in in place of Jack Wells and Alex Gerrard.

The Red Devils will be looking to bounce back from three losses in a row, while the Warriors will be hoping to continue in the emphatic form they found in their 54-10 victory over Wakefield Trinity.

Named squads

Wigan Warriors: Bevan French, Jake Bibby, Iain Thornley, Liam Marshall, Cade Cust, Brad Singleton, Patrick Mago, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, John Bateman, Morgan Smithies, Kaide Ellis, Harry Smith, Oliver Partington, Ethan Havard, Liam Byrne, Joe Shorrocks, Jai Field, Abbas Miski, Sam Halsall, Brad O’Neill.

Salford Red Devils: Ryan Brierley, Ken Sio, Kallum Watkins, Brodie Croft, Marc Sneyd, Sitaleki Akauola, Andy Ackers, Greg Burke, Elijah Taylor, Danny Addy, King Vuniyayawa, Chris Atkin, Jack Ormondroyd, Jack Wells, Josh Johnson, Rhys Williams, Matt Costello, Morgan Escaré, Sam Luckley, Deon Cross, Alex Gerrard.