Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC: Where the game could be won and lost

Leeds Rhinos have won 41 of their 58 Super League meetings with Hull, but what will it take to add another victory to that total at Headingley on Thursday?

By Peter Smith
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 4:45 pm

Here are five pointers to where the Betfred Super League round five contest could be won or lost.

1: Squad strength. Suspensions and an injury mean Rhinos are without three of the team who beat Wakefield a week ago and another four players remain unavailable. Hull could have 10 missing and, on paper, Leeds’ initial squad is slightly stronger, including 15 of their top 21, one more than their rivals.

2: Half-backs. Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer are set to pair up for the fourth time in Rhinos colours and there were signs against Wakefield last week the partnership is beginning to click. Hull have problems in that department; already without the suspended Luke Gale, they will have to reshuffle after Josh Reynolds was injured in last week’s defeat at Castleford.

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Rhinos will need a big performance from Zane Tetevano, seen scoring against Warrington in round one. Picture by Tony Johnson.

3: Strike power. Hull’s Jake Connor is a huge attacking threat, as he showed two weeks ago against Salford when he scored one try and assisted in six others. Adam Swift and Josh Griffin can challenge Leeds out wide, but centre Connor Wynne is an injury doubt and Darnell McIntosh and Carlos Tuimavave are ruled out so Hull look a bit light. Leeds will miss Harry Newman, but look to have an edge in the outside-backs.

4: Up front. Hull’s game is built on power and size in their pack, but some leading forwards won’t feature this week. Leeds’ Matt Prior, Mikolaj Oledzki and Zane Tetevano are good enough to dominate, but they lack a specialist, experienced prop on the bench.

5: Form. Leeds played some outstanding rugby in the first half at Wakefield and Hull were poor against Castleford. Both teams lack consistency, though.

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