Hull FC v Wakefield Trinity: Pack star Pauli Pauli puts top four on to do list

Wakefield's Pauli Pauli.
Wakefield's Pauli Pauli.
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WAKEFIELD TRINITY are expecting a tough game tomorrow against a quality team – and forward Pauli Pauli insists that is the case every week.

Trinity travel to a Hull side on a high after successive wins over Wigan Warriors, Huddersfield Giants and Leeds Rhinos.

Wakefield's Matty Ashurst.

Wakefield's Matty Ashurst.

Those followed a 13-match losing streak, but Pauli stressed Trinity’s approach is always the same, whatever form the opposition are in.

“Every game is a tough game, you shouldn’t doubt any team,” he said.

“Hull are a top-performing team and they are where they deserve to be right now.

“They have been on a good run and we will see how we go.”

Wigan Warriors' Sam Powell (right) and Wakefield Trinity's Jordan Crowther.

Wigan Warriors' Sam Powell (right) and Wakefield Trinity's Jordan Crowther.

Trinity have won two of their opening five matches in Betfred Super League and assessing their form, Pauli added: “I can’t really judge how the boys are playing because we haven’t played that many.

“We will just turn up, but we know what we can do if we play well. We are a top-four team, we have been working for that for the last couple of years.

“I don’t see why we can’t be in the top four this season.

“We are still working on a few things and still learning with the new players, but eventually we will get together and we’ll see how we go in the next few weeks.”

Trinity will be hoping for better conditions tonight after the 10-6 loss to Hull KR five days ago was dominated by a heavy pitch and strong wind.

Pauli said: “There’s no excuses, the weather and the mud shouldn’t change how we play.

“It is a bit slippery for us, but that should not affect how we perform. We performed pretty well in the conditions and we are enjoying our football.

“Things are looking good, it is still only the beginning of the season and we’ve got another 28/29 games to go.

“The boys are still getting together, our hopes are still high and our heads are high as well. Hopefully we stick at it, it is still early days.”

Pauli is two games into his comeback from a knee injury suffered in pre-season.

“Everything’s good,” he confirmed. “I am back to 100 per cent and I am trying to get my game fitness back.

“I am injury free right now and it’s good to be back out there. It sucks watching on the sideline, watching the boys enjoying their game, but that’s the way rugby league goes. At least I am back now, I am enjoying my football and it’s good to be back with the boys.”

Second-rower Matty Ashurst is available for Trinity after missing the Hull KR game with a foot injury and Jordan Crowther also comes into contention along with Joe Arundel and Anthony England who were not selected last week.

James Batchelor drops out through injury and Keegan Hirst is omitted. Brad Fash, Jordan Lane and Jez Litten are in contention to replace Mickey Paea (rib injury) in Hull’s 17.

Hull: from Shaul, Faraimo, Tuimavave, Griffin, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Hadley, Minichiello, Westerman, Thompson, Matongo, Fash, Manu, Lane, Litten, Naulago, Ellis.

Wakefield Trinity: from Arona, Arundel, Ashurst, Brough, Crowther, England, Fifita, Hampshire, Horo, Johnstone, Jones-Bishop, King, Kirmond, Kopczak, Lyne, Miller, Pauli, Tupou, Wood.

Referee: Liam Moore (Wigan).

Kick-off: Tomorrow, 7.45pm.