Gentle hoping for derby lift
Hull FC coach Peter Gentle is hoping the atmosphere of a Hull derby will help kick-start his team’s faltering Stobart Super League campaign.
The Black and Whites take on Hull KR at Craven Park tomorrow night on the back of a dismal run that has seen them win just one of their last seven matches.
Injuries continue to blight the club, with youngster Ben Crooks the latest player to be ruled out after undergoing knee surgery.
Gentle, who has already used 32 players so far this season, will introduce goalkicking winger Jamie Foster following his arrival on loan from St Helens, while Tom Lineham is also hoping to make his debut after being 18th man in the last match.
“We might be tempted to tinker with a few other things as well,” said Gentle.
“The way we’ve been playing hasn’t been working so we’ve looked at the possibility of doing something a bit different this week.
“The good thing for us is that it’s a derby and there shouldn’t be any problem in getting the players up for it.
“Derbies tend to mean more to fans, while the coaches and the players think of them as a chance to get another two points, but there’s no doubting how big an event it is for the city or how much players want to be a part of it.
“We have to be a whole lot smarter if we want to win, though. We’ve got to address our discipline and complete our sets, which have both been poor recently.
“Defensively, we’ve also been poor but I’m extremely confident we will put in a good showing on Monday.”
Hull gained a 36-6 victory in the Good Friday derby, which was switched to the KC Stadium because of development work at Craven Park, but Rovers snatched a dramatic 32-30 win at the Magic Weekend in Manchester.
Winger David Hodgson, who scored the Robins’ last- minute try at the Etihad Stadium, is set to make his comeback from injury, along with forwards Ben Galea and Joel Clinton.
Rovers have slipped out of the top eight after three consecutive defeats, two of them at Craven Park, but they can close the gap on their arch rivals to a single point with victory tomorrow.