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Preview: Hull FC v London

Hull FC travel to Gillingham this week for Sunday's "on the road" clash with London Broncos looking to follow up an emphatic win against Yorkshire rivals Leeds Rhinos last time out.
Preview: Hull FC v London
by NRL

Hull FC travel to Gillingham this week for Sunday's "on the road" clash with London Broncos looking to follow up an emphatic win against Yorkshire rivals Leeds Rhinos last time out.

Running in five tries against the World Club champions last time out, Hull put in one of their best displays of the season as a brace of tries from Tom Briscoe and 18 points from Danny Tickle led the Airlie Birds to a much-deserved win.

Following a weekend off for the Challenge Cup quarters finals last week, the Black and Whites will now return to Super League action this weekend when they look to consolidate their position in the top five of the competition by recorded back-to-back wins against the Broncos.

And with head coach Peter Gentle now back in East Yorkshire following a return to Australia on compassionate grounds, his first job will be to overcome a selection headache ahead of the clash.

"Mark O'Meley has picked up a calf injury against Leeds and he won't play, while Kirk Yeaman is also not fit to return. But we are also hoping to have a couple of players back, so there are a few decisions to be made," said Gentle.

"Mark is a big part of our go-forward and he has only just returned from an Achilles injury, so to lose him again is really frustrating. Kirk has a foot infection and he will be a big loss, but I'm sure he will be looking for a strong finish to the season when he returns as he looks to win back his England jersey.

"His absence will give another chance to Ben Crooks and we are looking forward to seeing how he goes again. He will get a game this weekend and possibly the following week too, so there are some positives to take.

"We are also hopeful of having Richard Horne and Joe Westerman back for London, so there is some real experience and quality coming back into the side for us."

Meanwhile, London boss Rob Powell keeps faith largely with the team that were knocked out of the cup with a heavy defeat at the hands of Huddersfield Giants last week.

However, with the Broncos board of directors yesterday ordering a full review into the performance staff at the club following a disappointing first half of the season, Gentle is expecting a fired-up London side to arrive at the Priestfield Stadium.

"I've heard the stories about the review into the playing side of the club, but that is out of our hands," said the Hull boss.

"You always expect a team to respond positively to a loss anyway, so we were already preparing to face a fired up London side.

"We know the danger London pose, they have some fantastic players and if we allow them the time and space to play, they will punish us. There is no doubting their attacking abilities and I'm sure they have been working hard on their defence this week, so we are expecting a very tough game.

"All we can do is focus on ourselves and getting our own performance up to the standards we expect."


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