Battle with Monster Bunch biggest threat to Wane

Matty Smith
Matty Smith

Shaun Wane believes overcoming Hull FC’s “monster pack” will be key to stretching an impressive away run.

The Warriors have won their last seven games at the KC Stadium trailing back to 2010, the year Wane joined the first-team set-up.

Their run of good results at the venue includes a dramatic 26-25 triumph back in March.

But since then, Lee Radford’s outfit have taken steps towards fulfilling their pre-season promise by climbing into the top two, knocking Wigan out of the Challenge Cup competition and lifting silverware at Wembley last month.

And while Wane acknowledges the craft of their halves and the strikepower in the backs, he has no doubts where the main battle will be won.

“Hull FC have a monster pack,” said Wane.

“Their strength is they have big bodies to handle, so we need to be smart on the floor and good in contact. We’ve given up in about 70kg on them, but we have players who play above their weight.

“It’s a case of get forward hard, hit hard, and if you do that you have a chance of dominating them.”

Hull FC are set to recall the big guns who were rested for their 31-10 loss at St Helens on Friday, including skipper Gareth Ellis and hooker Danny Houghton.

“They’ve had hardly any injuries, then they left players out at Saints and look what happened,” said Wane.

“We had more players out when we played St Helens, and won 25-0.

“So even though some people don’t want to realise it, we have a lot to be proud of. And a lot to be happy about.”

He will name his 19-man squad today and expected to bring back Matty Smith and prop Dom Crosby.

The return of Smith, in particular, should stabilise a side facing criticism in wake of their last performance.

The halfback – set for a move to St Helens – missed the 8-6 loss to Widnes through illness, with Jake Shorrocks stepping into the role instead. And Wane says they missed Smith’s experience, guidance and game-management.

“Jake is going to be a great player for us, but they were big boots to fill,” said Wane.

“He was a bit overawed at times, and he will admit that, and changing your halfback does have an impact on your attack.

“Our composure in the final third was off, so we need to end our sets well. That’s a big area we’ve looked at. We can get into an arm wrestle, but we need to finish our sets well.”