Heads may roll at Hull to tackle rise of Rovers

There is no such thing as an unimportant derby as far as the citizens of Kingston upon Hull are concerned, but today's ranks as something extra special. Not since the early Eighties have the city's two sides collided from as high a vantage point as fifth and sixth in the table, as they do this lunchtime.

They converge from opposite directions, Hull KR improving steadily after a slow start to the season and Hull going into decline with three defeats in a row after a most encouraging opening to their campaign. Those losses include a shock defeat by Salford in the Challenge Cup last Sunday, after which their coach, Richard Agar, hinted that heads might roll. In reality, his room for manoeuvre is limited, although Jamie Thackray is restored to his squad.

Rovers have not completely given up hope of having their captain, Michael Vella, available, despite Justin Morgan leaving him out of his initial squad.

Pride of place in the other Good Friday fixtures goes to the meeting between Bradford and Leeds. If anything, it is a match that matters more to the Bulls, who have won just once this season in Super League and somehow managed to squander a 26-point lead in the cup at the Catalan Dragons on Sunday.

Steve McNamara has been re-assured that his coaching job is safe, but those sentiments will begin to ring hollow with another demoralising result. "We will turn the corner," insisted McNamara this week. "We will be a threat in this competition this season."

There would be no better time to start than today but, apart from adding Paul Deacon to their injured list, the Bulls have also had illness in their camp. Three of their young reserves – Jason Crookes, Tom Olbison and James Donaldson – are in a squad captained by Andy Lynch.

Leeds have their own readjustments to make in the rare absence of Scott Donald, but they have Luke Burgess available after winning his appeal against a one-match ban.

Two clubs who have already exceeded expectations of them for the season meet at Wakefield, where neighbours Castleford are the visitors. Salford will try to transfer their Cup form to their game with Warrington.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test