KC: Vital Month Ahead

KEIRON Cunningham says Hull FC will present a totally different challenge from the side that struggled for form earlier in the season.

The Airlie Birds have won six of their last seven games to not only progress in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup but also rise to eighth in the First Utility Super League.

“It will be a tough game,” Cunningham said. “They are playing really well and have changed the way they are playing with the ball. They are playing Leon Pryce on the ball a lot more and he is hitting good form as a result.

“They are a good defensive side but haven’t been in a good spot on the table. They have been losing games by minimal points but now they have changed the way they attack. They are playing more carefree.

“It is important for us to put in a good performance. We have a real difficult block of fixtures coming up and the next month is vital for us.

“We will be doing it without Luke Walsh and with a new half back partnership. The challenge for us is to come out with as many points as we can.”

Saints head into the clash on the back of a 46-6 win over York City Knights and with a number of players returning after being rested.

James Roby, Jordan Turner, Alex Walmsley and Luke Thompson all missed out – and Cunningham admits he would have liked to have omitted more.

“We had to play with Jon Wilkin and Travis Burns on Friday even though they have both played a lot of minutes,” he continued. “They will definitely play together over the next few games so we had to build that combination.

“The game gave me a chance to rest some players but some desperately wanted to play after our loss in Catalan. Alex (Walmsley) wanted to play and I had to hit him over the head with a crowbar to stop him. I could have rested a few more but they wanted to kick on with a bit of form.

“It also gave me the opportunity to look at some of the younger players too. I thought Matty Fleming did a job for us at centre, Olly (Davies) was great on the edge and Morgan (Knowles) was outstanding.

“It will be a real challenge to find his position as he can fill numerous roles. He could be the utility role player for us that every club needs.”

Tickets for Friday’s game at Hull FC and Saints’ home fixtures for the rest of the regular season, are now on sale.

You can get yours by popping into the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, via 01744 455 052 or online here.

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