Yeaman eyes win on landmark day

pic

19th September 2013

Hull FC's former Great Britain centre Kirk Yeaman is hoping to make his 300th appearance for the club a memorable one with a play-off victory over Huddersfield Giants in the first preliminary semi-final at the John Smith's Stadium on Thursday night.

Yeaman, who turned 30 at the weekend, made his debut for the Airlie Birds in 2001 and is one of three survivors from Hull's only previous Grand Final appearance in 2006, when they lost to St Helens.

"I feel lucky to have had the chance to play for Hull for so long," he said. "Hopefully I can mark my 300th appearance with another win."

The Giants did the double over Hull on their way to winning the league leaders' shield but Yeaman is confident his side can turn the tables after gaining a confidence-boosting 14-4 win over Catalan Dragons in their opening play-off.

"I'm very confident we can beat them and as a group we are confident going into every game," he said.

"When you look back at our two games against them this year, there was nothing between us and I think we're playing better now than we were back then.

"If we can tidy a few areas up from our last performance and take that into the game, there's no reason why we can't win."

While Hull go into the game on the back of a win, Huddersfield are licking their wounds from a first home defeat since May.

However, a top-four finish earned them a second bite of the cherry and coach Paul Anderson believes there will be less pressure on his team following their loss to Wigan Warriors.

"There was probably more pressure last week," he said. "We finished league leaders and it was the fourth team coming to the first.

"The consistency we've shown all year has given us another opportunity and we know we've to win three games to be champions. It was the same before the Wigan game. We are in the same position."

Anderson says his team will be more battle-hardened from their clash with Wigan but knows Hull have the ability to rise to the big occasion, as they demonstrated in reaching the Challenge Cup final last month.

"Hull are a good team," Anderson said. "You don't get into Cup finals and play-offs by being poor, do you? One thing they do have is a real resolve defensively, they have a real good work ethic.

"They had a tough game as well last week. To concede four points in a play-off game is impressive."

Hull are boosted by the return from injury of veteran prop Andy Lynch, who has confirmed his return to Castleford Tigers on a two-year deal from 2014.