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Richard Gore’s match preview

Hull take on Billingham who have lost just three games and drawn one .
Hull’s record is the same but having accrued more bonus points, Hull sit just above Billingham and just below Lymm in the league table.
Billingham beat Hull before Christmas and have only lost to Lymm, Preston and Ilkley with a drawn game against Lymm being their only other game where victory was not the outcome.
Hull’s defeat against Billingham in Hull was as much due to a below par performance by the hosts as to any exceptional play by the North Easterners.
The league is already very competitive amongst the top four with Preston clear leaders but little to choose between Harrogate, Billingham, Lymm and Hull and the run in will be tough for everyone with the final outcome for second place and a play-off opportunity likely to go to the last few games.
Hull will be hoping to have everyone fit for this fixture and can point to some improvements in their line out which has secured them more ball in the last few games.
Back row men Rupert Kay, Joe Stafford and Zak Poole have worked tirelessly and if the front five, the unsung heroes of the side, can hold their own in the tight Hull will be well on the way to avenging the earlier result against Billingham.
With everything to play for, a win for Hull would see them easing up the league table with a few points lead over their hosts leaving Billingham with not much room for error.
The weather may yet play a part as Hull are more than capable of playing open rugby and on their day can match anyone in this division but that is more easily done an a dry day.
A bookmaker would not give generous odds on either side but Hull will travel with confidence that they can become the fourth side this season to get the better of Billingham.

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