Fetuli Talanoa admits Hull will be out for revenge when they take on in-form St Helens tonight.
The Black and Whites hold a two-point advantage over their top-four rivals in the Super 8s table but have been beaten twice by Justin Holbrook’s resurgent Saints.
St Helens hammered Hull 45-0 at Magic Weekend in Holbrook’s first game in charge before edging Lee Radford’s men 19-12 last month to launch a four-match winning run.
Another Saints victory at the Langtree Park would take them above Hull into third place but Talanoa has warned that the Airlie Birds are highly motivated by those recent results.
“This will be a tough game,” he said. “They’ve hit top form at the right time and climbed into the top four.
“The new coach has stepped in and he’s got two up on us. It’s a big game Friday night and we want to pay them back.”
Hull still have work to do to secure a top-four spot but Talanoa is aiming higher with six games to go.
“It would be hard for a side to come to Hull to play a semi with the support we have from our fans,” he added.
“It’s real important for us to get as many points as we can to finish in the top two and get a home semi.
“When one to 17 are all on for the whole 80 minutes we’re a good team and a hard team to stop.”
St Helens moved into the top four after ending Castleford’s perfect home record in the opening round of the Super 8s.
The clash with Challenge Cup finalists Hull represents another tough challenge but it is one Saints are relishing.
Holbrook said: They are in the cup final and sitting third because they are a good side.”