Thursday, 27 April 2017

Sunday's Coming: Hull KR

Hull KR come into Sunday’s game on the back of knocking Super League Leigh Centurions out of the Challenge Cup on their own meadow. Their reward? a nice trip to Salford in a replay of last season’s Million Pound Game.

Having seen his side win 10-23, Hull KR coach Tim Sheens says he’s not getting carried away. He told the Hull Daily Mail: "Getting flogged would have shattered us but winning is not fooling us, we have a long way to go… (we) were much more aggressive this week with our defence and on the edges we were determined to do that. We tried to upset them which we did. We're a long way yet from where we need to be, though.”

"Scoring early took the pressure off us. In France, we couldn't score early when we should have. That rocked us a bit but we got away with a good start and with a good defence caused the turnover time and again. We were in their faces…”

‘In France’ refers to the previous game where the Robins got shot down 14-6 by TOXIIIC having lost their unbeaten Championship record in an arm-wrestle of a game.

In the week where Sheens admitted that it would take more than just his strongest 17 to climb out of the Championship (he used 29 players in three games spanning 8 days over Easter), he’s added  former junior Kiwis captain Zach Dockar-Clay to his squad. Dockar-Clay fills in at both hooker and half-back - handy cover for veteran rake Shaun Lunt Lunt who missed both Easter games with a toe injury, but made it back for the game at Leigh. Thomas Minns (concussion) and Kieren Moss (heel) are in line for a return this Sunday.

Hornets go into Sunday’s game shorn of some forward fire-power, thanks to some trigger-happy refereeing in the defeat at Swinton.

At the RFL disciplinary this week, Samir Tahraoui received a 2 match suspension for a ‘Dangerous Throw’ in the 8th minute (no, us neither), whilst Jo Taira received a one game ban for ‘reckless contact’.

Interestingly, the invisible offence for which Jordan Hand was sin-binned was adjudged to be worthy of ’no charge to answer’. The disciplinary report states: “As player approaches opponent, he raises arm in order to fend opponent. Player does not promote elbow. Opponent clashes head with team mate as other defender enters the tackle.”  A shocking decision that cost us the game. To our knowledge, the ‘team mate’ involved was not censured for an accidental head-butt.

Danny Yates was also adjudged ‘no charge’ after a non-existant high shot in the 48th minute. His report reads: “Player completes upper body tackle on opponent at the same time as team mate makes lower body tackle. Player does not make contact to head of opponent however opponent’s head makes contact with the ground as tackle completes.” Basically, Yatesey was penalised for the effects of gravity, given that there was no ACTUAL high-shot.

As ‘games to get back into the groove’ go, Sunday’s is as tough as they come. A repeat of the heroic effort from the reverse fixture at Spotland will do wonders for confidence. As always, if you can get yourself over to Craven Park, do it. Our support is appreciated and - win, lose or draw -  we can make a difference.  In the popular Super League tradition stretching all the way back back to 1995, Hull KR like to segregate away fans, housing them in the North Stand - which (in typical ‘Yocksha’ fashion) is behind the posts. So let’s go make the most of it. Olé, olé, olé…