In-form Rovers ready for Dragons
Form team Hull KR are hoping to make it third time lucky when they take on Catalan Dragons at Craven Park tomorrow.
The Robins have already lost twice to the French side this year but only leaders Wigan Warriors are on a better run than Craig Sandercock’s men, who are aiming for a fifth consecutive Stobart Super League win to climb into the top five.
Sandercock insists he is not looking at the table and believes there is even more to come from his side.
“When we were losing games I wasn’t really looking at the table and, now we seem to be winning a couple, I’m not looking at the table either because we just need to be concentrating on producing the goods on Friday night,” he said.
“We’re not happy with our overall performances. There are parts of our game we need to keep working hard on if we are to be serious about being among the so-called top sides.”
Rovers went into the mid-season break having lost just one of their last seven league matches and Sandercock admits he would have preferred to play on.
“We had built some good momentum and were playing some half-decent footie,” he said.
“Saying that, we had a couple of bumps and bruises and it was good for those boys to get some rest and recovery. We’ll see on Friday night if it was a good thing or not.”
Hull KR are without leading tryscorer David Hodgson, who must wait a little longer to make the 300th appearance of his career, and still have a doubt over Blake Green after the stand-off missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.
However, with Green’s half-back partner Michael Dobson in the form of his life and utility back Craig Hall proving a revelation in his roving role, Sandercock has been delighted with his team’s ability to cope without last year’s player of the year.
“It’s very pleasing,” he said. “We struggled early in the year without him so for us to play pretty well against two decent sides without him says we have got some systems and structures in place where the boys can produce even without a Blake Green in the side.
“Craig is doing well but it’s hard to pinpoint one individual. All 17 boys are contributing.”
Rovers take on a Catalan side are aiming to avoid a third consecutive defeat but still lying in third place in the table.
“Catalan are a class side,” Sandercock said. “You only have to look at the number of players they had in the Exiles squad and they’ve an English international at five-eighth.
“They’re obviously a much better team than us because we didn’t have any in either side.”
St Helens have all nine players available who were on international duty last weekend for their trip to Salford City Reds tomorrow as they look to continue their surge up the table.
Saints have lost just two of their 10 league matches - both at the hands of Wigan - since Mike Rush took over as acting head coach, but he is wary of a Reds side who have lost just three of their eight matches at the new City of Salford Stadium.
“Salford are a good team and we always seem to struggle when we play them away from home,” Rush said. “It will be a tough match for sure.”
Salford are boosted by the return of Australian stand-off Daniel Holdsworth, who missed his side’s defeat at Castleford Tigers because of a family bereavement.
“If Daniel had played, we would probably have won,” said Reds coach Phil Veivers, who is full of admiration for his old club St Helens.
“They’re a quality outfit,” he said. “They’ve got strike right through from one to 17. The guys coming off the bench give them a lift.
“When we played them earlier in the year we competed really good with them for 50 minutes but James Roby stepped up to the plate and upped the tempo and blew us off the park in 15 minutes.
“That’s something we’ve spoken about and addressed this week.”