Hull KR embark on two of their toughest league fixtures of the season in the space of four days over the Easter weekend, starting tomorrow with a home tie at KCOM Craven Park kick off: 3pm, when they entertain Featherstone Rovers.
Tim Sheens will be looking for the perfect ten in terms of successive league wins and take points off one of their nearest and dangerous opponents. Jon Sharp’s Featherstone sit third in the league four points behind the Robins and with 2nd placed Toulouse away looming quickly on the horizon for the red and whites, Sheens has named a strong squad for the home encounter and at the same time put his entire senior squad and some of the clubs youngster’s on notice for the French trip on Monday.
Returning to the squad are Adam Quinlan, who has made a remarkably quick recovery from a shoulder injury which on first assessment had threatened to derail his entire season. Chris Clarkson and Danny Addy are back in after sitting out the Swinton demolition and young Australian Andrew Heffernan will be given has long as possible to prove his fitness if he passes a rigorous head test to make sure he is over the concussion he sustained two weeks ago.
Veteran Graeme Horne (calf) and young guns, Will Oakes, Joe Cator and Brad Clavering return to the sidelines for this game. Clavering has joined York City Knights on dual registration and looks to play a part for them against Doncaster tomorrow.
Ruck speed is crucial in the modern game and tomorrow sees an intriguing battle at dummy half when Robins captain and talisman Shaun Lunt comes up against ex Rovers man Keal Carlile who will be desperate to impress against his former employers.
Whichever number 9 comes out on top could be the key to their respective sides dominance of the game. As well as the match up in the middle of the packs, both sides have some exciting outside backs who know how to score a try or two, notably at centre where if declared fit Heffernan and probably Liam Salter will be paired against the ‘on fire’ Chris Ulugia and the Fev’s club captain and veteran Misi Taulapapa, who maybe in the twilight of his career but he is still very much a danger given time and room to work in.
Overall the Rovers of the red persuasion should have enough quality around the park to see off the blue variety but it is highly unlikely that it will be a cricket score and if the Robins switch off at all they could come unstuck before the long haul down to Southern France on Monday, any win and a healthy return of all will definitely make it a Good Friday.
Two wins in four days and Sheens’ men will be sitting pretty at the top with a decent cushion between them and the rest, but defeats in either or both then the gap will close pretty rapidly and it could turn into a Blue Monday.