Hull KR return to league action tomorrow after their spirited display in defeat by the Salford Red Devils in the Challenge Cup 6th round last time out.
This game should be another routine win for the Robins who have been scoring points at will in the Kingstone Press Championship including amassing 52 points against tomorrow’s opponents Swinton Lions in the reverse fixture in April as they march imperiously towards the middle 8s and undoubtedly tougher fixtures.
The sole aim and focus now for Tim Sheens’ side is now a winning run into those 8s and hone the skills and mentality that will be vital when the Super League bottom four come calling in three months time. Rovers have strike players all along their backline such as Ryan Shaw (below), Andrew Heffernan, young flier Will Oakes, Thomas Minns and Jake Butler-Fleming who are as potent as they come in this division.
Add Justin Carney in a few weeks time into the mix and Sheens has an abundance of talent in the backline to run teams ragged.
Swinton though will be buoyed by their recent cup victory over Huddersfield Giants and a dogged victory over the Robins nearest challengers, Toulouse and will look to upset the odds at KCOM Craven Park by using any tactics they can. Rovers will need to be professional at the ruck area where the Lions will look to slow it down at every opportunity. Patience will be the key for the Robins, grind the Lions down and play their own game at their pace and the points will follow on the back of it.
If the Robins pack lay the platform for Jamie Ellis and Jordan Abdull (below) to work from, then the likes of Shaw, Heffernan and Minns can make it a very difficult afternoon for the Lions.
Conversely though if the Robins get drawn into a ‘bitty’ game and allow the Lions to niggle and disrupt the flow as they tried in the home fixture then the Robins faithful may have to wait until later in the game for the points fest to materialise.
The aim at this point of the season is to build momentum, strengthen cohesion and polish the skill sets. Results are important obviously and a comfortable one is on the cards tomorrow for the Robins if they play the game as they can.
The Robins make four changes to the squad tomorrow with injuries to James Greenwood, Mitch Clark, George Lawler and Liam Salter absent due to injury to be replaced by a quartet of youngsters, Joe Wardill, Will Oakes, Joe Cator and Brad Clavering who will all be chomping at the bit eager to impress coach Sheens if selected in the final 17.
After tomorrow the Robins bandwagon will roll into Blackpool to take part in the lower league ‘Bash’ for the first time, against the Bradford Bulls in the feature match of the weekend.