Hull Kingston Rovers need Tim Sheens to dig deep into his experience

03 May 2019 - Written by Zack Wilson

Hull Kingston Rovers have started to look like a team in a certain amount of disarray in recent weeks.

Two heavy defeats over Easter really brought some pain to the Robins, as they were beaten 56-12 at Hull FC and 54-6 at KCOM Craven Park by Warrington Wolves.

The defeat to their local rivals will have particularly stung Rovers fans.

It looked at the weekend as though the men from east Hull were in for another heavy beating at Headingley against Leeds Rhinos.

At half-time, the Robins were losing 22-0, before fighting back fiercely, only to lose 28-24 in the end.

The second-half performance against the Rhinos offered some sticking plasters to hide some of the issues, but the Robins are still creaking badly.

There is some real talent in the Rovers side, but injuries have bitten deep, as they have at every club this season.

Jon Wilkin’s warning at the start of the season that the Robins’ squad was a little “skinny” is now looking prescient.

The squad is particularly short on props right now, hence the signing of Antoni Maria on loan from Catalans Dragons.

Mose Masoe is out injured with a broken hand, and will not be back for at least a month.

Early season star Mitch Garbutt is also injured, and could be out for between two and four weeks after having his knee cleaned out.

Robbie Mulhern currently looks a shadow of the player who took Super League by storm last season, and earned an England Knights call-up.

That lack of punch up the middle means that the talented outside backs at Rovers are not getting much momentum to work with when it comes to creating scoring opportunities.

One factor in the Robins’ favour is that they have Super League’s most experienced coach at the helm, in the shape of Aussie veteran Tim Sheens.

This looks like a situation which will test all the experience and mental resources of Sheens.

He must despair at the inconsistency the team still show during games – playing brilliantly for five minutes, then spending the next five looking like they’ve only just started playing rugby league.

Execution, particularly at clutch moments, is really poor in the Robins ranks this season, something which often indicates a lack of confidence and self-belief.

If anyone should know what to do to rectify the situation, it should be Sheens.

There are few coaches in world rugby league with as much experience as the former Kangaroos head coach.

But this looks like a real challenge for the veteran Australian.

Fans will want him to sort things out quickly. The Robins have been involved in relegation battles for far too long now.

Sheens is off contract at KCOM Craven Park at the end of the season. It will be interesting to see whether or not he stays put.

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