Written by John Davidson
Photo by Hull KR Media
Hull KR coach Tony Smith says his club has to break out of the cycle of battling relegation every year and finally establish itself as a top-end Super League club.
The Robins ended the season bottom of the competition last year and have not finished as high as fourth since the 2009 campaign.
In the past 12 years, the club has been relegated once and only reached the semi-finals twice, with a 10th and two 11th place finishes since it was promoted back to Super League in 2018.
Smith says the target this year is for Hull KR to climb the table and ensure it is not dragged into another relegation dogfight.
“That’s the cycle we’ve been in for 10 to 15 years here,” he told Everything Rugby League.
“It’s not an easy one to break out of. That’s the system that we’re in.
“But we’ve got to break out of that section because whilst we’re ever in that system it’s easier for the bigger teams to stay at the top and it’s harder for the teams near the bottom to get out. We’re making a run for it and we’re going for it this year.
Dean Hadley’s boot game = 💯 🔥
— Hull Kingston Rovers (@hullkrofficial) March 21, 2021
“We want to be competitive in each and every game we play and see how far it takes us. There’s some wiser managers and more experienced coaches out there than me and if you go and ask them they’ll say each game that’s in front of them is the most important.
“And that’s certainly the case for us. We’re not going to make any vast predictions.
“We just want to be very competitive, give ourselves every chance going into every game.
“And if we can do that then we might surprise a few people, we might even surprise ourselves.”
Many expect the Robins to be in contention for the wooden spoon, along with the likes of Leigh, Wakefield and Salford, in 2021.
Asked if he is confident of avoiding relegation, Smith replied: “I’ll tell you in ninth months or so. I’d like to think we can get ourselves out of that situation as quickly and as early as possible.
“The earlier we can do that the better it is for the following year because we can start to plan and recruit for your next year, as opposed to being caught up in that mix of wait until the end and before your fate is decided.
“That’s in our hands now. We’ve got it to ensure we keep that situation in our hands and we can plan for next year and recruit for the future.”