Written by John Davidson
Photo by Hull KR Media
Hull KR head coach Tony Smith says his team will have learnt some lessons from their 30-20 defeat to Castleford on Sunday and will be better for it for the start of the Super League season.
The Robins played their first game in nearly months in a pre-season friendly against the Tigers on home soil.
Castleford ran out to an 18-0 half-time lead, before Hull KR staged a comeback. Doubles to Jake Trueman and Michael Shenton were enough to get the visitors home by 10 points.
But the Robins clawed the score back to 24-20 late in the game and Smith was pleased with his side’s second half response and character.
“I can take plenty out of it,” he told Everything Rugby League.
“We needed to play. It was good that we were shown some lessons in that first match. We’ve been practicing and plying against each other and it showed there.
“There’s a difference between trying to win and dominate against your mate, and against opposition. It’s hard to replicate. I think Cas did that really well against us and it shook us into life after a while. We learned some lessons from it.
“Young Trueman I thought he was playing bull-tag at one stage – we couldn’t tackle him there for a while. There was a couple of soft tries there. We went to sleep when the ball went away from us for a bit.
“It will stand us in good stead for when we playing for two points.”
The first hit-out of 2021. 🔥
Check the highlights over on KRTV now!
— Hull Kingston Rovers (@hullkrofficial) March 14, 2021
Jez Litten, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Adam Quinlan and George Lawler all crossed for tries for Hull KR. Jordan Abdull landed two from four conversion attempts.
“We earned the right in the second half,” Smith admitted.
“There was too many unforced errors in the first half. We tried to manufacture things when we haven’t gone forward.
“In the second half we earned the right and played some decent rugby league. It’s better to happen now in two weeks time. We’ll learn a lot from today.”
New signings Ryan Hall, Albert Vete, Korbin Sims, George King and Brad Takairangi all made their debuts for the red and white.
Smith was pleased his Antipodean arrivals have now had their first taste of the sport on British shores.
“They all had their moments,” he said.
“I’m grateful for it. We learn a whole lot from that first half. The new boys tried hard, they got their first taste of rugby league in this country for the first time, apart from Ryan Hall.
It’s different, it’s played differently, it’s refereed differently…. It’s an eye-opener for them. That’s good. I’m pleased with they’ve had a first taste.”
Hull KR open their Super League season in a fortnight against Catalans Dragons at Headingley.
“Haven’t played since October, I don’t expect us to be at full flight, but I hope we are in two weeks time,” Smith said.