Campese looking for reversal of fortunes for Hull KR in Cup

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IT would be a turnaround in fortunes truly worthy of the Challenge Cup and its rich history of epic drama.

Hull KR play Wigan Warriors, the most successful club in the competition’s long lifetime, on Friday night in its sixth round.

CAPTAIN'S ROLE: Terry Campese has proved influential for new side Hull KR snce his winter switch from the NRL.

CAPTAIN'S ROLE: Terry Campese has proved influential for new side Hull KR snce his winter switch from the NRL.

Given two Super League clubs are involved, ordinarily it would not be any great shock whoever progressed.

However, given Rovers were utterly embarrassed in a 60-0 defeat at Wigan just eight days ago, to venture over again and pull off victory inside a fortnight would be some feat.

Terry Campese, the club’s influential captain, sees no reason why it cannot be achieved.

The Australian stand-off had missed that first meeting with a slight hamstring strain but returned on Thursday night to mastermind a 54-6 rout of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

It was a great response and he told The Yorkshire Post: “We definitely needed that.

“The boys were disappointed from last week. Wigan put a bit of points difference on us as well and not in a good way.

“It was just good to see the boys didn’t give up tonight as well. They played until the 80th minute and conceded just six points.

“Even at the end there in defence when they (Wakefield) made a few breaks we got back and that was probably the most pleasing thing about the game.

“We just wanted to get out there and defend our backsides off while obviously putting some points on. The boys dug deep and now this is rugby league – so, one week and we’ve got Wigan again.

“Obviously the boys want to get out there and rectify last week’s game and it’s the Challenge Cup, a completely different comp’.

“If you get knocked out that’s it. No more games, We want to keep going through. We’ve got a big week and with the right attitude like we had (Thursday) we can do that.”

Campese, 30, admits the prospect of playing in the prestigious knockout competition was one of the reasons why he moved to Super League from Canberra Raiders at the end of last season.

“I’m besties (best mates) with Joel Monaghan who was involved in a Challenge Cup final a few years ago,” he said, referring to Warrington Wolves’ former Australia winger.

“I was actually flying over for that game but then I had to get another op’ on my knee so had to pull out of the trip.

“But I’ve grown up and watched the Challenge Cup and Wembley and it’s something that brought me over here. It is one of the drawcards so hopefully we can go as far as possible.”

Hull KR narrowly avoided an upset when they edged past relegated Bradford Bulls in the last round but next week’s test – played at Leigh Sports Village due to Wigan’s DW Stadium pitch being relaid – will be far greater.

However, the 10-try win over Wakefield, who have now lost 11 straight league games, has worked wonders for their confidence as they delivered their sixth league win so far.

Josh Mantellato returned having also missed the Wigan debacle but for the unusual reason of being his brother’s best man in a wedding back home in Australia.

The towering winger, a revelation since joining from Newcastle Knights this year, got straight back to business with two tries and seven goals.

Campese joked: “He was like the big prince!

“He goes back, brings back his missus with him and plays like that.

“She’s a good luck charm and it’s good that she’s here for a while!”

The likes of Mantellato, fellow winger Kieran Dixon and Ken Sio and Ben Cockayne – who each played full-back – prospered greatly as Campese and livewire scrum-half Albert Kelly picked hapless Wakefield apart.

But Campese said: “You can’t play like that unless your forwards are going forward and that’s what our big fellas did.

“They led from the front and got us on the front foot which made things for myself, Alby and the full-backs a lot easier.

“We built our game on that. In all honesty, I thought the last couple of weeks Wakey had been a little unlucky but tonight was all about us after what happened at Wigan.”

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