Hull KR 24 Rochdale 16: Sheens wants improvements as Robins grind out scrappy victory

Hull KR's Shaun Lunt in action.
Hull KR's Shaun Lunt in action.
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Championship leaders Hull KR chalked up another league victory but head coach Tim Sheens believe they let visitors Rochdale “off the hook”.

The Robins picked up their 11th league win of the campaign and look to finish top of the league but this was a scrappy win with little free-flowing rugby.

Hull KR’s tries came from George Lawler, Ryan Shaw, Shaun Lunt and Ben Kavanagh, with Jamie Ellis adding four goals. Jordan Case (2) and Rob Massam replied with tries for the Lancashire team.

Sheens said: “It was a win, that’s all. I’m not really happy with a number of things that we did. We spoke about our discipline before we went out but got dragged into the scrap and the off-the-ball stuff.

“It’s impossible for the players to be at their peak in terms of attitude and intensity every week, you always have peaks and troughs, but your skill level has to be good every week.

“Overall, we did some good things defensively and kept them in their own half on a number of occasions, but we let them off the hook when we had the ball. We lost the ball early in the tackle count three times after receiving a penalty and then we make an 80-metre break on the first tackle and throw a wild pass.

“It’s concentration - individual concentration. Everyone is responsible for their own carry and own tackle.

“Communication is important too to make sure everyone is on the same path and sometimes we stopped talking, then the defence falls apart.

“We’ve talked about all of this in the dressing room and we’ve got to now get ourselves mentally for Batley and their field,” added Sheens. “The referee couldn’t have done much more. He put two in the sin-bin, four team warnings three to one and a 16-9 penalty count.”

Hull K R: Cockayne, Oakes, Hefernan, Salter, Shaw, Abdull, Ellis, Kavanagh, Lunt, Clark, Blair, Greenwood, Lawler. Substitutes: Dockar-Clay, Wardill, Cator, Mulhern.

Rochdale: Riley, Greenwood, Holmes, Gailbraith, Massam, Palfrey, Yates, Hand, Moores, Bennion, Case, Crowley, Middlehurst. Substitutes: Smith, Eccleston, Hadden, Wilde.

Referee: S Mikalauskas (RFL).