IT has been labelled “The Million Pound Game...Before The Million Game”.
Hull KR host Huddersfield Giants on Saturday lunchtime knowing the victor of their final Qualifiers fixture will avoid the Million Pound Game.
Given the Million Pound Game is a bit of an oxymoron – the victor does not actually win one million pounds but avoids a far more costly relegation from Super League – it is all a little confusing.
However, for Hull KR hooker Shaun Lunt it is simple: victory is imperative.
“It’s huge, absolutely massive that we get the job done and get it done this week,” said the former England international.
“We’ve all said how unpredictable rugby league is at the moment. So, we don’t want to be in that sudden-death game.
“We just want to get the win this week and then we’re sorted. The season will be done, we can relax and focus on preparing for Super League next year rather than worrying about whether we’ll be kept on at the club or not.
“Jobs are on the line and no one wants to be in that Million Pound Game. It’s horrible.
“You have to feel for those who went through it last year, but, unlike then, this time there will definitely be one Super League side going down.”
That is because Championship side Leigh Centurions have already confirmed their promotion having beaten three top-flight sides – Hull KR, Huddersfield and Salford Red Devils.
Lunt spent seven years at Huddersfield, winning the 2013 League Leaders’ Shield with them and earning a place in the Dream Team, before joining Hull KR last season.
“Huddersfield are a good side; they have some quality players,” he said.
“But they’ve not had the best of seasons and that’s why they’re in this position and that’s the same with us.
“Jermaine McGillvary is one of the best wingers in Super League with the go-forward he gets them, Danny Brough has one of the best kicking games around and Leroy (Cudjoe) has been playing really well, too.
“But we’re not worrying about them. We have to focus on ourselves if we’re going to get the win we need.
“The most important thing in our minds is staying up and securing Super League status.”
Hull KR currently occupy third place by virtue of a superior points difference so a draw would actually keep them up.
Lunt, 29, is not a fan of the Middle Eights system, however.
“It’s not good for Super League,” he said, having scored a try in Sunday’s 32-24 win at part-timers Featherstone Rovers.
“It’s not like football where a side can retain all it’s roster if relegated. Rugby league is not strong enough to do that and, so, I don’t think it’s a good thing.
“But you have to get on with it. We’re just performing monkeys at the end of the day.
“And Leigh do deserve to go up. They have been great and had an absolutely fantastic Middle Eights.”
Hunslet Hawks winger Lee Mapals, 31, has received a four-year ban having tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone and metabolites of the steroid oxymetholone in June.