Hull Kingston ROVERS coach James Webster pulled no punches, calling his side’s defeat to Oldham Roughyeds the biggest embarrassment of his time involved in rugby – including his schooldays.
He apologised to Rovers’ supporters for the poor performance from his players and cancelled any days off planned for the players in the forthcoming days.
“It was the biggest embarrassment of my career since before I left school,” Webster said. “What we dished up was utter embarrassment.
“I’ve protected these boys since I’ve been here, but I have to apologise to everyone associated with this club. That is not of a level that’s needed to pick up the wage they pick up.
“Supporters give up cars, holidays to follow this club because I deal with these people every day. I understand what people think and it’s all true.”
Hull KR chairman Neil Hudgell has promised to “smoke out” what he has described as “dishonest people” at the Super League club.
He said: “Ordinarily, I keep things in house, but today was a step too far. My first throughts are with our fans who have been embarrassed and short-changed.
“They spend money following us they can ill afford, and deserve way better.
“Apologies are not enough, action has to trump words. Too many cheap words by too many people who haven’t bought into what we are trying to deliver. We have dishonest people in our club, and they will be smoked out.
“Changes will be made, and we will be better for it. I can assure all our supporters we are working tirelessly to deliver that.”
Rovers, whose last cup game was played in front of 80,140 in last year’s Wembley final, were booed off by what remained of the 3,056 supporters who braved the cold conditions.
Oldham took an early lead through Will Hope and Lewis Palfrey converted, before a Dane Tilse try, converted by Ben Cockayne to make it 6-6.
Oldham regained their advantage in the 23rd minute when full-back Richard Lepori gathered Steve Roper’s grubber-kick to score. Roper then crossed, as Palfrey’s third conversion and penalty made it 20-6, before Adam Clay crossed.
Rovers reduced Oldham’s lead seven minutes into the second half when Shaun Lunt darted through to score from close range. Cockayne missed the conversion to leave last term’s Challenge Cup runners-up trailing 24-10, but Gary Middlehurst’s close-range try and Palfrey’s conversion left Rovers facing a 30-10 deficit.
Rovers battled baxck with tries from Maurice Blair, Joe Wardill and Tilse, but missed all the conversions.
And Lepori sealed a famous win for the Roughyeds in the last minute - to a chorus of boos from the east stand.
Oldham Roughyeds’ coach Scott Naylor said: “This is probably the biggest win since the club reformed. This is huge for us because it’s well known we’re not a wealthy club.”