Craig Sandercock is urging his Hull Kingston Rovers players to cut out the “unforced mistakes” which have plagued their start to Super League.
The Robins have yet to pick up a win in four attempts ahead of tonight’s trip to face Grand Final winners Wigan Warriors.
Sandercock’s side held Huddersfield Giants to an impressive 24-24 draw, and last week looked set to push St Helens all the way. Drawing 12-12 at half-time, though, Rovers were punished in the second half for their errors as Saints cantered home 38-18.
That defeat leaves the Robins 11th, above only Catalan Dragons and London Broncos – who have yet to pick up a point – and Bradford Bulls, following their points deduction.
But Sandercock saw plenty at Langtree Park to be optimistic about tonight’s trip to face a Wigan side still adjusting to life without the mercurial talents of Sam Tomkins.
“There were a few individual decisions there that probably weren’t good enough and St Helens – on the back of repeat sets – were able to get us,” said the Hull KR coach.
“It’s about us getting through our sets, competing hard, and making sure we are sensible in our decision-making. We don’t want to come up with unforced errors. All the best sides in Super League don’t make unforced errors, and we need to be much more vigilant in that area.
“In the next few weeks you will see the best of us.”
Wigan themselves have only two points from their opening three games – and were beaten by Castleford Tigers last weekend.
Asked whether Wigan were struggling to cope with the loss of playmaker Tomkins, Sandercock said: “I don’t think they are the same side because Matt Bowen is a different player, it’s as simple as that.
“But Matt Bowen has achieved an awful lot in the game and is a great player in his own right. It’s like any new combination, it does take time, and let’s hope they don’t click this week.”
On new loan signing Ade Gardner, Sandercock added: “He has trained really well and is just what we need, with his experience and talk out there (on the pitch). I dare say, he will slot straight in.”