Are Hull KR a Super League play-off team? Time will tell says Tony Smith

PRAGMATIC Hull KR head coach Tony Smith refuses to put pressure on his squad to reach the Super League play-offs.

Learning curve: Agony of defeat to Hull FC all part of the development of Hull KR, believes Tony Smith. (Picture: Joihn Clifton/

Last year’s bottom-placed side looked well set to do that a little over a week ago but a run of three defeats in nine days has left them in eighth ahead of Sunday’s crucial Magic Weekend game against Leigh Centurions.

Given their opponents have lost all but one of their 19 league games, it should offer a perfect opportunity to get back firing.

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Furthermore, Rovers’ last three games – Leigh, Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos – are spread over 13 days with some breathing space, too, since Monday’s loss at Huddersfield.

They could box off that trio as a mini play-off series but Smith insisted: “We don’t group games together. We’re looking at each one, each week, starting with Leigh. If we deserve to be there (play-offs), we will be. If we don’t, we don’t deserve it.

“We’ve done some good things this season, played some good footy on a lot of occasions.

“We’ve had some games where we’ve been below our best and most teams can relate to that; there’s been one stand-out in Catalans Dragons but the rest of us have had ups and downs.

“It’s all part of our development here at Hull KR and now we’re learning about what the rigours of competing at a different end of the table is like.

Hull KR coach Tony Smith (Picture:

“We’re trying to break out of that area we used to compete at and we’re in the process of that. Only time will tell if we achieve some of what we want.

“We’ve three weeks to do our best. If we do, we give ourselves a good chance of being somewhere near where we want to be.”

George Lawler drops out with a dislocated thumb while Muizz Mustapha, Brad Takairangi and Will Dagger all face late fitness tests. Meanwhile, KR’s home game with Castleford has been selected for broadcast by Sky Sports prompting a date switch.

Rovers were due to face Castleford on Sunday September 12 (3pm) but it has now been brought forward to Saturday September 11 (7.45pm).

The other televised game is St Helens v Leeds Rhinos on Friday September 10 (7.45pm).

Hull FC have moved their home game with Wigan Warriors back a day to Saturday September 11 (3.00) as plans for a fan day aimed at young supporters and families.