Hull KR v Bradford Bulls: Horne puts faith in Craven Park cauldron to end winless streak

Hull FC's Richard Whiting is tackled by Hull Kingston Rovers' Graeme Horn and Micky Paea
Hull FC's Richard Whiting is tackled by Hull Kingston Rovers' Graeme Horn and Micky Paea
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Graeme Horne is hoping the intimidating cauldron of Craven Park can end Hull Kingston Rovers’ desperate search for a first win of 2014.

The Robins have yet to taste victory in the First Utility Super League after the first five rounds, but have come close in every game.

In defeats at home – at the newly-named KC Lightstream Stadium – they were drawing 6-6 against Leeds at half-time before slipping to a 34-6 loss, and trailed in-form Castleford Tigers by just 18-10 at the break before the visitors pulled away to triumph 30-10.

It’s been a similar story on the road, with the Robins battling back to draw 24-24 at Huddersfield Giants; level 12-12 at half-time against St Helens, before losing 38-18; and leading Wigan 20-14 at the break last weekend only to succumb 34-20.

But with three successive home games ahead of them, Horne believes Hull KR can finally kickstart their season.

Bradford Bulls are the visitors tomorrow, before Wakefield Trinity Wildcats next weekend, and then a juicy Challenge Cup tie against Warrington Wolves to look forward to in the East Riding.

And with half-back pairing Travis Burns and Kris Keating finally releasing their potential, Horne insists Rovers’ future looks bright if they can cut out silly errors.

“The mood is good, we have a great set of lads and I think that’s what is getting us through this,” said Horne, who celebrated his 29th birthday yesterday.

“The training has been brilliant and that’s why we can’t understand where we are. It’s 
not lack of effort, it’s just dumb stuff on the field which is costing us.

“Travis couldn’t play in any of the friendlies, and last weekend was probably the best game that Travis and Keating have had together. Especially the first half, I thought they were brilliant.”

Horne added: “Obviously it’s going to take a bit of time for them to gel properly, but I think that they are getting there. We just need to cut out the stupid errors.

“Keating has come to a new country, so it’s going to take time, and Travis didn’t have any game-time before the season started. It will take time to get back up to speed.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist that if you don’t complete above 65 per cent, like we have, if you don’t have no ball, you will not beat teams like St Helens and Wigan.”

Hull KR have had a difficult opening set of fixtures, four of their opponents finished in the top five of Super League last year, while Castleford have won all five of their games to be the surprise package this season.

Not that Horne is looking at that as an excuse.

“We have had a tough start, but I think that’s the way Super League is going,” he said. “Every round is tough. I don’t think there are any easy teams.

“If anything, you should be chuffed you get them early rounds because they might be a bit ring rusty.

“When you play these big teams, you either have to take your chances, or increase your completion rate. We haven’t done that. We have kept in games, but just haven’t been able to finish them off.

“We just need that bit of luck, but it’s not going for us at the minute. Maybe we are panicking a bit, as we are looking for our first win of the season.

“We are confident we will come good.”

Bradford and Wakefield have both picked up two wins from their opening five games, but Horne beleives Hull KR can be a match for any side visiting Craven Park.

“I don’t think it mattered who we played. If you have two home games, you have to look to win your home games,” he said.

“We have a great set of fans, who cheer us on no matter what. We have to put the performances in for them. We have been struggling of late, but now is the time to start producing.

“We want to be in the play-offs. I know we have had a bad start, but I think we have got a good enough team to do that.

“We just need that first win and go a bit further than eighth spot, where we finished last season,” added Horne, who himself is coming back to full strength with a shoulder operation pre-season not helping his cause.