Catalans Dragons 34 Hull KR 4 - ‘We just weren’t good enough’ admits Tony Smith

Hull KR coach Tony Smith.Hull KR coach Tony Smith.
Hull KR coach Tony Smith.
HULL KINGSTON Rovers flew home from France pointless but hopeful following a disjointed performance against Catalans Dragons at Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Coach Tony Smith has his work cut out to put a competitive side out for Rovers’ next match against in-form Salford Red Devils on Tuesday.

Smith said: “I just said to the team that I need eight, nine or 10 who are physically and mentally able to take on the challenge of our next game which is Salford on Tuesday. I will add them to some fresh bodies back home.

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“We made some good in-roads early in the match but we failed to turn it into points. 22-0 at half-time is a tough ask and unfortunately we couldn’t come up with it.

“I thought our skill level wasn’t up to scratch after that. We’ll go out with spirit and motivation on Tuesday. The boys don’t lack motivation, we’re just not good enough at the moment. I’ve got every faith in them though”

Former Rovers players Josh Drinkwater and Joel Tomkins were at the forefront for Catalans but it was Joel’s brother Sam who was the architect of the Dragons’ victory.

Rovers couldn’t handle a series of penetrating runs from the full-back who was at the heart of every attacking move.

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However, it was former Robins skipper Joel who was first over the line, collecting a James Maloney kick, and he doubled his account to put Catalans 10-0 ahead.

Maloney added a penalty conversion before Ben Garcia picked up a loose ball and touched down from short range. The following set switched the ball to the right where Tom Davies forced his way over the line in the corner just before half-time, Maloney kicking the touchline conversion for a 22-0 interval lead.

Powerful surging runs from giant substitute prop Sam Kasiano put the visitors on the back foot, his big hit on Shaun Kenny Dowall loosened the ball and led to a lengthy period of possession for the home team.

Then a dazzling 80-metre combination between the two Tomkins and David Mead laid the platform for Israel Folau to score on the right wing, Maloney adding the conversion. Ben Jullien was held up over the line and Folau was disallowed for a forward pass as Catalans put constant pressure on the Robins’ try-line.

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However, Harvey Livett put Rovers on the scoreboard in the 67th minute following two powerful runs from centre Kane Linnett.

The return of Kasiano from the bench put the Dragons back on the offensive and fellow prop Sam Moa went close to scoring before Maloney added a penalty from short-range before Folau’s rampaging run down the left, supported by Sam Tomkins, saw Davies finish in the right corner for his second try – Maloney missing the conversion.

Catalans Dragons: S. Tomkins, Davies, Folau, Langi, Mead, Maloney, Drinkwater, Garcia, Jullien, J. Tomkins, Casty, McIlorum, Moa. Substitutes: Bousquet, Goudemand, Baitieri, Kasiano.

Hull K R: Crooks, Tate, Kenny-Dowall, Linnett, Rawsthorne, Abdull, Milnes, Hauraki, Parcell, Garbutt, Peteru, Storton, Lawler. Substitutes: Livett, Trout, Gee, King.

Referee: Jack Smith (RFL).

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