ON-LOAN prop Daniel Murray says he is ready to help finish the job in Hull KR’s desperate bid to stave off relegation – by inflicting defeat on parent club Salford Red Devils.
Rovers need to win at the competition’s form team on Friday to ensure there is no chance of them being demoted on what promises to be a tense and fraught final night of regular Super League action.
Remarkably, after 29 rounds, four clubs – London Broncos, KR, Huddersfield Giants and Wakefield Trinity – all sit on 20 points at the foot of the table and could all still suffer the drop.
Murray has been on loan at KCOM Craven Park since June but is contracted to return to surprise package Salford in 2020.
Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, he said: “I’ve really enjoyed it here. Really enjoyed it.
“I can’t say anything more about the club; they’ve treated me well and it feels like I’m part of it.
I’ve really enjoyed it here. Really enjoyed it. I can’t say anything more about the club; they’ve treated me well and it feels like I’m part of it.Daniel Murray
“We’ll see how it goes (Friday). I can give them a few tips (on Salford) and hopefully it will benefit the team.
“We’re still playing to avoid relegation and that’s all the focus is now.
“They have their own focuses but I’m a KR player at the moment and I’ll focus on KR.”
Murray can play on Friday just like Ryan Lannon – the KR prop who went on loan the other way at the same time – will be able to for Salford.
“I’m on loan at Hull KR and whichever kit I’ve got on I’ll play for that club,” explained Murray, who has played 10 games during his loan and had a positive impact for the East Yorkshire club. “I’m definitely up for selection and, hopefully, I’ll do my job.
“Nothing changes really; it’s a game of rugby.”
Murray’s current team should not even be in this invidious position; if they had beaten bottom-placed London on Friday they would now be safe.
Yet, in agonising fashion, they conceded a 78th-minute try to Jay Pitts – a former Hull FC player of all things – to lose 20-16 and become embroiled in the forthcoming nerve-shredding shoot-out.
Admittedly, if Wakefield beat Broncos at Belle Vue on Friday, the result is simple; the capital side will be relegated 12 months after earning promotion and the pressure is off for everyone else.
However, with all games rightly starting at the same time of 7.45pm – Huddersfield host Catalans Dragons in the other critical contest – Rovers will not be able to risk relying on other results and must, then, take matters into their own hands.
With that in mind, they have the most difficult fixture against a Salford side who enjoyed a record-extending seventh consecutive Super League win at Leeds Rhinos on Friday.
Ian Watson’s fourth-placed team – who relegated KR in the 2016 Million Pound Game at Craven Park in 2016 – secured their play-offs spot at Headingley and could yet finish as high as second.
They have not been beaten since losing at home to Huddersfield on July 4.
Wiganer Murray, who made a dozen appearances for Salford earlier this season including their opening day win at Hull KR, is pleased to see them thriving.
“It might be because I’m not there!” joked the 23-year-old, who has also spent loan spells at Rochdale Hornets and Bradford Bulls before making his Salford debut two years ago.
“It’s one of those things; Ian Watson has his way of playing and he’s got the players behind him and it’s worked.
“Hats off to him. I’ve every respect for Salford. Congrats to them all.”
Like the rest of his Rovers team-mates, Murray was left dumbfounded by that defeat against London.
Asked about his emotions afterwards, he said: “Emotions? I can’t really put one into words as there were that many different emotions.
“But all I can say is frustrated and gutted for the result and again it was a missed opportunity. That’s all I can say really.”
Rovers had fought back from an early 12-0 deficit to take a 16-14 lead in the second period and seemingly take control only to break at the death.
“At half-time the talk was good and we spoke about desire and getting back to our game-plan and we did it,” he said, having trailed 14-6 before tries from Chris Atkin and Danny McGuire.
“We got back into the game in that second half and thought we had them.
“It was just about still playing and defending for our lives really. That’s what it was.
“We did as well until that try but then we needed to make sure we were smarter and our errors didn’t help.”
In fairness, Rovers did lose loose forward Dean Hadley and centre Jimmy Keinhorst – who was stretchered off after a head knock - to first-half injuries.
“We don’t use that as an excuse,” said Murray, Keinhorst thankfully able to walk away from the stadium afterwards and, therefore, still potentially hoping to play at Salford.
“We’re a team; we take responsibility and we lose together.
“We had injuries but that’s just the game and we kick on.”