How Tony Smith has helped transform fortunes at Hull KR

Hull KR head coach Tony Smith says his squad’s greater resilience has put them in the Super League play-offs mix this year.

Hull KRs Tony Smith. Picture:

They head to his former club Leeds Rhinos tonight having transformed from a side that finished bottom last term to one now in the top six.

Ahead of their final regular round, Smith said: “I just want my players to not leave anything behind and try hard every week, no matter who they’re playing and when they’re playing. That’s what we work really hard on.

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“I think that’s been a big difference to where we’ve been in the past. I do think we’ve been competitive in most games for the most of the game throughout the season.

“I said that prior to the season starting that that’s what we would like to do and that would probably carry us a long way into the season and competition. We’re doing that.”

One of the reasons for their improved performance has been the addition of winger Ryan Hall who the club revealed yesterday has signed a new one-year extension to his deal taking him until the end of 2023.

The England star has had an immediate impact this season on his arrival from NRL club Sydney Roosters.

Ever-present Hall, 33, has scored 15 tries and proved a formidable asset on KR’s left edge before suffering an injury last week which rules him out of facing former club Leeds tonight.

He will be approaching his 36th birthday when his new deal expires but Smith said: “He’s very professional and has been a really good influence.

“He takes care of himself and he’s in great shape. I know he’s got an injury at the minute but that’s part and parcel of rugby league. It’s not an issue that’s going to restrict him very long; he’ll be ready for pre-season. The way he’s approached this year is just 100 per cent and he gives that all the time. I think for somebody who takes good care of himself and trains so hard, Ryan’s got potential to play on for a long time yet.”