Hull KR head coach Tim Sheens says his side are going to “pepper” England winger Jermaine McGillvary on his return for Huddersfield Giants tonight.
It might seem a strange tactic given strong-running McGillvary was nominated for Golden Boot as the world’s best player in 2017 and Huddersfield have a rookie teenager on their other flank.
Coming back off the injury we hope he’s not up to his standard form! We’re not going to kick to him too often long-range wise. But short kicks, we’ll pepper him – and catch him before he gets wound up.Hull KR head coach, Tim Sheens
However, there is method in Sheens’s madness as he looks for a first win in five league games.
“Jermaine McGillvary was the form English winger last year in the series they had,” he said.
“But coming back off the injury we hope he’s not up to his standard form! We’re not going to kick to him too often long-range wise.
“But short kicks, we’ll pepper him – and catch him before he gets wound up.”
McGillvary, who turned 31 yesterday, missed Sunday’s 22-16 Challenge Cup loss to Super League leaders St Helens due to a foot issue, but is back in contention tonight.
Sheens side were vanquished 42-8 on their last visit to Huddersfield just two months ago.
But Rovers, who are 11th and two points behind their opponents, gained some much-needed belief with Saturday’s 32-18 Cup win at Salford Red Devils.
Sheens said: “We’re looking a little better. Coming off last week’s win over Salford helps confidence and combinations.
“We’ve trained well and we’ll have a stronger bench this time around. Last time we used three kids and whilst they tried hard it was difficult against their strong side that night.
“We were at 94 per cent in the second half against Salford and made very few errors. The first thing Joel Tomkins said on his way back into the dressing room was ‘Control the ball, win games’, Then we were told statistically, too – it was almost a perfect half.”