The East Yorkshire club host Huddersfield Giants at Hull College Craven Park tonight, still awaiting a first win of the season and just a week on from their painful Challenge Cup extra-time defeat to Castleford Tigers.
Rovers had led 22-6 at the break and 32-18 with just ten minutes remaining yet somehow finished level after a late collapse and then saw Gareth O’Brien’s 99th-minute drop goal send them to a third defeat of the year.
Castleford dominated in extra-time, having nine attempts at drop-goals before getting it right, the hosts being restricted to just two such efforts. But KR were left with nothing to show for their endeavours, just as was the case when they lost to Catalans Dragons in Golden Point in their opening game of the season.
Scrum-half Abdull, who skewed his drop-goal attempt against Castleford, told The Yorkshire Post: “There was such disappointment. As weird as it sounds, it took me a couple of days afterwards to get my head around the fact we didn’t actually win that game. It took longer than normal to get over because we had ourselves in a winning position twice and came off after nearly 100 minutes with nothing.
“It was hard. We still took positives out of it and we learned a lot.
“But we have to lose the mentality of doing okay in games and getting close; we actually need to start winning matches again.”
The former Hull FC and London Broncos half-back revealed Rovers had been working on their extra-time game-management technique this week.
“We have done a little bit of work – without being religious on it,” said Abdull.
“As half-backs we have to look at where we went wrong for if – or when – it comes up again.
“We’ve had two games already go into Golden Point and had chances but not taken one. I take that quite personally: not being able to get us a win.
“Me, and all the halves, are working on that to make sure when it does happen again, we’re ready to take that chance.”
For their sakes and the sake of their fans, they will hope to avoid more extra-time torture tonight when they face Huddersfield but Abdull says they “100 per cent” still believe in their ability to deliver wins in 2021.
Giants are set to welcome back their own scrum-half and captain Aidan Sezer.
The Australian could go up against Abdull who said: “If we’d kicked a drop goal in Golden Point first we’d have won two of our first three games and we’d be having totally different conversations and video reviews.
“There was only the St Helens game where we felt it ran away from us.
“But even in that we were competitive and there was only a five or 10 minute spell where they scored back-to-back that did the damage.
“There’s no reason to be downhearted as a group and we’re not. There’s just little areas we need to improve on.
“And it is early in the season; there could be things that we’ve learned these last few weeks that could come back and help us nearer the other end of the year.
“You’ve not really got time to dwell on the disappointment of last week.
“We just have to get out there and right the wrongs that we ended up coming up with in that second half.”
In contrast, Huddersfield did get their first win of the campaign on Sunday when they dumped Leigh Centurions out of the Cup.
Hull-born Abdull, 25, said: “They’ve brought in some new players, had a big squad overhaul and got a new head coach in Ian Watson.
“It’s going to take them time to bed in and it took until the weekend for them to get their first win after a couple of defeats.
“It’s really up for grabs on Friday. They have some key players, some real dangers across the park, but we’re looking forward to it.”
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