Hull KR v Hull FC: Battle lines are drawn as James Webster prepares Robins for '˜hostile' Hull derby

HULL KR coach James Webster says his main priority before today's derby with Hull FC is to ready his squad for the sheer 'hostility' ahead.

Hull KR coach James Webster.

It may be the Australian’s maiden experience of the fierce contest as Rovers chief, but he has witnessed the intense rivalry plenty before, first as KR captain and later as their neighbours’ assistant coach.

Webster – ahead of only his third game since succeeding Chris Chester – saw his side finally pick up their first win of the season against Salford Red Devils last weekend, which should certainly raise confidence in the ranks.

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However, looking forward to the lunchtime kick-off against old adversary Lee Radford’s team, he added: “We need to prepare our sides the best we can and, when they walk across that stripe, we’ve done all we can to prepare them for what’s going to be a really hostile game.

“Traditionally they are not classic matches. They are full of emotion and sometimes spite, whether on the terraces or the pitch.

“There’s been plenty of good moments, some farcical ones, some brilliant last-minute tries and drop goals, stadiums being empty before the game, all of that, and there’ll probably be another Friday.

“Whether the brilliant footy comes with it, I’m not sure, but it’ll be intense and entertaining in one way, at least.”

The televised game at Rovers’ KC Lightstream Stadium will be approaching a 12,000 sell-out.

Coincidentally, the two coaches were both captains of their respective sides when they met for the first time in Super League in 2007.

“I remember the tossing of the coin,” recalled Webster, who had helped KR earn promotion.

“Lee was looking scary, but we held our own that year.

“People were expecting us to do poorly – they were Grand Finalists in ’06– but it just shows form is not a great indicator of who’ll win a derby.

“It’s about who turns up and gets the job done.”

Derby preview: Page 23.