Hull KR v Hull FC: Tony Smith tells Robins to keep lid on emotions in heat of derby battle

Tony Smith has warned Hull KR to keep a lid on their emotions in tomorrow's derby against bitter rivals Hull FC.

The arch-enemies locked horns only once last season and have not met at Craven Park since 2019.

KR's recent resurgence has heightened the anticipation ahead of the first of three derbies, a series that could ultimately prove decisive in the race for the Super League play-offs.

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Smith, who can often be seen riding his bike to Craven Park, has managed to avoid any overzealous drivers on the streets of Hull in the build-up.

Tony Smith during last week's Challenge Cup win over Castleford. (Picture: SWPix.com)

The Rovers head coach is hoping his team exercise the same kind of control tomorrow afternoon.

"When I stop at lights, I usually know which ones they are," Smith told The Yorkshire Post.

"If I get a honk on the horn, it's usually one of ours. People on the whole have been really good with me about that.

"It's good banter and that's important for our sport. Our game is about discipline and making sure that we behave the right way, both on and off the field.

Hull KR were edged out in last year's derby at the MKM Stadium. (Picture: SWPix.com)

"There is a rivalry there but we need to make sure we keep control of that."

The 21-man squad named by Smith featured only three survivors from the last Craven Park derby in Ben Crooks, Matt Parcell and Kane Linnett.

That has increased the excitement levels in the Rovers camp as they prepare to run out in front of a packed house for the second successive week.

"They all hear about it as soon as they join the club and are around any of the fans," said Smith.

"When you live here too, you get it even more and start to understand what it means to the locals a whole lot more.

"It's going to be a great experience for all of them, whether they've been in it before or not.

"It's one of those games that players look forward to. It's going to be another big occasion in front of a sell-out crowd."

A derby victory would be enough to take the Robins level with Hull in the table but Smith appreciates the size of the task facing his side.

"They're on the improve," he said. "They've been one of the tough teams this year.

"I know they lost last weekend but it was pretty hard-fought and they could have easily won that too.

"They've got a big pack, real experienced half-backs and some really talented, dangerous players all over the park.

"We'll have to be at our best."