Hull KR v St Helens - Adam Quinlan intent on helping Robins get the balance right

WHEN you have waited as long as Hull KR have done to play another game of rugby league, it does not matter one jot who you end up facing.

DETERMINED: Hull KR's Adam Quinlan. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

That is why they will go into tomorrow’s fixture against champions St Helens – in ruthless and formidable form since Super League resumed at the start of the month – full of optimism and excitement.

Essentially, the Robins have only played one fixture in approaching six months; a 40-10 defeat against Warrington Wolves three weeks ago.

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Games against Toronto Wolfpack the week before and after that contest were postponed when the Canadian franchise pulled out of the competition and Rovers were out of action last weekend, too, with it being the Challenge Cup sixth round.

“It has been frustrating,” conceded full-back Adam Quinlan.

“But there’s nothing that we could do and we’re just excited to get back out there on Sunday.

“Since we started back after Covid you’d have to say Saints have been the form side so it doesn’t get any tougher.

“It’s a challenge for us but we’ll go there and give it our all and see how we go.”

ROUGH RETURN: Warrington Wolves' Matty Ashton makes a break from Hull KR's Adam Quinlan. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

On paper, the Robins should not stand a chance; they sit bottom with just one win while Saints have scored 92 points in three wins since returning from lockdown, keeping their last two opponents Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos scoreless.

Quinlan knows plenty about them, too, given he first arrived in the UK on a fruitful short-term deal with Saints in 2015.

“It’s a while ago now,” he recalled, with England quartet Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson – who starts a five-game ban tomorrow – Alex Walmsley and James Roby some of the few survivours from that vintage.

“I came mid-season and had a really good time there. It’s a great club. We managed to get to one game from the Grand Final so it was a good time.

Hull KR head coach, Tony Smith. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“But I’ve moved on from then and am looking forward to coming up against them this week.”

Rovers caused Warrington plenty of problems last time out, Tony Smith’s side showing a willingness to chance their arm with a free-flowing style that created ample opportunities.

Unfortunately, too often their final execution was poor, something that must be remedied at Halliwell Jones Stadium if they are to have any chance of avoiding becoming Saints’ latest victims.

“I like our style of play and I think it suits me as a player,” said Quinlan, the silky Australian who should blossom further under the new ‘six again’ rules.

“We’ve just got to find that balance which we spoke about after Warrington.

“There were a few too many errors and it’s just picking the right times to express ourselves. If we can get that balance right, I think we can become a very good team.

“With it being the first game back there was going to be some rust with everyone and that was the case with myself (against Warrington).

“I was happy with how I went in some aspects but then again there were a few errors that I need to wipe out. Hopefully, I can improve and build on that performance on Sunday.”

After the famine comes the feast for Rovers who play Wigan Warriors on Thursday night.

Quinlan, 27, conceded: “The four-day turnaround isn’t ideal but that’s the way it is.

“I’m not sure what Tony’s thinking but I think there might be a few guys in the squad getting rotated to use the depth in the squad we have.

“First things first, get through Saints on Sunday and worry about Wigan then.”

Like many at the East Yorkshire club, the former St George Illawarra star is out of contract at the end of the season.

He hopes to stay on for a fifth campaign and, given his experience and dynamisim, he is likely to be high on the list of players Smith wants to secure swiftly.

Quinlan said: “I’m still just out there trying to do my best and, hopefully, I can get something sorted sooner rather than later.

“I’ve just got to worry about playing and trying to play well whenever we’re out there.

“It wasn’t ideal for the team to get the one game in the first month and it didn’t help the guys off contract as well.

“But I try not to worry about that. We’ve got a lot of games coming up so, hopefully, the team can play well and I can play well on the back of that.”

There is one certain departure, though: long-time KR owner Neil Hudgell announced this week that he will be standing down at the end of the season.

Quinlan said; “He’s been a huge part of the club. I think he’s been here 16 years and he has been the heart and soul of it.

“He’ll be greatly missed. I was surprised when he came and spoke to us all the other day.

“It’s going to be a huge hole to fill in the club. Hopefully, we can finish off the season well and send him off on a high.”

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Thank you, James Mitchinson. Editor.