Hull KR v Wigan Warriors: Ben Crooks sure Robins can complete Wigan double and win title

SUCH is Hull KR’s growing status that Ben Crooks knows teams are going to start hunting them – but that only further enhances their unwavering belief.

Flying high: Ben Crooks says confidence is high at in-form Hull KR as they prepare to welcome Wigan Warriors. Pictures: AllanMcKenzie/SWPIX.com

The Robins, whose stand-off Rowan Milnes has signed a new three-year extension until the end of 2025, host Wigan Warriors tonight looking to complete a double on the beaten Grand Finalists having already defeated them at the DW Stadium in June.

A further success would strengthen Rovers’ bid for the top-six and Crooks – who filled in at full-back for Sunday’s win over Leigh Centurions – is relishing the opportunity to show they can consistently compete with Super League’s bigger names.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Granted, he expects Wigan to come even harder at them.

New contract: Hull KR's Rowan Milnes. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“There’s a lot of positives when you’re playing well and are starting to climb the ladder and are going after teams by putting in good performances,” said the former Castleford and Hull FC star.

“But one of the downsides is you’re a target then and people want to come after you to prove you’re not as good as you think you are.

“We’re in that position at the minute; teams are going to come after us trying to put it on us.

“Wigan are a better team and are playing better than they were when we played them last time.

“They’ve upped their game which means we have to up our’s even more to be able to do what we did to them last time. That’s what we’re trying to do this week.”

Wigan have won five of their last six games to illustrate how they think they can get to Old Trafford but Tony Smith’s Robins side are full of belief, not just because they are back at home.

Crooks added: “We’re confident of beating any side at any stadium.

“That’s the mindset we’re in at the minute and that’s the confidence we’ve got in our ability.

“Any team, any place we’re confident we can go out there and get the two points.

“We’re trying to make this place a bit of a fortress so if they’re going to come here and try to do a job on us they’re going to have to work really hard for it.”

Rovers have seen Dean Hadley and Mikey Lewis drop out following injuries suffered against Leigh but winger Ethan Ryan hopes to return after a wrist issue and Jimmy Keinhorst could also feature after a brief loan spell at Castleford Tigers.

Crooks, 28, has only ever played in one play-off game but feels Rovers have the ability to push on and stun Super League.

“We’ve confidence we can go all the way and win it,” he said.

“That’s something this team and this club hasn’t had for a very long time.”