‘Bunch of rejects’ tag motivates Hull KR’s Cup heroes

Rovers coach Chris Chester.
Rovers coach Chris Chester.
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Chris Chester is backing his “bunch of rejects” to cause more upsets and take Hull KR all the way to the Challenge Cup final.

The Robins are in quarter-final action tonight against Catalans Dragons at the KC Lightstream Stadium knowing they stand just two games away from Wembley.

Hull KR have not reached the semi-finals since 2006 and it is 35 years since their only Challenge Cup win, when they beat Hull FC 10-5 in 1980.

Many pundits wrote off Hull KR as relegation candidates before a ball was kicked but head coach Chester revealed they had used that criticism as a motivational tool.

Following their Magic Weekend loss to Hull FC and a home defeat to Castleford Tigers, harsh words were spoken.

That sparked back-to-back Super League wins over Widnes Vikings and Warrington Wolves and Chester is demanding a repeat performance tonight.

“We did a lot of talking after the Castleford game, we knew we let ourselves down there,” he said. “These players, they read the papers, they read what others have got to say about us – that we are a bunch of rejects that have been put together at a late stage.

“Occasionally we bring those comments out to these blokes. They seem to thrive on it and we like being the underdogs.

“We were the underdogs at Wigan and look what happened there,” recalled Chester, Hull KR beating cup specialists Warriors 16-12.

“We have used it as a motivation how everybody seems to write us off.

“There was a lot of belief in the group at the start of the year, and there’s so much more belief now,” he added.

Success for Hull KR this season could be influenced by cross-city rivals Hull FC, who play Leeds Rhinos tomorrow in the second quarter-final tie.

Victory for both could set-up a mouth-watering semi-final meeting, or the chance of a repeat of the 1980 final.

“I believe Hull KR knocked Wigan out in the sixth round that year as well, so, hopefully, history repeats itself,” said Chester.

“But we are not too worried about the noisy neighbours.

“We will just go about our business and worry about ourselves.”