HULL KR coach Tim Sheens has revealed he tried getting new Salford Red Devils signing Joey Lussick a move to partner club York City Knights before he joined their Super League rivals.
Rovers host Salford in their opening Qualifiers tie on Friday night as they bid to begin the process of securing their top-flight status.
Sheens saw his side defeat the Red Devils 52-22 just last month but their opponents have strengthened in time for the Middle Eights principally with the capture of highly-rated Australian stand-off Jackson Hastings but also with 22-year-old Lussick, his lesser known former team-mate at Manly Sea Eagles.
“We’re not taking any notice of that (previous scoreline),” said Sheens.
“Salford are a good side. They’ve got a few people back, Craig Kopczak in particular in the middle and they’ve bought in a new half-back (Hastings) and new hooker.
“Joey Lussick is not known very well but he’s a kid that I tried to get to York actually.
“He’s got an English ancestry visa and is someone I think is quite a young decent player at nine so they have some threat there now.
“And they beat us quite convincingly in round one so it’s one-all at this stage so we’re not being complacent at all.”
Rovers successfully negotiated the Qualifiers last term to win promotion from the Championship and many onlookers feel they will safely do so again to retain their place having won four of their last five games.
But Sheens warned: “These games are unpredictable.
“Form prior to now doesn’t mean a lot.
“Everyone’s starting from zero so everyone is fresh in mind as they’ve not got their head down battling at the bottom of a particular competition.
“Even those in the Championship have struggled and battled with one another to get in; I think there’s been six or seven teams who’ve had to battle it out for the top-four.
“But now it’s all zero and your form now is what’s important and availability of key players while home advantage plays a part.
“But when everyone’s on zero points whether you finished ninth or tenth in Super League or third or fourth in Championship you’re all on the same level.
“It’s an evener which can catch you out if you’re not careful.”
However, Rovers are boosted by the return of some key players following their last outing, the derby win at Hull FC.
Captain Shaun Lunt, playmaker Danny McGuire, strike centre Junior Vaivai, former England second-row Joel Tomkins and James Greenwood are all back in the squad after injury or suspension.
Maurice Blair starts a two-game ban, Mose Masoe serves the final game of his two-match suspension and prop Lee Jewitt drops out with a concussion issue but largely Rovers are in good fettle.
Meanwhile, the club is making progress in its bid to sort an visa issue ahead of next week’s trip to face Toronto Wolfpack.
Three unnamed players had failed to gain the necessary paperwork and had to visit the Canadian High Commission in London earlier this week.
However, one of the Robins stars has now received the green light and Sheens added: “We’ve still got two that we are waiting on.
“It’s something you have to live with, in sport and general life. You have got to adjust to things.
“We had to adjust our training this week because of it, which affects our first game but I’m happy with how we’ve gone.
“That’s what you have to do, you bend but hopefully not break. We had players go to London to do some interviews. All of it is about adjusting.
“However if we have to go to Canada without players that is going to be an interesting scenario.”