HULL KR captain Shaun Lunt has revealed the “surreal” moment he thought the RFL would still save them from relegation after the Million Pound Game.
The former England hooker tonight starts the Qualifiers for a fourth successive season with the Robins when they host Salford Red Devils who, ironically, consigned them to the drop in that dramatic 2016 decider.
Lunt, 31, helped the East Yorkshire club immediately return but they must now fight again to preserve their top-flight status.
Asked what has changed about the Qualifiers – he has been in them every year since their inception in 2015 – he said: “For me, it’s sunk in that actually, you CAN be relegated.
“The first year, when Wakefield beat Bradford to stay up so nothing changed, I was probably pig-headed or naïve to the system. And even when we got beat by Salford – I was literally stood there, I can see the spot on the field where I was – and was looking around. “I thought ‘Surely the RFL are going to ring us the next morning and tell us there’s no relegation…?’
“It was so surreal. You don’t know how you feel until you’re in it. I compare it to watching the news at home and seeing horrific things going on; you do feel awful but you can’t compare it to actually being in the middle of it.
Even when we got beat by Salford, I thought: ‘Surely the RFL are going to ring us the next morning and tell us there’s no relegation…?’Shaunt Lunt
“That was like the Million Pound Game.”
Rovers have won four of their last five games to enter the series in fine fettle this time around.
Another against their Super League rivals this evening would go a long way to ensuring they do not get dragged into it all again.
Top-flight Widnes are already in trouble having lost their Qualifiers opener 21-20 at home to Championship London Broncos,Jarrod Sammut’s late drop goal proving the difference.