Hull KR coach Tim Sheens is urging his players to prepare for their toughest test of the season when Widnes visit KCOM Craven Park in the fifth round of the Super 8s Qualifiers today.
Rovers have won all four games so far and victory over the Vikings would take them another step towards automatic promotion back to Super League, especially if fourth-placed Leigh lose at Warrington, the other team with a 100 per cent record so far.
“Winning this game doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll be promoted, losing it doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t be,” Sheens said.
“It just comes down to focusing on this game and this week.
“I won’t be interested in the Warrington versus Leigh game even with 15 minutes to go. Who knows where we are going to be at that point in our match, and it’s just going to be about us winning.
“The fans may know what’s going on at Warrington but I don’t want to and I don’t want my players to, because winning is what we need to do. Whether Warrington win or not, we still want to win this game.”
Widnes, who finished bottom of the Super League table at the end of the regular season, have boosted their survival hopes with a run of three wins but suffered a double blow in their victory over Leigh last Sunday, losing full-back Rhys Hanbury and half-back Danny Craven to season-ending injuries.
“I think this will be the toughest game we’ve had so far this year,” Sheens added.
“I think they’ve been the best-performing side in this competition if you look at their form over the last few weeks.
“They’ve really been going well and, although I know they’ve got a few issues with their spine, the options they’ve got to bring in are still very good players who have been playing Super League all year,” he added.