HULL KR coach Tim Sheens spoke of his “relief” after the club secured their Super League place for 2019.
Yesterday’s 30-0 win over Widnes Vikings ensured they avoided the Million Pound Game.
“It is more a sense of relief,” explained Sheens, with his side needing to win by 14 points or more to claim third place in the Qualifiers.
“Joel Tomkins said he’s never experienced these Qualifiers and he was saying how stressful they have been.
“You’re taking about yours and the club’s livelihood.
“You can lose a Grand Final and not have as much stress as that. But with great support we got through.
“We had our ups and downs but the fans’ energy that was out there was always welcomed by the team.”
Thoughts will now turn to building their squad for 2019 with Sheens confirming three signings – Leeds Rhinos centre Jimmy Keinhorst, Widnes second-row Weller Hauraki and Salford Red Devils forward Ryan Lannon.
“We’ve got to continue to build steadily next year,” he said.
“You’re not going to go from zero to 100. All the good English players are tied up so you are reliant on your quota options.
“It’s not like when I was back in Western Sydney and there’s multiple juniors with thousands of kids playing.
“The players will go away for a few days and then those conversations will begin.
“We now know what our budget will be, we know who is on and off contract and what we’re doing there.”
The likes of Craig Hall and Todd Carney are off contract and plenty of others.
On the game, he added: “It was a good emphatic win. It still had the heart going with 15 minutes to go, knowing we were only technically 16 points ahead.
“We knew we’d won the match and had the home Million Pound Game but we didn’t want a repeat of that.
“They kept us on my toes especially with the early injuries to Todd Carney but the forwards really laid a platform.
“And everybody stood up. Nobody wanted to come off and they all whinged at me and that’s what you want to hear.”