FIT-AGAIN Hull KR hooker Shaun Lunt has every confidence his side can start challenging for the top five once they manage to get a settled side on the field.
They head to leaders St Helens tonight knowing it will take some effort to end their hosts’ 100 per cent winning start to the season.
Depleted Rovers were on the end of a 42-8 hammering at bottom-placed Huddersfield Giants a week ago when coach Tim Sheens was bereft of a dozen first-team players.
However, former England international Lunt did play for the first time in six months and they should be bolstered by the return of at least another three senior players this evening.
Rovers sit eighth, but, despite only three wins from eight games, are just two points behind fourth-placed Salford Red Devils.
Lunt believes they can “definitely” kick on in what is proving an unpredictable competition.
I’d say there’s only really Saints so far who haven’t been touched. They have been absolutely outstanding; they’ve set the benchmark for the season so far.Hull KR’s Shaun Lunt
“I’d say there’s only really Saints so far who haven’t been touched,” he said.
“They have been absolutely outstanding; they’ve set the benchmark for the season so far.
“But we’re in with a (top five) chance especially when we’ve got the troops back. A lot of teams will have injuries – it’s part and parcel of the game – but I think we’ll go well as time goes on.”
Although visiting Saints is currently the toughest gig around, the ex-Huddersfield and Leeds Rhinos star is relishing the prospect tonight.
“I love going there,” said the 31-year-old, who has overcome a raft of serious illnesses, including sepsis, to resume his career.
“They’re the team I supported as a kid, a great team with some amazing players.
“Keiron Cunningham was my hero.
“He was someone I looked up to, especially with being a hooker myself.
“I feel a real sense of achievement every time I play Saints as they were my childhood team.
“After what happened it’ll be good to go test myself to play the best – and see if I’ve still got it.”
England stand-off Gareth Widdop, 30, is facing another spell on the sidelines after dislocating his right shoulder for the third time inside just eight months during St George-Illawarra’s 25-24 win at Brisbane.