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Toulouse trip is ‘key round’ for Hull KR, believes Sheens

Hull KR's Tim Sheens
Hull KR's Tim Sheens
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HULL KR coach Tim Sheens says this is the “key” round in the battle for Super League places and has, therefore, urged his side to make the most of it.

They face Toulouse in the south of France this evening knowing another victory should cement their place in the top-flight for 2019.

However, as they approach the sixth of seven rounds in the Qualifiers, there are still so many potential permutations.

The only certainty is that pointless Halifax will remain in the Championship next term but the Million Pound Game, to determine the 12th place in the top flight, could yet be played in France, Canada or England.

More should be known after today’s fixtures when London Broncos host Salford Red Devils and Toronto Wolfpack also welcome Widnes Vikings.

Hull KR, Salford and Leeds Rhinos are fancied to secure Super League survival after winning four matches so far but Toronto are only two points behind and Toulouse remain firmly in contention thanks to home wins over Halifax and Widnes.

“This is the key round as far as I’m concerned,” said Sheens, whose Hull KR side visit Toulouse looking to atone for two defeats by the French side last season.

“There’s a lot of teams fighting against each other and only separated by for and against at the moment.

“We don’t want Toronto to get the jump on us and maybe overtake us on points difference. We need to win and maintain that gap.

“Toulouse are pushing as well, they’re right in the mix and we know it’s going to be a very tough game.”

Toulouse’s controversial last-gasp defeat by Toronto dashed their hopes of automatic promotion.

However, coach Sylvain Houles is targeting one win from their last two fixtures to secure a place in the Million Pound Game. “I really thought we deserved a lot better,” said Houles of the 13-12 loss to the Wolfpack in Toronto where slow-motion replays revealed winger Mason Caton-Brown dropped the ball in scoring the match-winning try.

“It should have been a more experienced referee and I still don’t understand why for big games they can’t use the video referee, especially when the game is on TV.

“But we can’t do anything about it now.

“We need to move on and if we keep working hard like we did against Toronto, we’ll get a win against Hull KR or Salford.

“That’s what we’re looking at, getting one win out of those two games and see where it takes us,” he said.

London, also with two wins so far, can keep alive their 
promotion hopes against Salford while it is last-chance saloon 
for Widnes when they go to Canada.

The Vikings ended a 17-match losing run with victory over Halifax and centre Charly Runciman is hoping they can make the most of the lifeline.

“It was great to get a win on the weekend,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming. Hopefully we get the job done over there because it’s do or die now.”