HULL KR are missing a dozen players for tomorrow’s trip to Wakefield Trinity but, crucially, Tim Sheens says the “brains” of his team are intact.
Yesterday’s press briefing appeared more like a medical roll call as the head coach detailed just who was absent for the Super League strugglers.
Chiefly, after being injured in last week’s loss against Leeds Rhinos, in-form Australian winger Justin Carney will visit a specialist on Monday knowing he requires shoulder surgery at some point that will sideline him for six months.
Rovers hope he will be able to delay it until the end of the season and he may just miss the next six weeks.
Ex-Wakefield prop Nick Scruton is in a similar position but the club fear he is more likely to need an operation imminently.
Back-row James Donaldson misses out with a dead leg but he could be back next week.
For a team that has lost nine of its 12 games so far, it does not bode well but Sheens remains adamant they can pick up a win against a side they lost 28-6 to at home in February.
“The scoreline didn’t reflect the effort or the game in round one and (Tom) Johnstone scored three freakish tries that night,” he said.
“We’ve improved though. Wakefield don’t seem to have many key people out and we’re well under-done.
“I’ve got 12 out at the moment and at least 10 would be in my 17 somewhere.
It does put us under pressure but the guys that have come in, their attitude is great – my spine and the brains of the team are intact.Tim Sheens
“It does put us under pressure but the guys that have come in, their attitude is great – my spine and the brains of the team are intact.”
Wakefield are out of sorts, too, with their head coach Chris Chester insisting it is must-win for them, too.
Sheens added: “What Chris is saying is somewhat true – both sides want to win – but it’s not a must-win at this stage.
“The pressure of a must-win game, there’s no doubt.”