Leigh Centurions’ losing run building strength and making Hull KR head coach Tony Smith wary

AS someone who once experienced a sizeable losing run in Super League, Hull KR head coach Tony Smith knows just how Leigh Centurions are feeling – and why that makes them dangerous.

Tony Smith: Once survived a 15-game losing run as Huddersfield head coach. (Picture: SWPix.com)

The Robins host the competition’s bottom club on Sunday when crowds return to Hull College Craven Park for the first time in 441 days.

Rovers hope to put on a show for their supporters against winless Leigh who have lost all eight games so far this term since being promoted.

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They still have some way to go to reach the sequence Smith suffered when he was in charge at Huddersfield Giants when the West Yorkshire club lost 15 straight games in 2001.

However, the Australian still labels that as one of the most enjoyable seasons of his career and he realises Leigh could potentially prove difficult.

“In terms of what I’ve seen they have competed damn hard with most teams this year for big parts of games,” he said.

“There’s no way we’re going to take them for granted. We’ve seen what they are capable of.

“They are dangerous. They have a lot of experienced players; there’s not many rookies in there starting out and learning their trade.

Stanley Gene back in his Huddersfield Giants days, has followed Tony Smith to Hull KR (Picture: YPN)

“Most of them are very experienced players. They are a threat. Some of their backs are as dangerous as anyone in the competition.”

Huddersfield, of course, were relegated in 2001.

Leigh have time to turn their campaign around although Sunday’s 44-4 home loss, coincidentally against Huddersfield, was their biggest defeat yet. They have challenged hard against St Helens and Wigan Warriors and Smith added: “It depends on all sorts of things. Injuries are a big one for all of us. We all get tested by injuries. Having your best players available certainly helps your season’s fortunes.

“We (at Huddersfield) enjoyed not the situation but the journey we were travelling.

“We were learning all the time, aside from a couple of glitches.

“It was coming in Monday morning, rolling the sleeves up and getting ready for the next week. There was no doom and gloom. I still say it was one of the most enjoyable seasons of my career.

“I probably made some of the strongest bonds and friendships during that period.

“Sometimes during some perceived adversities, that’s where you actually found out about people and who your friends are.

“I‘ve even got a couple of my (Hull KR) staff who were part of that squad in Stanley Gene and Ben Cooper. It’s funny how you get drawn to some of those people that go through those hard battles with you.”

And Rovers have painful recent experience of facing opponents searching for an elusive first win of the year.

Wakefield Trinity were in that position on Sunday and duly ended Rovers’ three-match winning run in Super League

Smith will name forwards Dean Hadley – who came off with a facial wound at Trinity – and George King in his 21-man squad but both face late fitness tests.

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