Robins have added defensive steel to their attacking flair

LONG-SERVING Hull KR centre Kris Welham believes his side are starting to finally demonstrate they are a more rounded team.

Hull KR's Kris Welham. Picture: Tony Johnson.

He featured in Thursday’s 20-6 success at derby rivals Hull FC, a fourth victory of the year and one which was built on an impressive defensive display.

Much has been made of the club’s attacking talent so far this season with Australian half-back signings Terry Campese and Albert Kelly having an instant impact in east Hull.

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However, there had been initial concerns about the side’s resilience, something Welham, who debuted for the Robins in 2006, feels is now being remedied.

“Probably in all my time here there’s been questions over our defence,” he said.

“We’ve always been a good attacking team at Hull KR but defence has not been our strongest point.

“But this year it’s different and we’ve got both. You saw we’ve got a good attacking side to score the points we did on Thursday but that game showed we’re a good defensive side, too.

“We’ve had a good few wins recently and confidence is building in the camp so to go there and get a victory against a good Hull side to start the Easter period is another big boost for our side. We’ll take that now into Monday’s game against Huddersfield, who have been in form themselves recently.”

The England Knights international is clearly thriving in Rovers’ new-look side, having endured a loss of form last season when he spent some time on dual-registration with Gateshead Thunder.

Welham, 28, admitted: “It was a struggle at times in the last year-and-a-half.

“I’ve been in and out of the team and my form’s not been the best but I had a good off-season this time, settled down and am working hard.

“That’s now coming out on the pitch and showing; I’m starting to get a bit of form back.

“We’ve got a brand-new squad with probably 11 new players but they’ve all gelled really quickly.

“Terry Campese and Albert Kelly just run the team and it shows. It makes our jobs as outside backs or in the forwards a lot easier.”

Meanwhile, head coach Chris Chester praised the performance of Kieran Dixon as the full-back lit up the KC Stadium with a series of quick surges and a crucial first half try.

“I thought he looked strong,” said Chester.

“He’s a threat every time he gets the ball and with players like Campese and Kelly creating space for him, he has got pace to burn to finish those opportunities.”

Tyrone McCarthy will be a doubt for the match against Huddersfield given the back-row left the ground on Thursday night with an arm in a sling.

However, prop James Green is set to come back from a one-game ban while Aaron Ollett and Liam Salter were unused members of the 19-man squad at Hull.

Hull saw former Rovers prop Liam Watts depart early with an injury so he is set to miss Monday’s trip to St Helens.

Head coach Lee Radford could see centre Setaimata Sa return from a broken back but is still missing key players.