Ryan Hall exclusive: How I beat doctor’s prognosis to try and help Hull KR into Super League Grand Final

THE injury that nearly ended Hull KR winger Ryan Hall’s season is so rare that his surgeon did not truly know how long it would keep him out of action.

The England star made an unexpected return in Thursday’s historic Super League semi-final at Catalans Dragons – just three weeks after specialists said he might not play again this year.

Ultimately, his presence was not enough to steer the Robins to a maiden Grand Final as they fell 28-10 in front of a partisan sell-out crowd in Perpignan.

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However, it did mean Hall – who scored his 16th try of the season towards the end – at least got to sign off his excellent debut campaign with the club on the pitch with his team-mates.

He had injured his shoulder in their penultimate regular round game against Castleford Tigers and, in an exclusive interview with The Yorkshire Post, explained: “I’d torn my deltoid.

“Apparently, it’s split into three muscles and I completely obliterated the back one.

“When I first went to see the surgeon he reckoned I’d be out for six to eight weeks but in his 20-year career he’d only seen one other person with the same injury. I was number two.

“Due to that, he said there was no real yardstick to go with but, because it was a significant muscle injury, that’s why he was saying six to eight weeks.

Back before time: Ryan Hall made a swift recovery to try and help Hull KR overcome Catalans Dragons in the semi-final. (Picture: Manuel Blondeau/SWpix.com)

“Certainly for the first two weeks, it didn’t feel great at all.

“But your body is weird isn’t it? I watched the guys (win their play-off) at Warrington and the next day I woke up and it felt fine.

“Maybe there’s a bit of a trigger in your mind. I don’t know how it works and if it’s real or not but your body does do weird things at times and that was just one of them.”

Moreover, Hall reported no after-effects in the wake of Thursday’s loss which ended a remarkable season for the Robins.

Players of Catalans Dragons celebrate victory (Picture: Manuel Blondeau/SWpix.com)

The 33-year-old said: “It feels fine today. If we’d have won last night and we’d be playing in the Grand Final next week I’d have been playing.”

Rovers’ missed out on Old Trafford, though, after a frustrating display at Stade Gilbert Brutus.

They only trailed 12-4 at the break and, though lacking much of their usual slickness, did create chances against the League Leaders.

“How the game went, physically and territorially, we weren’t too dissimilar to Catalans,” insisted Hall, who has excelled since joining from Sydney Roosters to help last year’s bottom-placed club rise up to sixth and finish just 80 minutes from a Grand Final.

Tom Davies of Dragons Catalans is chased by Hull KR's Ryan Hall (Picture: Manuel Blondeau/SWpix.com)

“We showed parity but as soon as it got to good-ball areas, they were just more clinical; they came away with points and when we got down there we spluttered.

“We didn’t score half as many points as we wanted.

“That’s what big games come down to; there was not much in it between the teams but they obviously executed their plays really well.

“They had some good kick plays and that was the difference in the end.

“We never felt we were struggling for field position. Sometimes when a team is just too good, you can’t make any yards at all, but it didn’t feel like that.

“Unfortunately, we just didn’t execute as well as we should.”

Hall, who recently signed an extension to stay at Hull College Craven Park until the end of 2023, conceded: “That result is disappointing. But to go and look back at the full scale of what we’ve achieved this year we’re quite happy with what we have done.

“From what people expected us to do, to what we have achieved, I think we are all encouraged by that.

“You saw in last week’s game against Warrington: all we had was a really good belief we could win the game and we just threw a load of energy at it.

“Ultimately, we ended up playing one of the best games of the season, winning 19-0 away at Warrington, just with that and that’s what this season has created for us.

“If we’d have played that game at the start of the year, I don’t think we’d have won because we have built that over the course of the year.

“We’ve beaten some good teams. It’s given us a bit of belief and that’s all we’ve needed.

“KR have always had potential. We have real attacking threat. We do need to work on our defence and we know that. But hopefully we can take it all forward next season.”