Tony Smith raises Hull KR doubts ahead of Challenge Cup semi-final as he takes swipe at Easter schedule

Tony Smith has expressed doubts over whether his Hull KR players can lift themselves in time for Saturday’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Huddersfield Giants after a gruelling period in Super League.

The Robins showed signs of physical and mental fatigue on their way to a 12-0 defeat by Leeds Rhinos which brought their six-match winning run to an end.

Injuries compounded the result at Headingley, far from ideal preparation heading into a huge game at Elland Road.

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After his side’s fourth match in two weeks, Smith took a swipe at the powers that be on Friday night.

Tony Smith was left with a number of headaches after the defeat at Headingley. (Picture:

When asked whether he was confident his players would deliver a response against Huddersfield, Smith replied: “They will if they can.

“You saw the game last night (Wakefield v Huddersfield) too - jeez, the quality of rugby league... Sorry but it is tough to watch.

“We’ve got to wake up to it at some stage. I’m not moaning, I just worry about injuries and the concerns of players. You’ve got to look at quality of rugby league as well.

“Our boys will fix it up as best they can through their desire if their bodies are physically capable.”

Lachlan Coote failed a HIA after a heavy collision on Friday night. (Picture:

Rovers are set to be without Lachlan Coote (head) and Sam Wood (knee) at Elland Road, while Matty Storton (shoulder) is a major doubt.

But the Robins will welcome back captain Shaun Kenny-Dowall and hooker Jez Litten after they sat out the game at Headingley.

“We’ve got boys carrying niggles and we either take care of them or we don’t,” said Smith. “We took care of him (Kenny-Dowall) so he’ll be back.

“Jez had a scan on his knee last week and they found nothing bad. It was sore. We probably could have risked him and he might have been further injured.

Hull KR must lift themselves quickly ahead of the trip to Elland Road. (Picture:

“We took that gamble not to play him in order to have a fresh body for next week.”

Albert Vete was left sweating over a potential ban after being sin-binned for a high tackle against Leeds but Smith refused to be drawn on the possibility of losing the prop for the semi-final.

“Seriously, I was standing on the sideline and saw it live,” said the Rovers head coach. “I didn’t get a chance to see it again. I’d be silly to even make a comment.”