Toulouse Olympique v Hull KR: French challenge a chance for Robins to show progress, says Tony Smith

Tony Smith is viewing the trip to Toulouse Olympique as a chance for Hull KR to prove how far they have come since the start of the season.

Tony Smith celebrates the derby victory over Hull FC. (Picture: SWPix.com)
Tony Smith celebrates the derby victory over Hull FC. (Picture: SWPix.com)

The Robins - Super League semi-finalists in 2021 - were slow out of the blocks this year, winning only two of their first six games.

But Smith's men have hit their straps in recent weeks and head to France on the back of a fourth straight win.

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The challenge facing Rovers is to lift themselves again after an energy-sapping derby victory over Hull FC on Good Friday.

Brad Takairangi has not played since last month's game against St Helens. (Picture: SWPix.com)

"I've said from week one that we'll get better and I think we are consistently getting better," said Smith.

"There were a few games early on in the season where if we were slightly better, we would have got those too.

"We're improving. We've had a few new faces come in and Lachlan (Coote) wasn't there for some of it. With the way he plays and us getting used to him, and Frankie (Halton) and big Tom (Garratt) - it's a new team and you've got to start again.

"We're progressing well and feel like we're getting better each week. Hopefully that can continue."

Smith is likely to freshen his team up in the south of France with Brad Takairangi and Dean Hadley among his options.

The Rovers head coach is wary of a Toulouse side hurting from Thursday's defeat to Catalans Dragons.

"I'm expecting a better performance," said Smith.

"I don't think either team would like to put out another performance like that. It wasn't a classic game of French rugby league that they would have hoped for.

"I've seen plenty of them and they can play a whole lot better than that.

"I'm expecting a whole different contest and for them to be good."