Willie Peters' message to Peta Hiku after Hull KR debutant endures goalkicking nightmare

Willie Peters has told Peta Hiku to keep working on his goalkicking after a difficult night for the Hull KR debutant from the tee in Thursday's derby win over Hull FC.

The Robins cruised to a 22-0 victory against their depleted hosts and the margin would have been greater but for five missed goals.

Hiku, who has limited experience from the tee, kicked one from five attempts and James Batchelor could not convert Niall Evalds' second try from the touchline on the full-time hooter.

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When asked for his reaction to the wayward goalkicking, Peters said: "Keep working on it.

"We've got a goalkicking coach in and we need to keep working on it.

"We knew that we didn't have that experienced kicker in the team. Peta can kick and Batch can kick but they need to keep working hard on it.

"I don't need to lay the boot into Peta about his kicking. He was good for us in other areas. We'll focus on that more so than his kicking.

"It didn't cost us and that's the main thing."

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Peta Hiku has been told to keep practising by his coach. (Photo: Olly Hassell/SWpix.com)Peta Hiku has been told to keep practising by his coach. (Photo: Olly Hassell/SWpix.com)
Peta Hiku has been told to keep practising by his coach. (Photo: Olly Hassell/SWpix.com)

Debutant Franklin Pele was sent off for the hosts just before half-time and fellow forward Ligi Sao saw red in the closing stages.

Herman Ese'ese – another new face in the Hull pack – was sin-binned in the opening exchanges, while Tony Smith also lost Liam Sutcliffe, Joe Cator and Danny Houghton to illness and injury on an opening night to forget.

Rovers had an opportunity to repeat last year's 40-0 derby demolition at the MKM Stadium but failed to put Hull to the sword in the second half.

"You have to expect it with a new spine and a lot of new players in the team," said Peters, whose side led 14-0 at half-time.

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Kelepi Tanginoa goes over to score. (Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe)Kelepi Tanginoa goes over to score. (Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Kelepi Tanginoa goes over to score. (Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

"Out of the two, you want to be a good defensive team. Defence wins comps.

"You'd like to score more points but I'm happy with the zero. We talk about winning games 4-0 and being happy with that because it's a zero.

"Any time there's a zero and you beat your rivals on their home turf, you've got to be happy."

Kelepi Tanginoa joined fellow debutant Evalds on the scoresheet in a promising first outing for two players who have had their injury troubles in recent times.

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Herman Ese'ese saw yellow for the hosts. (Photo:  Mike Egerton/PA Wire)Herman Ese'ese saw yellow for the hosts. (Photo:  Mike Egerton/PA Wire)
Herman Ese'ese saw yellow for the hosts. (Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire)

Peters was encouraged by what he saw from his recent arrivals.

"Niall is a preferred full-back playing on the wing," said Peters. "He got two tries so I'm really happy for him.

"Kelepi is only going to get better. He was on the sidelines a fair bit with his hamstring in pre-season.

"He's going to be better for that run and a damaging back-rower this year."

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Tyrone May impressed on his debut, while half-back partner Mikey Lewis picked up where he left off last year with a try in a man of the match performance.

"Tyrone is a competitor – that’s what he brings,” said Peters. "He’s a winner and always wants to win.

"The main thing we wanted from him was to get his defence right and take them on when it was on.

"We need to get better in organising and getting to certain parts of the field but Mikey’s kicking game was good. He’s improved a hell of a lot on that.

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"He’s only scratching the surface. He’s going to be a player and we’re glad to have him."

A total of four cards were issued by referee Liam Moore, with Matt Parcell seeing yellow for instigating the melee that led to Sao’s dismissal.

There is an increasing clampdown on contact to the head in rugby league but Peters has warned against being overzealous.

"The first one was a swinging arm and the second one was Ligi responding to what Matty did," said Peters.

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"I suppose we've got to be careful overall not to give too many cards. They may have been red cards and yellow cards but we just need to be careful that we don't give too many cards and players are off all the time.

"I thought our discipline was good."

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