We look at what is being said and team news as Hull Kingston Rovers host Wakefield Trinity and Warrington Wolves take on Huddersfield Giants in the Betfred Super League on Saturday…
Hull Kingston Rovers vs Wakefield Trinity (3pm)
Willie Poching is looking for an improved defensive display from Wakefield when they head to Sewell Group Craven Park on Saturday afternoon.
Trinity had 54 points put on them in their defeat away to Wigan Warriors on Easter Monday after going down 34-4 at home to Castleford Tigers in the derby match the previous Thursday.
They were not helped by Kelepi Tanginoa being sent to the sin-bin at the DW Stadium, but head coach Poching recognised there were plenty of areas to fix up before facing Hull KR.
“Defensively, we were way off,” Poching said. “We tried to address some of that at half time, but we didn’t quite get a stronghold on what we wanted to do at the start of that second half.
“They were doing quick offloads, and by play three they were on halfway. They had the ascendency for a while.
“There were some moments too often when we couldn’t get a quick play-the-ball. It was a physical thing and an attitude thing.”
Rovers were involved in a thrilling comeback to beat Toulouse Olympique 28-24 in the south of France on Monday, although Matt Parcell sustained a concussion which keeps him out of Saturday’s game and Will Dagger is also absent due to some swelling on his knee.
Lachlan Coote makes his return to the 21-man squad and is set to start at full-back and Albert Vete is available to add some more presence to the pack, with head coach Tony Smith hoping his side’s belief will come to the fore again.
“The players showed great character [against Toulouse], even though they were clearly fatigued from what was a very tough derby against Hull FC,” Smith, who announced earlier this week he will be standing down as Hull KR head coach at the end of the season, said.
“But they overcame that, and they believed in themselves – maybe even more than I did.
“They weren’t spectacular, but they found ways to win that game. It wasn’t a high-quality game but that isn’t down to the players, or Toulouse, it’s simply down to the scheduling of fixtures.”
Hull Kingston Rovers: Lachlan Coote, Ben Crooks, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Ryan Hall, Jordan Abdull, Albert Vete, George King, Dean Hadley, Kane Linnett, Matty Storton, Jez Litten, Korbin Sims, Elliot Minchella, Jimmy Keinhorst, Rowan Milnes, Will Maher, Ethan Ryan, Sam Wood, Greg Richards, Phoenix Lalulu-Togaga’e.
Wakefield Trinity: Max Jowitt, Tom Johnstone, Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Mason Lino, Eddie Battye, Tinirau Arona, Matty Ashurst, Kelepi Tanginoa, Jay Pitts, Jordy Crowther, James Batchelor, Lee Gaskell, Liam Kay, Brad Walker, Yusuf Aydin, Sadiq Adebiyi, Harry Bowes, Lewis Murphy, Corey Hall, David Fifita.
Warrington Wolves vs Huddersfield Giants (3pm)
Ian Watson wants to see Huddersfield ride a wave of confidence into Saturday’s match away to Warrington after being buoyed by their display on Easter Monday despite a defeat.
The Giants went down 24-12 at home to reigning champions St Helens, bringing to an end a four-game unbeaten run in Super League which had lifted them up to fourth in the table.
Nevertheless, head coach Watson was able to take plenty of positives from how his team acquitted themselves against Saints and aims to build on that at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
“We have to take a lot of confidence in that as there were small little things that champion teams do to be able to get the result which we have to learn and have to learn quicker,” Watson said.
“But if we look where we’ve come from 12 months ago to where we are now, we’re a completely different proposition. We need to make sure we keep building on that to get where we want to get to.
“What we want Huddersfield to be is a good team long-term going forward and consistently challenging, and we know we’ve got some quality players here.”
Huddersfield head down the M62 with Jake Wardle added to the squad after a spell out injured and to face a Warrington team which was edged out 18-16 away to Hull FC on Monday.
The hosts have George Williams, Matt Davis, Connor Wrench and Oliver Holmes all set to return, with Stefan Ratchford and skipper Jack Hughes absent, and Wolves head coach Daryl Powell believes there is plenty to work with from the loss to the Black and Whites.
“We worked hard all the way through the game, but we need to find how we want to play and that’s hard under fatigue,” Powell said.
“It was a real battle of attrition and neither team could find the clarity in attack to break the other down.
“We had some real good pieces of play, but ultimately we’ve lost a tight game, but there’s lots to build on moving forward.”
Warrington Wolves: Matty Ashton, Joe Bullock, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Jason Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Matt Davis, Riley Dean, Oliver Holmes, Toby King, Ellis Longstaff, Billy Magoulias, Peter Mata’utia, Robbie Mulhern, Joe Philbin, Ellis Robson, Josh Thewlis, Danny Walker, George Williams, Connor Wrench.
Huddersfield Giants: Jermaine McGillvary, Jake Wardle, Ricky Leutele, Ashton Golding, Tui Lolohea, Chris Hill, Danny Levi, Michael Lawrence, Josh Jones, Chris McQueen, Luke Yates, Joe Greenwood, Jack Cogger, Oliver Wilson, Leroy Cudjoe, Louis Senior, Olly Russell, Innes Senior, Nathan Mason, Jack Ashworth, Sam Hewitt.