Steve Price’s Wolves welcome Tim Sheens’ Robins for this Super League round two clash. Here’s everything you need to know…
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Wire sit second in the league after their 26-6 win against Leeds last time out. After an impressive pre-season that saw the Wire win both games, beating Widnes 38-12 in Ryan Atkins’ testimonial and Rochdale 24-20 with a much younger side. The Wolves have a six wins and four losses record in the last 10 Super League games.
Hull KR sit sixth after round one after their impressive last-minute victory against Hull FC last time out. They had an impressive pre-season playing Widnes and Toronto, winning both 30-16 and 24-14 respectfully. In the last ten league games, the Robins have won seven and lost three games.
Warrington have had to make two changes due to suspension. Ben Westwood (two game ban) and Toby King (one game ban) drop out and Sitaleki Akauola and Harvey Livett come in. With Steve Price commenting on the bans, saying: “It’s unfortunate that Ben’s copped a two-week ban and that Toby has got one week. Other than that, we’re all fit and healthy. We’ve got a lot of depth this year and a lot of bodies to choose from. Everyone’s pushing to be in that 17”. Tom Lineham could score his 100th Super League try in this one.
Warrington Wolves 19-man squad:
Sitaleki Akauola, Ryan Atkins, Blake Austin, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Jason Clark, Mike Cooper, Bryson Goodwin, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Tom Lineham, Harvey Livett, Jake Mamo, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Lama Tasi, Danny Walker.
Hull KR make one change as winger Ryan Shaw drops out of the squad and is replaced by prop Ryan Lannon, who could be in line to make his debut. Although only one change has been made within the side, Tim Sheens has said: “Just because you win doesn’t mean you don’t tweak the side. There aren’t any major changes, but I am going to make some.”
Hull KR 19-man squad:
Craig Hall, Ben Crooks, Jimmy Keinhorst, Danny McGuire, Robbie Mulhern, Mose Masoe, Joel Tomkins, James Greenwood, Weller Hauraki, Mitch Garbutt, Tommy Lee, Chris Atkin, Junior Vaivai, Danny Addy, George Lawler, Ryan Lannon, Kane Linnett, Josh Drinkwater, Will Dagger.
HEAD TO HEAD
The last time these two met was at the KCOM Craven Park, when the Wire won 34-20. In the last five meetings between these two sides, the Wolves have won four and drawn the other. The last five games at the Halliwell Jones Stadium though, the Wolves have won four, and KR winning one back in 2014, winning 25-12. Stefan Ratchford has scored in the last three meetings between the two sides.
Chris Hill (Warrington) vs Mitch Garbutt (Hull KR)
The key battle in this one will be in the forwards. In the Wolves’ corner is captain Chris Hill. The England international has improved season on season, and is one of the best props in the world. With nearly 400 games domestically, he is constantly one of the top tacklers in the league, finishing tenth last year. He is one of the power houses within the game and will be looking to lift his side.
For Hull KR is former Rhinos and Grand Final winner Mitch Garbutt. After an injury hit season, he is back and fitter than ever. He is one of the top metre makers in the game, with an average gain of 8.3 meters per carry and is someone who could be a real danger in this game. Add to that a top offload play, he could be a key threat in this KR line up.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Saturday 9th February
Venue: Halliwell Jones Stadium
Referee: Liam Moore
WHO WILL WIN?
I think that although KR were impressive against their city rivals last time out, I just can’t see anything other than a comfortable victory for Steve Price’s men. With Blake Austin and Stefan Ratchford both looking lethal and exploiting the slightest error, they are two players who are just too good for this Robins’ team.