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OPINION | Hull KR and the Tony Smith effect

Notable Improvements

Whilst being under the leadership of former head coach Tim Sheens, Hull Kingston Rovers’ most consistent performers have arguably been Mose Masoe, Kane Linnett and Weller Hauraki.

The two missing players that have significant importance to Rovers’ attack is the half-back partnership of Danny McGuire and Josh Drinkwater.

As a supporter, witnessing the partnership between these two felt like there was something missing and it was difficult to explain why.

Just to give a little context. It reminded me of Will Dagger’s controversial interview with BBC Radio Humberside where he slammed the coaching tactics of Sheens.

Dagger believed the World Cup winning coach “wasn’t strict enough” and gave the squad mixed messages about their roles. And that’s when everything started to make sense.

It was certainly a coincidence at the time when McGuire featured as a guest pundit on the Super League Show and the first thing he mentioned about Smith was that he knew his role in the team.

But now in recent weeks I’ve witnessed a more structured attack, with McGuire and Drinkwater being in the centre of it.

Danny has been getting on the score sheet a bit more whereas Drinkwater has contributed more attacking kicks, setting up some superb tries on the end of his grubber kicks.

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An Extra Pair Of Hands

Tony Smith has made the most of the transfer market by loaning players who are struggling to get some game-time and still have something to prove.

Before the deadline to loan players, Smith brought in Matt Parcell, Dean Hadley, Jez Litten, Kyle Trout, Daniel Murray, Harvey Livett and Luis Johnson.

Not only did these players add to the depth of Hull Kingston Rovers but they also brought quality to the side.

Smith also recalled the academy graduate Mikey Lewis who had an outstanding debut against Wigan Warriors.

Despite Livett and Johnson being brought back to Warrington and Parcell being injured for the rest of the season. The remaining players still look to be enough to rejuvenate the club’s chances of safety.

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