Hull Kingston Rovers host Wakefield Trinity as they kick-off their Super League campaigns. Ben Guzdek writes
It hasn’t been the most promising pre-season for the Red Robins as they narrowly beat Featherstone Rovers at home and lost to their upcoming opponents away.
Three of their star players already made it to the list of injuries without the Super League season getting underway. Dean Hadley and newly appointed skipper Weller Hauraki will miss out the next few months. The final addition is of course Mose Masoe who suffered a serious spinal injury and has retired.
Rovers will hope to take the positives from their last performance against the Grand Finalists Salford Red Devils where they narrowly lost on Golden Point.
The same can be said for the visitors who took a beating to Leeds Rhinos before the new year. But as mentioned they got the win over their upcoming opponents.
Unlike Rovers, Trinity have been fortunate not to have any key players missing out due to injury. They’ve instead added to their squad with the signing of Romain Navarrete from Wigan until the end of the season.
Wakefield also ended last year on a high when they beat London Broncos in a tense relegation scrap and will hope to build on that win.
A handful of debutants are set for their first appearances in Rovers’ Red and White – amongst those are Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Greg Minikin, Matty Gee, Elliot Minchella, Will Maher, Matthew Storton and Ryan Brierley.
Hull KR’s 21-man squad: Adam Quinlan, Ben Crooks, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Kane Linnett, Greg Minikin, Jordan Abdull, Robbie Mulhern, Harvey Livett, Mitch Garbutt, George Lawler, Dan Murray, Kyle Trout, Jez Litten, Will Dagger, Mikey Lewis, Matty Gee, Will Maher, Elliot Minchella, Matty Storton, Jamie Ellis, Ryan Brierley.
Trinity’s new debutants Josh Wood, Adam Tangata, Chris Green, Joe Westerman, Ryan Atkins and Jay Pitts.
Navarrete becomes the late addition to the debutants following his recent arrival from Wigan.
Wakefield’s 21-man squad: Tom Johnstone, Bill Tupou, Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Danny Brough, Kyle Wood, Matty Ashurst, Danny Kirmond, Joe Westerman, Jay Pitts, Craig Kopczak, James Batchelor, Adam Tangata, Max Jowitt, Josh Wood, Titus Gwaze, Lee Kershaw, Ryan Atkins, Ryan Hampshire, Romain Navarrete, Kelepi Tanginoa.
Trinity supporters will be confident to hear that their side have won their two previous visits to Hull College Craven Park.
The question remains whether this fresh new Hull KR side under Tony Smith can stop that winning run or not.
BATTLE TO WATCH
Both teams will definitely want to get their Super League season underway with a win and so I believe that their key players will be Jordan Abdull and Danny Brough.
These two come as no surprise as their half-backs and will look to dictate the tempo of their attacking play. Abdull will have something to prove after leaving the East Hull side from their days in the Championship and has gone on to be a nightmare for defenders. Whereas Brough’s world-class kicking gives him that fear factor.
Date: Friday 31st January 2019
Venue: Hull College Craven Park