Rugby League doesn’t always attract the same attention as other sports. For example, if you navigate to a search engine and type in ‘Tottenham injury crisis’ you’ll be inundated with articles about Jose Mourinho bemoaning the number of injuries plaguing his squad. Yet, a look through the Hull KR roster will have you realising that Spurs have got it easy.
Here we look at the seemingly never ending list of blows that have come their way.
It started last season…
Even before the squad returned for pre-season head coach Tony Smith had five players unavailable due to longer term injuries. Ben Crooks, Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Jamie Ellis all arrived carrying knocks and missed part of the preparation time whilst Mitch Garbutt failed to make a single appearance during the pre-season fixtures.
Meanwhile, Matt Parcell suffered the worst fate of the group with the shoulder injury he suffered against the Leeds Rhinos back in July last season ruling him out of the first two fixtures of the 2020 Super League campaign.
And continued in the build up to this …
If the injuries Hull carried forward weren’t bad enough, their troubles hardly eased during the pre-season training camp with a further list of injuries piling up. The trio of Greg Minikin, Kane Linnett and Dean Hadley suffered blows and missed some rugby but Nick Rawsthorne, Anesu Mudoti and Joe ‘Keysie’ missed all of the pre-season action.
In the second of two friendlies, Hadley, who had already missed some of pre-season, picked up a thumb injury that saw him miss the first week of the campaign but the biggest blow came in the first of their friendlies. Hull were facing off with Wakefield Trinity when Weller Hauraki left the field with an ankle injury that has prevented him making an appearance this season but there was devastating news for Mose Masoe that will leave a forever lasting impression on the club.
Putting things into perspective
Last season was an underwhelming one to say the least with 2020 set to be a transitional year as Smith looks to reinvent the team he inherited eight months ago. The performances now though are a distant second thought to a club who lost their prop, Masoe, to a career ending injury.
The incident occurred out of nowhere with minimal contact but on investigation Masoe was found to have nipped his spinal cord. The Australian lost feeling from his chest down and was taken to Leeds General Hospital where he was kept in an intensive care unit for half a week prior to going under the knife in an emergency operation.
Masoe is now on the mend, albeit with a target of just walking again, and if he can go home to his young family in the coming weeks and months then everyone associated with Hull will see it as a good season.
And back to the niggling injuries…
On a results front the season ‘proper’ got underway with a convincing 30-12 win over Wakefield but, on top of losing 15 further players to injuries, the next five games have seen Hull fall to five straight defeats with little sign of turning things around.
Smith’s men have only recorded double digit scoring on three occasions and have been well beaten in all their matches with just the solitary game against rivals Hull FC seeing them finish within 10 points of their opponent.
A conveyor belt of talent in and out of the treatment room does somewhat stack the odds against KR. However, if they come through this tough time together, according to most betting apps on BestAppBet.com (both on and off field), then they’ll be in a strong place to build from for the future.