With the season opener just around the corner we look at how Hull Kingston Rovers will go in 2021.
Hull Kingston Rovers endured a torrid 2020. With eight new arrivals, Tony Smith’s men are targeting a much-improved season in 2021.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
SigningsEmbed from Getty Images
Albert Vete (Melbourne Storm), Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos), Muizz Mustapha (Leeds Rhinos), Korbin Sims (George Illawarra Dragons), Luis Johnson (Warrington Wolves), Brad Takairangi (Parramatta Eels).
Weller Hauraki (retired), Ryan Brierley (Leigh Centurions), Nathaniel Peteru (Leigh Centurions), Matty Gee (Leigh Centurions), Daniel Murray (Halifax Panthers), Kyle Trout (Limoux Grizzlies), Jamie Ellis (Leigh Centurions) and Adam Rooks (Bradford Bulls).
Catalans Dragons (away), St. Helens (home), Huddersfield Giants (home), Leeds Rhinos (home), Warrington Wolves (away)
WHAT TO EXPECTEmbed from Getty Images
Picking up just three wins, 2020 was the worst season for Hull KR in a long time. The COVID-19-induced relegation ban was the only thing preventing the Robins from dropping down to the Championship like in 2016. Ben Crooks was their leading try scorer when the campaign was ended early, with Adam Quinlan the only other player to consistently impress.
With six quality additions brought in for 2021, though, this year is set up to be their most promising in recent times. The sensational try against local rivals Hull FC was one of the best scores in the entire league 2020, so we know they are more than capable of eye-catching displays, but sloppy defensive errors cost them dear time after time. If these mistakes can be eradicated, we’ll see their true potential.
Quinlan has often come under more scrutiny than any other player at KCOM Craven Park in recent memory. At 28 years old, the Australian features heavily in all of Rovers’ progressive play and frequently stands out as one of the most creative players on the pitch. That, perhaps is why he receives so much criticism when he occasionally doesn’t deliver. That being said, that is an extreme rarity for the Australian fullback and, if he stays fit for the entire season, KR will reap the benefits no end. Quinlan is my player to watch by quite a margin.
Interestingly, Head Coach Tony Smith has made Shaun Kenny-Dowall club captain for the 2021 season. The New Zealander’s vast experience and quality is undeniable, having previously played for the Sydney Roosters (part of the 2013 Premiership winning team) and the Newcastle Knights in the NRL. Rovers fans are jubilant that SKD has been given the armband and their is growing confidence that the man in red and white could make a charge for the playoffs.
FEARLESS PREDICTIONSEmbed from Getty Images
Top Tryscorer – Ben Crooks
Top Pointscorer – Ben Crooks
Club Player of the Year – Adam Quinlan