Mantellato relishing Magic Weekend Hull derby

Goal-kicking winger Josh Mantellato is relishing his first Magic Weekend for Hull Kingston Rovers when they take on Hull FC in the city derby at St James’ Park on Saturday (4.45pm).

Mantellato, who joined Rovers from NRL side Newcastle Knights in the off-season, has been an integral part of KR’s team this year scoring seven tries and 46 goals.

The Italian international says he isn’t sure what to expect when Hull KR head to Newcastle.

“All the players that have played in the Magic Weekend before have talked about the importance of the derby and how good Magic Weekend is,” he said,

“Those two occasions on the same weekend should make for a pretty big event.

“Back home (Australia), they don’t really have anything like this. I don’t really know what to expect. There should be a big crowd and fans from different Super League teams there.

“To be able to watch a game before you play and even watch a game after you play is something different as well. It’ll be a new experience. I’m going into it with the mind-set that I don’t know what to expect.”

Hull KR and Hull FC go into Saturday’s clash both sat outside the top eight, and Mantellato is aware of what’s at stake for the remainder of the 2015 campaign.

“It’s probably one of the most defining games of our season so far,” he said.

“Being in a 23-round competition, you don’t have those games towards the end of the season where you can pick up a few wins.

“We’re sitting outside the top eight at the moment. We really need to make our run now into the month of June where we have mainly home games to provide a good catalyst to start our run now.”