Smith criticises loss of scrums

Hull Kingston Rovers coach Tony Smith has criticised the impact of the decision to abolish scrums on Super League matches

“I reckon our game looks horribly ugly with all these stoppages,” said Smith.

“We have the shot clock and we are kicking balls into touch to waste time, so that we all stand around looking at a shot clock.

“One of the attractions of our sport is that it’s free flowing. In that context there was a slight purpose to a scrum.

“Players didn’t kick to touch because of worrying about having only a few defenders in the line.

“But none of us saw this coming. How many times is the ball being kicked into touch?

“I’d rather see a scrum formed quickly than see players standing around looking at a shot clock.”

On a wider issue, Smith says he would welcome Toronto Wolfpack coming back into the competition next year, provided the club commits to doing the right thing by its players and other clubs in the competition.

“I think it’s great to want to develop our sport,” he added.

“I’m all for expansion, as long as it involves doing he right thing all the way through.

“In that context, there were plenty of issues with Toronto that were not spoken about before the impact of Covid.”

This Thursday the Robins will take on their city rivals Hull FC at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium. And Smith, speaking before he was required to self-isolate for 14 days after coming into contact with a positive Covid situation, wasn’t worried about having to travel across the Pennines yet again.

“I presume moving the derby is a Sky based decision,” he said.

“I’m not going to complain. At least our supporters will get the chance to see us on TV. It is where it is, and I’m happy to turn up and participate. Would I like it at Hull KR in front of 10,000 supporters? Of course, but we’ll just go and adhere to what they tell us.

The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.