View from the terraces: TotalRL’s expert fan panel preview Hull KR’s game with Catalans

Hull KR fan: James Deighton

Congratulations to Leeds Rhinos, doing what they do best and coming back at the death to take home the two points, but when even those from across the river say Rovers were hard done to, you know something is wrong. I’m sure we are all aware of the controversy surrounding the disallowed Hull KR try, for what seemed to be even less of an obstruction than the awarded Rhinos’ one. However, I’d like to know the reasoning behind, not just this decision, but these frequent bizarre and vital decisions that are spoiling our game.
Only minutes after a full-time whistle, players and coaches have a microphone thrown in their face and are forced to express their heat of the moment views on the game. Why not have interviews with the match officials? To praise their performance and to clear up any confusion the players, coaches and fans may have regarding the game. Maybe this could be a new feature introduced, rather than wasting time on the gimmick ‘TRY/NO TRY’ roulette or the fact that the MOTM is chosen after an hour’s football. Poor match-winning hat-trick hero Jimmy Keinhorst, didn’t get a look in!
It would be naive to think Hull KR have the biggest pack in the division but there is one factor that trumps size every day of the week, and that is heart. As a coach you can teach a player to pass, tackle or kick, however not even The Wizard can give a man the guts to front up against some of the biggest forwards in the league. After 75 minutes against the Super League Champions and a combined total of 87 tackles, 38 carries and 263 metres in his opening two games, Paul Gallen has had an extremely strong start to the season. Oh, those stats are Robbie Mulhern’s? Who is that? He is Nick Scruton and Mose Masoe’s little project and a player who is set to go toe-to-toe with any front row. So watch this space.
Another space which needs to be watched is that set to be filled by a new halfback. Or is it? Chris Atkin’s Super League debut was praised by many and after reports linking Todd Carney with the Robins were labelled nonsense by Tim Sheens this week, could we use our last quota spot on a powerful back rower? In my opinion, I’d like to. But I’m not The Wizard.
Tonight, the league’s lowest scorers host the league’s biggest leakers and despite being second bottom, I cannot see anything other than a home win. Notoriously poor outside of Perpignan, I expect the Robins to perform in front of a noisy East Stand and leave the Dragons sitting on ‘nil-pwa’.
Score Prediction: Hull Kingston Rovers 26-12 Catalans Dragons

Catalans fan: Chris Evans

Looking at the final scoreline from Saturday, it would be easy to think that the Dragons gave a good account of themselves against the early pacesetters. However, once you realise that St Helens only had 12 men for a significant part of the game, the result looks somewhat less favourable.

There was some good news this week as Tony Gigot saw his two-year ban overturned on appeal. This news will hopefully give the side a much-needed confidence boost ahead of the trip to East Hull, but it will be some time until he is match fit and ready to slot back into the side.

If last week’s opposition were the worst possible team to face after the torrid opener, this week’s test may be more welcome. Hull KR have started slowly too, and Catalan may recall happy memories of last year’s last-gasp victory at the KCOM in the middle 8s.

As with all teams who lack confidence, the start here will be crucial. Hull KR were very unfortunate last week against Leeds. They dominated the first half, yet still ended up well behind by the final hooter. If Catalan can keep things tight and frustrate them early on, I can see Rovers trying too hard to score, which will lead to errors. Maybe that is just wishful thinking. No team is consigned to the Million Pound Game after round 3, but the loser here will be facing a huge uphill task to get their season up and running. I am still hoping that the late start to the pre-season is behind the sluggish start, but if we lose this, we have to look for other reasons.

Score prediction: Hull Kingston Rovers 18-10 Catalans Dragons