We’ll keep fighting, says Smith

Hull Kingston Rovers coach Tony Smith insists that his club will not throw in the towel this season, now that the Robins are out of the Challenge Cup and realistically have no chance of making the Super League play-offs.

After beating Wigan and narrowly losing to St Helens in Golden Point, the Robins found Leeds Rhinos too big an obstacle in the Cup, going down 48-18 on Friday night.

But, Smith was keen to stress that no game in 2020 is a write-off and that his side will continue to take games to the opposition, even with the absence of relegation.

“We’re trying to win each game, it inspires you even further when you’re at the bottom of the table,” Smith explained.

“I’ve played in teams that come last in the competition and every game matters when you’re there.

“There aren’t any meaningless games in Rugby League, whether or not there’s relegation.”

The former Warrington coach also reiterated his desire for the competition to continue without the potential risk of dropping down to the Championship.

“The best competition in the world of Rugby League doesn’t have relegation and they say it’s the toughest in the world.

“Nobody wants to come outside the top eight in the NRL; you don’t have to have relegation to make it worth something.

“It threatens to bankrupt clubs and I am seeing people getting scared off from investing money because you don’t know where the club’s future is going to be.”

Smith himself has been sporting a new facial hair arrangement since lockdown and it’s here to stay, if only to jog his memory of how much he loves coaching after a period of uncertainty.

“We’re just grateful that we’re back playing, and we’re rolling our sleeves up. We’re just getting on with it, that’s part of why I’m keeping this beard and this silly haircut,” the 53-year-old stated.

“It reminds me every time I look at myself how tough lockdown was and how much I missed coaching and being with my pals.

“Every time I start to complain I remind myself how bad it was when we weren’t travelling to games and having selection problems.

“Whatever we have to do to get through this year, we will do it and with a smile on our faces.”

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