Rating each side’s Super League Experience: Hull KR

Hull KR have had to work hard to get into the Super League, and since then, they have had a real up and down ride.

Back in the start of the Super League era, Rovers had finished top of Division Three. They started there after not being promoted as part of the re-shuffle.

The Rovers also resisted an attempt to merge with city neighbours Hull FC. They were due to form Humberside, but it was rejected.

It took ten years, but eventually they achieved promotion to the Super League in 2006. They did it after beating Widnes Vikings in the National League One playoff final.

Entry to Super League

They started well in the Super League, but injuries and suspensions meant they had slipped close to the bottom of the league. But a stunning 42-6 win against FC secured their safety for the 2008 season.

There was controversy as well, as Paul Cooke made the controversial transfer to the Rovers from city rivals Hull FC.

Rovers made a big signing ahead of the 2008 season as Michael Dobson came in, who replaced James Webster, who left following the expiration of his  contract. There was progress on the pitch as well, as they finished just one point off the playoffs.

2009 showed Rovers really did belong in the Super League, as they claimed away wins at St Helens, Wigan and Warrington as they finished fourth. They ended up losing both their playoff matches against Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors respectively.

End of an era

Eventually, Justin Morgan, who had led the club to the Super League, left in 2011 after six years at Craven Park. He was replaced Craig Sandercock.

Sandercock saw Rovers back into the playoffs in his second season in charge, but let go a year later after a poor season. He would be replaced by Chris Chester.

In Chester’s first full season, he oversaw some high profile transfers, including Ken Sio, Albert Kelly and Maurice Blair.

They even reached the Challenge Cup Final, their first major final for 29 years. But it ended in a record 50-0 defeat against Leeds Rhinos at Wembley.

Fall and Relegation

Chester was then sacked a year later after a slow start. Former captain Webster took over in what was going to become a season that everyone wanted to forget.

They went out of the Challenge Cup to Championship strugglers Oldham, and then lost to Salford Red Devils in the Million Pound Game, after being 18-10 up with ten minutes left.

Rovers had appointed former Australia Head Coach Tim Sheens would take over. He led them straight back to the Super League at the first attempt.

Since coming back up, Rovers have been operating in the bottom area of the table. Sheens left the club in 2019, with former Warrington, Leeds and Huddersfield coach Tony Smith taking charge.

In 2019, they ended the season second-bottom, only avoiding relegation on points difference.

The Future

Hull KR bought in bulk ahead of the 2020 season. 20 new signings came through at Craven Park. Ultimately, it will take time for that team to come together.

It could take a while, but once that team starts to come together, they could start looking up the table soon.

Rating

5/10- They have had their moment a couple of times, with their playoff appearances. But they have largely been operating further down the table. Perhaps they could get back up the table, but it might take a bit of time.

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