Smith: Lack of pre-season friendlies cost us

Hull Kingston Rovers boss Tony Smith admitted that the British game should consider staging more pre-season friendlies.

His side were edged out by a Catalans Dragons team who have been in pre-season training for less than four weeks, but have played two matches compared to the Robins’ one.

Believing this may have given the Dragons an advantage, Smith said, “Catalans have played two games and I think that showed and it may be the way to go.

“To do less training and more playing but I thought they came out of the blocks well.

“They’ve got some seriously experienced players and I thought that showed early on but to my boys’ credit, they got themselves back into the dogfight.

“I thought they played pretty smart early on and utilised that well in the first half.”

The Robins gave debuts to the likes of Korbin Sims, Albert Vete and Ryan Hall, the latter of which scored a hat-trick of tries to help the Robins fight back from 28-4 down to take the match to golden point extra-time.

Hall returned to the British game with a point to prove after being unable to settle with former NRL champions Sydney Roosters.

Smith is excited by the impact Hall will have this season, confident he can continue the prolific try scoring he has shown in his luxurious career thus far.

“Ryan (Hall) did well but it could have gone better, we could have won, and I am sure he would trade those three tries for a win,” Smith added.

“I am pleased for Ryan. I think he will score a lot of tries for us this year and I said that to him when he came to us.

“But it is not only his try scoring, it is what he does to get us out from our own end.

“He works hard at both ends of the field as anybody does in the game and I am pleased for him at a personal level.”

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