Teetering Along (Again)! Hull Kingston Rovers 2019 Season Review

Bobbing along or teetering along? Hull Kingston Rovers barely survived relegation once again, relying on points’ difference to save their skin once more.

However, they did enough regardless and are back for more in the Betfred Super League from 2020 onwards!

And now, the revolution has begun over on the East side of Hull with plenty of comings and goings occurring at the club.

More of that to follow as we look back at what was a tough season for the Robins and maybe where things could have gone better.

Best Result: Leeds Rhinos 16-32 Hull Kingston Rovers

A surprise?! Yes, they clinched two derby victories over arch-rivals Hull FC but their best performance was arguably their away win at Headingley against Leeds Rhinos.

This fixture was remembered for infamously replacing St Helens vs Wigan on Sky Sports; however, both sides were threatened by relegation heading into the game so all the more mouth-watering to watch.

And on the night, the Robins produced some sensational rugby league, blitzing the Rhinos to the two points as well as completing a home and away double in the process.

Adam Quinlan and Matt Parcell, on loan from Leeds, starred in the win, both scoring a try each.

Adding to a double from Kane Linnett, a touchdown from another loanee in Harvey Livett and one from Craig Hall.

Leeds responded with four unconverted tries through Brad Dwyer, Liam Sutcliffe, Konrad Hurrell and Rhyse Martin but left it too late to overcome their visitors.

The win would eventually help the Robins to safety, also giving their fan base hope that they are capable of producing some superb attacking rugby.


Worst Result: Hull FC 56-12 Hull Kingston Rovers

Their toughest outing of 2019 has to be their derby drubbing against Hull on Good Friday.

Both teams were in similar form heading into the clash and both produced a tight first half, with Hull leading thanks to two tries from Jack Logan and one from Jake Connor in response to KR touching down through Jimmy Keinhorst and Hall.

However, in the second half, Hull ran riot with a further six tries without response.

Mark Minichiello, Joe Westerman, Albert Kelly, Mickey Paea, Connor Wynne all scored, with Logan also completing his hat-trick.

Arguably their lowest point, with Easter Monday against Warrington not going any better but to sustain a record derby defeat against a team who they more than fancied their chances against should raise alarm bells.

The consolation is that they did enough to turn things around and earn the right to remain a Super League side, perhaps using this defeat as a valuable lesson?!

Main Man: Mitch Garbutt

A smart purchase by Hull KR has to be front rower Mitch Garbutt.

Since arriving from Leeds, Garbutt has arguably been their best forward, laying down the platform for his pivots to produce some attacking rugby.

One of their top metre makers this season, the Australian led by example and proved he was KR’s correct signing from Leeds.

He should come back firing under new boss Tony Smith in 2020, perhaps better than ever in what could be interesting season for him and the club.


Predicted 10th – Finished 11th

Many tipped them to challenge the play-offs but that was always highly unlikely.

Anything is possible in rugby league, but KR, after their close call in the 2018 Super 8s Qualifiers series and barely changing their squad from it, life was never going to be much easier.

They endured a very tough start under former coach Tim Sheens and since replacing him with Smith, did improve somewhat but in a way had to as their relegation rivals were picking up wins around them.

KR did enough but only just with their supporters demanding an improvement, being below FC for the previous five seasons rather frustrating.

Next season it could all change though as they look to undergo a huge transitional period in the hopes of surviving from 2020 onwards and maybe becoming play-off contenders once again.