Tony Smith unhappy with ‘dreadful’ opening as he opens up on ‘big risk’

Tony Smith’s Hull KR went down 25-4 to Huddersfield Giants in the Challenge Cup semi-final.

His side never looked in it from the first minute as Huddersfield sped into a 12-0 lead and Smith bemoaned Rovers’ shocking start.

“I thought our first ten or 15 minutes were dreadful,” Smith said.

“We didn’t build that game that we talk about building. I thought we were really panicky and pushed things and overplayed.

“We went through periods of week on ends where we were building games better.

“We felt like were getting on top of some of that, but Huddersfield are pretty methodical.

“They wear you down and you have to have a certain backwards and forwards and hope you can create some opportunities but when you’re defending in your own area for sets on end it takes a toll on you and run out of energy and skill.”

Smith also opened up on the risk of playing Kane Linnett who went off in the opening ten minutes after a serious injury less than a fortnight ago.

“We took a risk on Kane Linnett, I’m not blaming Kano and it’s tough listening to them celebrating.

“Kano we took a risk on him from what we heard from the consultant and unfortunately he has ruptured it totally.

“From a repair-type situation it doesn’t mean it will be longer. It was a risk that didn’t pay off.

Smith was baffled by the team’s performance considering how well his team trained through the week

“We had every intention to go out there and a job – we practised well and I thought we were a lot more energetic this week and I saw better signs from some of the players who had a big Easter.

“But, it doesn’t matter how much energy you have if you start a game that way and put pressure on yourselves for later on in the game.”

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