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Tony Smith’s side derailed by head injuries as boss calls for an extra substitute

Hull Kingston Rovers head coach Tony Smith has called for the game to introduce an extra interchange in fixtures going forward.

Similar to the NRL, where a fifth player can come into the line-up should a team lose a player for the match, Smith believes Super League needs to act after losing three players to head injuries in their latest win over Salford Red Devils.

“I hope the challenge on Jordan Abdull will not have a knock-on effect for next week,” Smith said. 

“Jordan is okay now, so is Dean Hadley and George King but we will see how they react in the next couple of days before we make any decisions.

“Hopefully we can get them through that. It does raise that question once again to consider, just like the NRL have changed it, to have an 18th man who can come in if you lose somebody for the game.

“We lost three tonight with head injuries so it is probably worth mentioning somewhere in the media as well that we need to care for our players.”

Despite the injuries, Smith was delighted as his side recorded their fourth home win of the season with an emphatic 40-4 thrashing over Salford.

The win sees them remain in the top half of the table, though the match did possess its fair share of controversy as two players were sin-binned and one was sent off.

Though Smith will reserve judgement on two, he did have his say on Adam Quinlan’s binning. 

“I have not had much chance to have a look at the cards,” He said. 

“Adam Quinlan said he made no contact on anything or anyone then the guy reached out to try and put the ball over the line.

“I am not sure if an attempt at an ‘air swing’ is a sin-bin, I will have to go and check it.

“I have no complaints about too many things tonight. I am proud of my team.”

One of the Robins’ try scorers was Ryan Hall, who remains to top of the Super League try scoring charts with 11. 

But despite such good form and previous international experience, Hall remains omitted from the England selection by Shaun Wane.

Offering his thoughts on Hall, Smith said, “I do not think it was quite a shock from what I gather. I think if Shaun Wane thinks he is good enough to be in there then I am sure he will be picked. 

“He will keep pushing and that’s probably our best bet.”

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