Just days after the Hull derby, Tony Smith has to take his side to France in a tough clash against Toulouse in his 500th game as a Super League coach.
On Thursday, Toulouse lost the first ever French derby in Super League but made a good account of themselves in an 18-10 defeat to Catalans. Against a Hull KR side with one day’s less rest and in France, they could pick up a vital win here.
Hull KR may have one day’s less rest but they’ll be boosted by a derby day win over rivals Hull FC. That confidence and the chance to move up to fifth depending on results elsewhere may just see them summon a herculean effort in France.
Toulouse will still have Lucas Albert available despite a two-match ban coming his way with all suspensions pending until Wednesday.
Hull KR have no new injury worries from the derby. It’s possible Albert Vete may be ready with the derby coming too soon for the big prop. There could be a return for fellow forward Korbin Sims after an ankle injury picked up in the reserves likely ruled him out of the win over Hull FC. The likes of Ben Crooks and Will Dagger may be recalled to freshen things up for Tony Smith’s side.
Match Preview – Key Battles:
Olly Ashall-Bott vs Lachlan Coote: The elusive and young Olly Ashall-Bott has a huge test on his hands against the experienced and complete fullback Lachlan Coote. If Ashall-Bott is going to fulfil his huge potential, he’ll look back on days like this against the best. He may hope to use his speed to get the better of the three-time Super League Champion here though.
Guy Armitage vs Sam Wood: Since shifting to right centre with Jimmy Keinhorst on his outside before Ethan Ryan took over on the right wing, Wood has shone and is always a danger such is his height and strength. He’ll be up against arguably Toulouse’s best attacking weapon in Guy Armitage. He’ll be tough to contain.
Mitch Garbutt vs George King: The former Robin will look to make a statement against his former employers but will find it tough against the always hard working George King. As both sides look to dominate the middle of the field, these two will be key.
Where the game will be won and lost:
Both Toulouse and Hull KR have unique and off-the-cuff attacks meaning this could very well be a try fest and a sight to behold especially with the fatigue of playing days earlier having an impact on defence. The attack that clicks the most will likely win.
Score Prediction: Toulouse Olympique 30-36 Hull KR