Hull KR produced a superb win over Leeds Rhinos yesterday to go into the opening round of Super League in 2023 against Wigan Warriors full of optimism.
Pleased with the showing yesterday, new coach Willie Peters said: “It’s pleasing for the players to go and put in a performance like that, friendly or not a friendly.
“It is a good marker, we know go that is our minimum standard and build from that.
“I’m sure the players will have an expectation of doing that every week.
“We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves, we have always been working towards that Round One game against Wigan Warriors.”
In terms of picking his Round One side, Peters said it is now harder to pick a side after yesterday:
“It makes it harder, absolutely it makes it harder. I can’t think of a player who was poor today. There is an expectation that you work hard and compete for each other and everyone did that.
“We want to work hard for each other through the good and bad. There will be some performances this year that we won’t be so proud of but we need our best and worst to be close together.
“We need that consistency. We’re a close team, we’re connected as a group and I think today was a perfect friendly in terms of having 12 men, we defended our line 30 odd times before they scored.”
Speaking of the yellow cards, Peters was actually pleased to deal with that:
“We always try and train situations so it was a perfect scenario today. There was some adversity in the game.”
Peters confirmed that there is no new injury concerns: “As far as I know everyone is okay, some bumps and bruises but everyone seems okay.”
He expressed unhappiness though at the defeat to Featherstone Rovers in the friendly before yesterday and is happy to get over that: “We weren’t happy with our performance against Featherstone, whoever wears that Hull KR jersey there is a level and expectation around effort and competing but we certainly did that today.”
One player who really impressed yesterday was Jordan Abdull and Peters noted the role the number seven will play in 2023:
“I’m really excited with wear Jordan can go this year, he didn’t play a lot last year and he has got a big role to play this year in terms of getting his hands on the football.”
Yesterday, Peters named a new look front row with Rhys Kennedy and Jesse Sue and Peters addressed what his front row will look like moving forward:
“We need to look at it. George started the Fev game along with Sam Luckley. I wanted to see Jesse and Rhys could do starting.
“It is something we need to look at. We have lots of depth there this year. We have some selection headaches.
“I’m not sure who will start and who will be on the bench.”
He was particularly impressed with how Rhys Kennedy got over his early setback upon joining the club:
“Yeah he has had a disrupted pre-season and when you’re coming over here and you don’t do a pre-season, you feel like you’re well behind even in terms of being connected with the group.
“What I am most proud about with Rhys is how professional he has been in getting himself back.
“He will only build from that performance.
“He is over here to take his game to another level, he is in his prime for a front rower.”