Hull KR boss Tony Smith encouraged by performance despite defeat to Catalans

Tony Smith Hull KR

Hull KR head coach Tony Smith was encouraged by his side’s performance despite their defeat to Catalans at Craven Park.

The Robins fell to a 20-8 defeat on Saturday, failing to score a single point in the second half. They had led 8-4 at the break thanks to a try from Ben Crooks and two conversions from Lachlan Coote.

It was the club’s fourth consecutive defeat in both league and cup. However, Smith was positive in his post match conference despite the result.

He said losing forwards Dean Hadley and Matty Storton and makeshift stand-off Will Dagger with head knocks forced him to keep players on the field longer than anticipated and that contributed to their second-half fade.

Tony Smith encouraged despite defeat

“With 25 minutes to go, we had one sub available against a big team like that,” he said.

“We were courageous in the amount of time some of them stayed on the field. It was a bit of a war of attrition against a big team and they wore us down but our guys hung on right to the death.

“There was loads of encouragement. I thought we were very spirited and we had a little bit more enterprise in our play.

“We needed to convert some of those opportunities in the first half but it was nice that we created a few more. We showed a bit more today. These boys are trying really hard.”

Mikey Lewis to return

Smith says his team will benefit from a week off – courtesy of the Challenge Cup final next Saturday. He expects to have centre Sam Wood and star stand-off Mikey Lewis back from injury for the next game against Salford in a fortnight’s time.

Lewis, 20, has been sidelined since April due to an ankle injury sustained against Castleford.

Meanwhile, the coach was impressed by the return of forward Frankie Halton against the Dragons. The Ireland international featured for the first time since their Good Friday derby victory.

“That was a huge positive for us,” Smith added. “He was terrific today and showed how much we missed him.”

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About Josh McAllister 1520 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.

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