If Willie Peters wasn’t already in the good books of the Hull KR hierarchy having guided the club to the semi-finals of the Super League play-offs, his whole-hearted tribute to them post-match will certainly have aided his cause.
Having only arrived at Craven Park ahead of this season, Australian Peters has now masterminded a last-four spot in the competition courtesy of tonight’s 20-6 home win against Leigh Leopards.
Three tries in the space of 10 minutes either side of half time from Jack Walker, Ryan Hall and Sam Luckley were enough to see the Robins through the ‘Eliminators’, and they will now go to either Catalans Dragons or Wigan Warriors next week depending on the result of St Helens’ clash with Warrington Wolves on Saturday afternoon.
Just over a month ago, Peters had to console his players after they’d been beaten in the Challenge Cup final by Leigh on golden point, and pointing towards that experience, he had nothing but praise for those at the top.
Hull KR boss Willie Peters sings praises of club’s hierarchy after huge play-off win
Speaking in his post-match press conference, an emotional Peters said: “I think it shows the character of the team and the club. Neil is our owner, we’ve got Paul Lakin as CEO and a board who are very humble men.
“They’re very successful in their own right, but they lead this club in the right way. We’re in a good spot, and we’re going to be in an even better spot. We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but it’s important to acknowledge what we’re doing. I want to acknowledge the leaders of our club.
“When we went down to London (for the Challenge Cup final), I thought the way that Neil Handled it – as the main leader of our club – was a credit to him and shows signs of what we’re all about.
“You can lose but still have some class about losing, and I thought that’s what the whole group did when we were in London.
“We had some class about getting beat in that game, and now we’re building on where we want to go.”
Robins’ edge closer to destination on road to Old Trafford
KR’s win against Leigh was the first of five ties in this year’s play-offs, and having knocked Leigh out of the competition tonight, just four others remain.
Those four will become three by around 3pm tomorrow afternoon (Saturday) when one of Saints and Warrington will no longer have a vested interest.
If underdogs Wire can pull off a shock in that game, then Peters’ side will be heading to Perpignan and taking on Catalans at the Stade Gilbert Brutus next Friday night (October 6).
A win for the Red Vee tomorrow will see them head over to the South of France, and KR down the M62 to Wigan’s DW Stadium.
Peters – as expected – confirmed he’d be watching tomorrow’s game with intrigue, but doesn’t care which of the top two from the regular season his team must go up against. On the basis of tonight, having now won five in a row, there’s no reason to disagree with him on that front.