Willie Peters reacts as Hull KR become first-ever Super League side to activate 18th man

Josh McAllister
Hull KR Catalans SWPix

Picture by Olly Hassell/SWpix.com

Hull KR became the first-ever team in Super League to trigger their 18th man since the rule was introduced to Super League ahead of the 2023 season.

Failed head injury assessments to Dean Hadley, Jordan Abdull and Frankie Halton saw outside-back Will Dagger join the playing squad against Hull KR.

The visitors had already travelled without Matt Parcell and Matty Storton through injury.

Dagger, 24, took the field with 10 minutes remaining from the interchange bench. But the result was already gone, with the side falling to a 26-12 scoreline.

Rowan Milnes and Ryan Hall scoring the visitor’s two tries of the fixture.

Half-back Mikey Lewis also had to leave the field to be assessed, but passed and returned to play.

Head coach Willie Peters said: “It’s not a great record to have, being the first team to have to use their 18th man, but we had four HIAs today and we’ll be missing guys next week because of it.”

Hull KR boss proud of performance

Despite the defeat, head coach Peters was full of praise for his side for giving Catalans a run for their money. The Dragons remain unbeaten so far in 2023, and sit second in the Super League table just behind Warrington.

“All things considered I think we did pretty well tonight against a very strong Catalans team,” Peters added.

“When you lose momentum like that, at a place like this, it’s very difficult.

“If you look at the adversity we had during the game, we did really well to stay in contention, but it leaves us with a huge headache as we look forward to our next game at Wakefield.

“It was pretty chaotic, there was a lot of adversity. To lose three players through concussion and have to use your 18th man we had to dig really deep and our guys had to play long minutes.

“We’re the first team to do that but I’m really proud that the players hung in the fight and put themselves in a position to win that game for a long time and we could have won that game.

“The scoreline ran away from us at the end but some other teams would have been beaten by a lot more than that. We did our best against the odds.

“Where we need to improve is to stop hurting ourselves in a lot of areas. Catalans are a good side and they deserved to win tonight but we are not finishing and executing our plays like we should be.

“Overall, you can’t not be proud of that performance though.”

Comments to follow post-match.

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