Hull Kingston Rovers have expressed disappointment that only two home matches are scheduled at the club’s traditional kick-off times of Sunday’s at 3pm.
The club have released a statement and say they understand the disappointment that has been shown by some supporters that only two games out of the 11 home matches confirmed this morning has been scheduled to be held at the club’s traditional kick-off time of 3pm of Sunday afternoons.
And this schedule is despite the Robins previously stating to the RFL that this remained their preferred kick-off time for games at the KCOM Craven Park in 2018.
Although Hull realizes that some games will be broadcast live by Sky Sports, a number of other non-televised games have been switched to a Friday night because either the Robins or opposition are involved in the Thursday evening fixture the following week and therefore, cannot play on the Sunday according to RFL guidelines.
The club is now expecting minimal fixture changes to games next season with all Thursday evening fixtures already confirmed by Sky Sports.
Hull will also receive an additional three or four home games in the Super 8s or Qualifiers and again, has requested that those games will be scheduled for Sunday afternoons.
On the matter, Rovers chairman Neil Hudgell said: “We share the disappointment of a section of our supporters on this issue and have expressed our feelings on the matter to the RFL. Since we received the first draft of fixtures on Friday, we have been in constant communication with the RFL to resolve the matter as much as possible but to no avail. Unfortunately, our hands are tied.
“It doesn’t seem much of a reward to our fans for their loyalty last year, but we are an ambitious club and there are some benefits to us in achieving those aims. Having the majority of your matches on a Thursday or Friday evening does create some benefits for the performance department in that they have longer turnarounds between fixtures on a more regular basis, which is a positive factor over the course of a long and physical season at Super League level. It was something Tim [Sheens] and the coaching staff were exploring and we had considered playing some games on Friday nights in 2018 for this reason, but certainly not to this extent.
“However, there is nothing we can do about the situation other than to adapt and do our best to come through stronger in true Rovers spirit.”
When asked for an explanation of the club’s fixture list, the RFL said: “The reason why the club is playing most of its home games on a Friday is that either the club or its opposition have been selected to be broadcast in the next round on the Thursday by SKY.”