SL Preview: Hull KR v Catalans (Thurs)

Drew Darbyshire

Hull Kingston Rovers and Catalans Dragons are still looking for their first win of the season so emotions will be running high on Thursday night.

The Robins have had a tough start to life back in the Betfred Super League. They were comfortably beaten by Wakefield Trinity in the opening round but improved their performance last week. However, Leeds were just too strong for them in the end.

Chris Atkin was the star of the show in last Thursday’s televised fixture. The former Swinton Lions half-back was great for KR and was a constant threat to the Leeds defence. He will probably get the nod again this week alongside Danny McGuire.

Catalans were disappointing in their first game against Widnes and received a 40-12 thrashing at the Halton Stadium. Like KR, they improved their performance in the second round but they were still beaten by title favourites St Helens in Perpignan.

The clash may not sound like one to remember, but it has all the ingredients to be an entertaining game because of the fact that they are both competing for their first win.

It takes place at the KCOM Craven Park on Thursday, 7:35pm kick-off and is televised on Sky Sports.

Robins boss Tim Sheens will be without two regulars in back-rower James Greenwood and centre Andrew Heffernan due to injury. Danny Tickle could make his debut while young winger Will Oakes has also been brought into the squad.

Dragons coach Steve McNamara has made two changes to his squad that lost to St Helens last week. Micky McIlorum has been ruled out through injury while prop Antoni Maria has dropped out. Fouad Yaha and Paul Aiton are set to return to the fray.

Hull KR 19-man squad: 1 Quinlan, 3 Minns, 5 Shaw, 7 McGuire, 9 Lunt, 10 Masoe, 11 Blair, 13 Kavanagh, 14 Jewitt, 17 Clarkson, 19 Lee, 20 Marsh, 21 Mulhern, 22 Salter, 24 Atkin, 27 Oakes, 29 Walne, 34 Tickle, 36 Carney.

Catalans 19-man squad: 1 Mead, 2 Broughton, 3 Thornley, 4 Wiliame, 5 Yaha, 7 Walsh, 8 Casty, 9 Aiton, 12 Garcia, 13 Bird, 14 Bousquet, 15 Simon, 16 Duport, 17 Baitieri, 18 Margalet, 20 Tierney, 22 Albert, 24 Da Costa, 26 Belmas.

Last ten meetings:

Hull KR 19, Catalans Dragons 20 (S8Q-R6, 15/9/17)

Catalans Dragons 34, Hull KR 16 (SLR16, 28/5/16)

Hull KR 0, Catalans Dragons 40 (SLR10, 7/4/16)

Hull KR 32, Catalans Dragons 26 (CCQF, 25/6/15)

Catalans Dragons 32, Hull KR 24 (SLR12, 25/4/15)

Hull KR 50, Catalans Dragons 20 (SLR5, 15/3/15)

Hull KR 14, Catalans Dragons 32 (SLR26, 7/9/14)

Catalans Dragons 37, Hull KR 24 (SLR10, 21/4/14)

Catalans Dragons 21, Hull KR 22 (SLR19, 22/6/13)

(at Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse)

Hull KR 24, Catalans Dragons 32 (SLR1, 3/2/13)

Super League summary:

Hull KR won 8

Catalans Dragons won 13 (includes win in 2011 play-offs)

Hull KR highest score: 50-20 (H, 2015) (Widest margin: 44-10, H, 2009)

Catalans Dragons highest score: 56-6 (H, 2011 EPO) (also widest margin)

Who do you think will win? Let us know in the comments below.