Wellens relishing Hull KR play-off challenge

St Helens veteran Paul Wellens believes his team are mentally strong, and are more than ready to face Hull KR in the play-offs.

Nevertheless, he is refusing to take the men from the East Riding lightly, as he believes they have some class players, who can cause real damage to opponents in big games.

The Robins have also beaten Saints three times so far this season, knocking them out of the Challenge Cup in the process.

Hull KR are a very good side,” Wellens told Love Rugby League.

“And we know that more than most, with them having beaten us three times this year.

“It’s a game that we are really looking forward to. In terms of our own position, we’re as confident and playing as well as we have done all year. 

“We’ve got some key personnel back which certainly helps. We’re in a different frame of mind now to earlier in the season.”

While some of Saints’ key personnel are returning to the first team, the Robins have been hit with an injury crisis of their own, with the likes of Travis Burns out for the rest of the season.

Wellens maintains that Saints cannot afford to treat their opponents lightly as a result, though.

“No, we can’t afford to take Hull KR lightly, and we’d be stupid to,” he said.

“With players like Michael Dobson, David Hodgson, Cory Paterson, Craig Hall, they’ve got players who know how to play well in big games.

“In actual fact it’s a Grand Final for us. It’s knock-out rugby all the way. We have to play four or five Grand Finals now to get the job done.”

“In terms of where we are now mentally as a team, with our key personnel back, we’re looking as strong as we have done all season.

“Our recent form is seven wins out of eight, and that’s the form of a top two side.

“We can take a lot of confidence from that. It’s going to be difficult.

“We’ve got to get through this weekend, and then we’ve got to go out on the road to get to Old Trafford.

“But it’s something we’re all looking forward to, that challenge. 

“It’s been an inconsistent season in terms of what we expect from ourselves. But we’ve gained a lot from the difficult periods we’ve had. 

“Mentally, we’ve overcome a lot of difficult situations, and that should serve us well on the road.”

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