Willie Peters explains plans to fix ‘uncharacteristic’ Hull KR defensive issues

Aaron Bower
Hull KR coach Willie Peters Alamy

Hull KR head coach Willie Peters

Willie Peters insists that any noise over Hull KR’s defensive problems on their right edge is fully merited – insisting they did some ‘uncharacteristic’ things they cannot afford to repeat today.

The Robins host Wigan in a mouth-watering first Challenge Cup semi-final, a repeat of last year’s incredible and unforgettable tie that was settled with Brad Schneider’s drop goal.

Once again, the Robins are in the mix on all fronts to compete this season – but they have had a growing problem with their right defensive edge in recent weeks. So far in 2024, they have conceded around 50 per cent more tries down the right than the left – including all three they conceded in last week’s defeat to Warrington.

And Peters concedes they can ill afford to be as defensively weak today against a Wigan side looking to avenge last year’s defeat.

“The noise hasn’t been noise because it’s been there,” Peters told Love Rugby League. “It’s evident. In the last couple of weeks it’s not been where we want to be.

“In every training session this week we’ve been looking to improve the right-edge, and we’re looking to improve the left and the middle too. Our defence hasn’t been where it needs to be. We can’t be letting in 20 points in games, and the last two weeks, the ease we’ve let opposition score tries – especially at the weekend – we can’t be doing that.

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“Certainly last week, we were doing different things on that right edge and we’re open to that, that’s reality. Wigan will be watching that tape thinking there’s opportunities here but we know against a team like Wigan, they’ll play you through the middle and on the right too. We’re working on all areas of our game.”

Peters insisted there was some mitigation that the right-hand side trio of Tyrone May, Peta Hiku and Joe Burgess are somewhat new as a combination, given how Burgess arrived late in pre-season and Hiku spent most of pre-season training at fullback.

But he said: “We’re doing things that were uncharacteristic last week.

“Tyrone was jumping out of the line and the other two were back, then we had Peta jumping out of the line while the other two were back, then Budgie did it, and it was like they’d just played their first game together. The week before, there were some tries we weren’t overly proud of too but that’s an area we’ll put right.”

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