After Saturday’s 40-24 triumph at Castleford, you gave the players a break until yesterday. Has it had the desired effect?
We’d certainly like to think so.
The boys looked pretty fresh and the training was sharp, which is obviously what we’d wanted to see.
Let’s just hope that’s reflected in the performance at home to Hull KR on Sunday, when they already know we expect to see something far better than was served up at Cas the other day.
Part of our time yesterday was spent showing a pretty honest – and may be at times a bit harsh – video of the Cas game.
The boys were left in no doubt that it was top v bottom, and that what we did simply wasn’t good enough.
I was happy with the two League points, which keeps us right up there with (leaders) Wigan, but that’s about it.
Ok, after conceding the opening try, we were the dominant team for an hour, but I was still only ‘happy-ish’ with what I saw.
We all expect much better this weekend.
Do this mean there’s still a lot of improvement to come from this team?
So far, there have only been a couple of times when we’ve really hit our straps. The game at Leeds is clearly the notable example.
But I’m very conscious of the fact we keep on saying there’s a lot of improvement still left in us.
We shouldn’t really be saying it for much longer, we should be doing it instead.
The time is definitely coming when we should be proving to everyone that this improvement in us really is there.
Until we reach that stage, I for one won’t be happy, and I know that’s a view shared by the players, too.
So do you need to improve to guarantee success against Hull KR this weekend?
Without doubt. They’re a team with a lot of football in them.
In fact, I’m planning to sit down with Dale Ferguson for half-an-hour to get all their gameplans!
Fergy did, of course, spend a month on loan at Hull KR earlier in the season, so he does know a thing or two about the way they play.
But I think it goes without saying that a lot of their play does revolve around Michael Dobson.
We clearly need to keep an eye on him, but without ignoring all the other obvious threats their team possesses.
It’s a case that if we focus on Dobson, then Cory Paterson will hit us, and if we watch him Greg Eden could strike.
So if we keep an eye on these three, then we’re forgetting about Craig Hall and hooker Josh Hodgson to push through.
Yes, Dobson is key to what they do, but it’s the collective effort that enables him to be such a major attacking threat.
Hull KR also possess a big pack, so that battle could prove interesting, couldn’t it?
I’ve already spoken of the threat of Cory Paterson and Josh Hodgson, but they’ve also got some big boys in the middle.
In players like Evarn Tuimavave. Con Mika and Micky Paea they’ve got some of the biggest around, and ones who can cause you some damage.
But we’re not exactly lacking in size, are we?
So I think it’s going to be a really good battle down the middle, although it’s one I fully expect us to win.
But it will be interesting to see how Hull KR perform, because they’re a team whose attitude at times has to be questioned.
I know I often go on about the importance of having the right attitude, and Rovers have shown over the past few weeks what can happen if you have the right attitude and what can happen if you have the wrong attitude.
Theirs was spot-on in their derby victory at Hull FC, but was totally wrong at home to Wigan a few days later when they were absolutely hammered.
But their attitude was right again to beat Saints on Sunday, so it’ll be interesting to see what they’re like against us.