OUR Rugby League man Kaine Greenwood (@RetroPress) likes the look of an Anytime Tryscorer pick in the Hull KR v Salford Sunday match.
Hull KR v Salford City Reds | Sunday 15:00
Who would be a coach? You don’t have to explain victory and can often struggle to digest defeat. For all the plans, practices and points the end involves that other ‘P’: packing up and clearing out the office.
It might be a blessing then that Hull KR have appointed James Webster on an interim basis from the joint Hull academy side after relieving Chris Chester at the end of last month.
Webster has the mission of turning the wheel of fortune back in the favour of last year’s Challenge Cup finalists and looks to avoid a sixth defeat on the spin with the visit of Salford Red Devils.
Breaking bad spells is often helped by fresh impetus and despite the league standing KR quite evenly in most in-game stats throughout the league.
Results will have to come quickly however and KR do hold a favourable 10-1-6 record over the Red Devils dating back to 2007 . A repeat here is desired with the season already at a crossroads if a finish outside of the bottom is to look anything like attainable.
Salford have for the early part of this competition produced rugby you would expect from a club owned by outlandish character Marwan Koukash.
Koukash is no doubt pleased at how the squad have taken to the tutelage of coach Ian Watson – under the guidance of director of rugby Tim Sheens – and yet his first-year record reads 3-0-3.
The Red Devils’ have contested well in every single one of those fixtures, running league leaders Warrington and Wigan close in defeat. Victories over St. Helens and last week at Castleford suggest they may well compete much later into the year.
The only snag here is that there could be a cap on just how far their ambitions will be set going forward after charges we’re put against them relating to salary cap breaches.
Obviously this brings with it the spectre of a significant points deduction, derailing on-field progress, should the club’s administration be found guilty of any financial misdemeanours. Whether Red Hall does have such cruel intentions is to be seen.
There is a little irony in that a lesser known capture, Tommy Lee, who signed from the London Broncos back in 2014, provides a platform from which Salford have produced the attractive displays to date.
Speed and accuracy from the hooking role have allowed the forwards – particularly Ben Murdoch-Masila – and halves Michael Dobson or Robert Lui to exploit many of the better regarded sides to date.
One major loss to the former City Reds will be having to jog out without the devilish offensive weapons of ex-NRL player Lui for at least 28 days later than this clash due to a knee injury. Gareth O’Brien looks set to fill this role here.
Terry Campese’s return to the fold for the Robins lasted just 42 minutes last week before he yet again became a casualty meaning he can now mark off his calendar until the middle of next month. He is joined on the sideline by hooker Shaun Lunt.
Salford’s visit to the KC Lightstream Stadium will be boosted by these absentees but the home side do welcome back winger Josh Matellato.
Super League’s fifth-highest points scorer of 2015 was a key cog in the KR machine right from the off in his debut season, scoring 26 tries in 31 total games.
Mantellato’s Rovers return therefore is sure to boost a backline that has wobbled at the front-end of 2016 with just 16 tries yet was able to post points freely last campaign.
Taking the chance he gets the nod for this tie it would be no shock to see him chalk up further on the two tries he achieved in his one start in the season-opener. Sky Bet say he is a 11/8 shot to do so and I say: “Drink it up”. Sunday evening seems like the perfect time to have the local bairmaid pull you a cold one on the bookies. ‘Cheers’ all round?
Hull KR v Salford City Reds – Josh Mantellato Anytime Tryscorer (11/8 Skybet)
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