24th October 2018, 13:30 | Hullkr
Hull Kingston Rovers have suffered a mixed season in 2018, with injuries contributing to a stuttering return to the top flight. A return to the Qualifiers looked like it could have been avoided through a late season upturn, but ultimately Rovers secured their status with five wins in seven games in the Super 8s.
Best Moment: A derby win in the last regular season game might not have been enough to prevent Rovers from reaching the Super 8s at the expense of their rivals but beating their cross-city foes at the KCOM Stadium provided an excellent morale boost for the longest seven games in sports.
Best Win (Leeds Rhinos 36-38 Hull Kingston Rovers): A tit-for-tat battle against the Champions showed all of the two sides attacking talent, while also exposing both sides lack of defensive mettle. Hull KR came out on top thanks to a sterling performance from half-back combination Danny McGuire and Chris Atkin, and a hat-trick from Craig Hall.
Best Player (Chris Atkin): Atkin is the real feel-good story of the Hull KR side. After playing semi-professional rugby 18 months ago at Swinton Lions, the half-back has had a whirlwind season in red and white, capped off with an England Knights call up to face Papua New Guinea.
Record Breakers: Maurice Blair made his 100thappearance for the Robins, Tommy Lee made his 250thcareer appearance, Robbie Mulhern made his 100thcareer appearance
Worst Loss (Hull Kingston Rovers 22-30 Hull FC): Losing to Hull FC is never easy, but the 22-30 loss at KCOM Craven Park rankles. The Robins had a man advantage and controlled a lot of the play, but were undone by a Jake Connor try, with the Hull FC half-back taunting the opposition prior to scoring. A bad day for Rovers.
Best Quote: “We’re in there for a reason as we didn’t get enough points” – Danny McGuire on the reasons for Hull KR’s participation in the Qualifiers
2019 Outlook: Hull KR survived relegation by the skin of their teeth in the end but kept safety in their own hands right up until kick off against Widnes. Once again, safety must be the first port of call, but this side showed attacking talent in the Qualifers and if they can harness that, a surge up the table isn’t out of the question.