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On The Pitch

Team will relish playing with less pressure, says Sheens

Head coach Tim Sheens is backing his side to enjoy playing with more freedom against Catalans Dragons tomorrow night, although he insists they will be doing everything possible to go out and win the game.

Rovers host the French outfit at KCOM Craven Park having already secured promotion back to the Betfred Super League for 2018, whilst in contrast the Dragons arrive in east Hull under pressure to secure a victory to secure their top-flight status over the coming weeks.

Speaking to www.hullkr.co.uk, Sheens said: “We’ve got a few ideas of what we want to do and we’ve changed some things this week. We will play a little bit of an expansive game of football which the crowd will enjoy and hopefully which will test Catalans.

“We’re going to a play a style of rugby that doesn’t play to Catalans strengths defensively but that comes with an element of risk if it doesn’t come off. Our boys are looking forward to it though, the pressure is all on the opposition and we can afford to take some risks which we wouldn’t normally do.”

Sheens has made 10 changes to his 19-man squad from the one named for the all-important victory over Widnes Vikings last time out, with several key players given the chance to see specialists regarding injuries they’ve been playing with for some time.

However, the Rovers boss is still backing his Rovers team to go toe-to-toe with Catalans.

“We’ve made ten changes to the squad this week and all of those boys are carrying injuries or knocks. A lot of them have seen specialists this week for scans and some may need surgery, although I’m hoping not all of them. Andrew Heffernan has already gone in for surgery yesterday so we’ve taken the chance to get his shoulder sorted a few weeks earlier than planned.

“Out of those 10, some of them could have played again this week for us if we still needed another win to go up, but some of them still wouldn’t have been able to. We should get some of them back for Warrington next week, the likes of Justin Carney, Bobby Blair, Thomas Minns and Lee Jewitt being some of them.

“We’re not just going to lay down and not use our key people over these next two weeks for the sake of it, but if some of them need to rest up or go in for surgery then they will.”

On his side for tomorrow night, Sheens added: “We’ve got a strong starting pack of forwards, a bench with some strike and a couple of young halves who are looking forward to running the game for us.

“We’ve got enthusiasm bubbling out of us this week because a lot of these guys have been itching to get in the team. They’re not a second tier bunch, a lot of them could have played against Widnes last week and are unhappy that they didn’t.

“The guys who have come in all have the ability to play at this level and I’ve good a very good 17 to work with.”

Photo: Team will relish playing with less pressure, says Sheens