Reaction from Sheens as Rovers stun Salford

Category: On The Pitch

Reaction from Sheens as Rovers stun Salford

Head coach Tim Sheens was a pleased man after watching his team defeat Salford Red Devils 52-22 at KCOM Craven Park, but warned there were still plenty of areas for improvement.

The Robins made it back-to-back wins with an impressive nine-try performance in baking hot conditions as a Danny McGuire hat-trick and a brace for winger Will Oakes contributed to a vital victory which lifted Rovers above Salford on the Betfred Super League table.

Speaking after the match, Sheens said: “It’s points in three consecutive games and it was June 2015 or something since we last recorded back-to-back wins, but we’re just focusing on winning games and hopefully by the end of the season we’ll either sneak into the Super 8s, or if not, we’ll be winning games and secure ninth or tenth position to get an extra home game.

“We got off to a bad start and conceded first again, which is still something we need to fix up, we settled down and posted some points in quick succession. Things looked like they clicked for us and we got a few nice bounces of the ball and a couple of decisions went our way, but we kept hold of the ball and looked really threatening.

“I was still a bit disappointed with some of the passes that hit the floor and things like that in the first half, it wasn’t perfect by any means, but it’s another win and it gives us something to keep building on.

“We lost Ryan Shaw and had to shuffle things around as we didn’t have any obvious cover for the backline on the bench. We’ll maybe have to look at the balance moving forward, but we shifted Bobby and Joel further out and they handled it pretty well for the most part. Salford were always going to go at them hard but they stood firm.

“Credit to Danny Tickle too, he started through the middle but then switched to the edge for us and took over the goal-kicking duties, handling the wind really well.

“He won it in that first half for us, kicking every goal from the sidelines which took us to a 36-6 half-time lead and it’s a huge difference. It would have been easy for him to miss some of those ones, but he just hits them like I used to hit my three-iron and it made a real difference – not just to the scoreline, but to the psychological aspect of the game as it unfolded.”

Rovers now face Widnes Vikings away from home on Saturday afternoon and Sheens is eager for his team to fix up their finishes to the game after handing back the initiative to Salford in the closing stages as they had done in last week’s win over the Giants.

“Again we were disappointed with the back-end of the game, much like last week,” Sheens said.

“I’m not taking anything away from them, but we just gave too many silly penalties away and a couple of loose balls. We cleaned up on our goal-line for a bit, and eventually they got us so I was pretty disappointed with that control in the latter part of the second half.

“It’s something we’ve got to fix, because when you play against better sides in upcoming months and you could be in a bit of trouble if you don’t sort that out.”

“We’ve got some options though. Ryan Shaw probably won’t play – he’ll go for a scan on a lateral knee ligament injury tomorrow – but we’ve had Lee Jewitt’s back X-rayed and he should be okay for next week. Chris Clarkson had a chest infection this week and lost about 5kg in weight, but we’re hoping to have him back for Widnes as well.

“Liam Salter didn’t play today as we felt Will Oakes had had enough game time under his belt and was a more natural winger, but Liam is available for next week also.”

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