We need a response from everybody – coaches and players, says Tony Smith
Hull Kingston Rovers head coach Tony Smith says his side are looking to heal their ‘bruised egos’ when facing Leeds Rhinos on Friday night.
The Robins lost 52-10 last time out at Wigan Warriors and are aiming to respond at Headingley in a crucial Betfred Super League encounter.
“There were some bumps and bruises, some bruised egos in some ways, but we’ve recovered OK from the Wigan loss,” Smith told KRTV.
“We’re putting out our strongest 19 that’s available at the moment and that’s good to not have any major concerns.
“Though we’re hurt, and we didn’t like last week’s defeat, we know that the effort is there – we were just flat in some areas. Some of our players weren’t near their best but sometimes as a sportsperson it’s difficult to go out there and deliver your maximum week in, week out.
“Does it mean we want to see a response from everybody? Absolutely. Coaches and players alike.
“We came up against a red-hot Wigan and we have to make sure Leeds aren’t red-hot against us too. We have to play our part in making sure that doesn’t happen.”
Leeds, who have won their last two games, have seen an upturn in form since the arrival of Rob Lui from Salford Red Devils – but Smith insists their performances have been improving since before the half-back arrived under his former assistant at Warrington Wolves, Richard Agar.
“I think Leeds’ form has been on the increase for the last month or so, not just since Rob arrived as good a player he is. Rich Agar has been getting some really good stuff out of them over the last month, and they’ve been on an upturn for a while,” Smith added.
“So had we, up until last week. They may have a dip or maintain it, time will tell, but most teams will go through that cycle. We’ll certainly try to go there and get our form back to how it was a couple of weeks ago.
“Our fans make a difference. We appreciate their support at home and especially away. The supporters can play their part at Headingley and it’s always a great atmosphere at Headingley. Hopefully we can give them plenty to cheer about and we owe them that.”