17th August 2018, 11:41 | super8

Sheens knows importance of Toronto tussle

Sheens knows importance of Toronto tussle

Hull KR coach Tim Sheens admits the pressure is on his side as they prepare to meet the challenge of promotion-chasing Toronto Wolfpack.

A surprise opening-round home defeat by Salford Red Devils has already left the Robins playing catch-up in a Super 8s Qualifiers competition in which home advantage is key.

“Losing to Salford has cranked the pressure up a little bit,” Sheens said. “It wasn’t the end of the world but it adds to the pressure with everybody eager to get off the mark.

“We don’t want to be two defeats from our opening two matches.”

The boot is on the other foot for the Robins on Saturday as they face a Wolfpack side that inherited their Betfred Championship League Leaders’ Shield and made a confident start to the Qualifiers with a 14-0 win at Halifax.

“They’re in the same position as we were this time last year, having finished top of the Championship,” Sheens said.

“We remember how confident we were going into the Qualifiers, being used to winning matches and having the belief that we would do well.

“We can relate to that and how they’ll be feeling. They’ve tried to put the pressure on us this week and I understand that, but ultimately it’s on both teams for various reasons.

“Toronto will have more than enough to cause us plenty of problems but there will be no excuses from us.

“The club has given us the opportunity to prepare well and we have done so. We’re travelling early enough to acclimatise and they’ve got to make the same trip as us, so we’re not thinking about any of that.

“We went to have a look at Toronto against Halifax. They’ve got a good side and players who have played in big matches at the highest level, so we know to expect a tough game.”

Hull KR will be without Australian stand-off Todd Carney due to a hamstring injury.

Toronto are set to give a debut to winger Mason Caton-Brown, who has joined them from Wakefield Trinity, in place of leading tryscorer Liam Kay after he broke an ankle in the win at Halifax.

Widnes Vikings are without prop Charlie Gubb, who picked up a knee injury on his debut in the defeat to London Broncos, but welcome back hooker Lloyd White for the crucial visit to Salford.

In Saturday’s other Qualifiers fixture, Toulouse Olympique XIII host Halifax while in Betfred Super League Catalans Dragons play Wigan Warriors in their last match before the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final.

Dragons coach Steve McNamara brings back all the players he rested for last week’s trip to Warrington Wolves, while Wigan boss Shaun Wane does not expect Wembley to be a distraction for the home side.

“They’ve got a big game next week so you’d expect a strong side looking to get some game time,” Wane said.

Wigan have won their last eight meetings with Catalans, including the last three at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.