Sheens re­lieved as Robins win game they could not lose

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - RUGBY LEAGUE -

TIM SHEENS ad­mit­ted Hull KR’s 31-12 suc­cess over Widnes was a game they had to win if they are to avoid the bot­tom four this sea­son.

The Aus­tralian high­lighted this fix­ture as a game they could not af­ford to lose given Widnes started the game two points clear of Rovers in the ta­ble. Sheens was pleased with the way his side dealt with that pres­sure even if they were helped by the four in­juries suf­fered by Widnes that left them with no in­ter­changes for the fi­nal half hour.

“It was an im­por­tant game for us, in real terms it was a must­win game,” Sheens said.

“We tried to play that down, but it was a game we re­ally had to win. That’s why I played my most ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers.

“They were two points in front of us on the lad­der and for them it was a game they wanted to win.

“We had to win it and we were play­ing like that too as we were a bit scratchy, push­ing things and not quite get­ting things right.

“We had some good mo­ments on our try line they tested us with (Rhys) Han­bury keep­ing us busy but de­fen­sively we weren’t too bad.

“Ev­ery­one wanted to play, we warmed up well and you could sense we wanted it so I was com­fort­able we could do it.

“Widnes fell apart with their in­juries which helped us and I feel for De­nis (Betts).”

For­mer Castle­ford winger Justin Car­ney scored two tries to set up the Robins’s win.

Andrew He­fer­nan also went over to give Rovers a half-time lead as Widnes cre­ated lit­tle in at­tack.

But Vik­ings took ad­van­tage of Chris Clark­son’s yel­low card early in the sec­ond half to level the scores, Ryan Ince and Joe Mel­lor go­ing over. Danny Tickle crossed to re­store the hosts’ lead, be­fore tries from James Green­wood and Car­ney sealed the win, Danny McGuire ad­ding gloss with a drop-goal.

Widnes coach De­nis Betts ad­mits his side were left a moun­tain to climb af­ter los­ing four play­ers to in­jury, in­clud­ing Keanan Brand who broke his leg six min­utes into his Su­per League de­but.

But he felt his side should have done bet­ter af­ter mak­ing a promis­ing start to the game.

“In the first half we didn’t take a cou­ple of op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Betts said. “But we ran out of steam.

“I feel re­ally bad for Keanan, he makes his de­but and breaks his leg, quite badly too. It’s not a nice start for him af­ter only two touches of the ball.

“We had to reshuf­fle with the in­juries so to come out and show some en­ergy like we did was telling. You need to take op­por­tu­ni­ties when you come here to keep the crowd quiet and get some mo­men­tum. The score doesn’t re­flect the ef­fort we put in.”

Wi­gan head coach Shaun Wane re­vealed that some half­time hon­esty helped his team come from 19 points be­hind with less than half an hour to play to de­feat the Cata­lans Drag­ons.

Af­ter the 32-23 suc­cess in Per­pig­nan, “I’m very, very proud of that per­for­mance in the sec­ond half. We gave our­selves a lot to do but we turned up in the sec­ond half with some great per­for­mances.”

JUSTIN CAR­NEY: The winger scored two tries in Hull KR’s vic­tory over Widnes Vik­ings.

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