Craig Hall hopes Hull KR have learned a lesson and make a flying start against Widnes
CRAIG Hall insists that despite starting their season with back-to-back defeats, Hull KR's players are not yet feeling under pressure.
In a competition where all the focus is on building momentum and reaching your peak at the end of the season, Hall insists time is still on Rovers' side.
But, facing a Widnes Vikings side which many people feel will be competing for a lower-end play-off spot alongside the Robins come September, the popular player admits a victory would be a welcome relief.
"A win would be great for us, because the longer you go without a win, the more pressure you feel," Hall told the Mail.
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"We don't feel any pressure on us at the minute though. It's still early and there are still 25 games left to play.
"Wakefield made the play-offs last season even though they lost five of their first six games.
"Teams go through a bad run for five or six games but they still make the play-offs.
"We have just got to get our first win and keep building from there."
For Rovers to secure that first win, big improvements will need to be made from their losses to Catalan and the Wildcats.
And it doesn't take a genius to work out where Rovers have been letting themselves down.
Against Catalan in the season opener, Rovers trailed 26-2 just after half-time.
Last week against Wakefield, the Robins were 18-0 down before they got going just before half-time.
Facing a physical Vikings outfit at MS3 Craven Park tomorrow, Hall knows his side have to win the arm wrestle early on if they are to reach half-time with a rare lead.
"It would be nice to establish ourselves early and get a lead on the scoreboard," he said.
"It's been frustrating the way we have been starting matches. We have gone into the half-time break knowing we haven't been in the arm wrestle. When we have got in the arm wrestle, it has been too late, but we showed in the derby friendly win over Hull what happens when we get into a lead.
"If we can start from minute one, we'll be alright.
"We scored back-to-back tries against Wakefield and that was after 35 minutes of not seeing the ball.
"We'll be more composed and start well tomorrow."
Hall, who spent a spell on loan at Widnes from Hull in 2009, also knows Rovers have to cut down the number of unforced errors they have been making if they are to give themselves a chance.
And he says video sessions have made for some difficult viewing alongside coach Craig Sandercock over the past fortnight.
"It's frustrating when you watch the matches back and see daft errors and silly penalties," he said.
"That probably takes more out of the middle players physically than it does for the backs.
"Our opponents have had double the attacking time we've had, and the amount of defending our middle guys have to then do isn't helping."
Also frustrating for Hall has been his late switch to full-back, having prepared to start the season at stand-off in Travis Burns' absence.
He, and Rovers, are hoping Greg Eden will pass a fitness test, which was scheduled for this morning, to allow Hall to return into a role he enjoys.
That will give Rovers a structure they will all feel more comfortable with against the Vikings.
"I'm hoping to be back at stand-off this weekend," said Hall.
"I think I went well against Hull in the pre-season friendly there and I wanted to build on that.
"Obviously, with the injury to Greg, I've had to drop back into full-back, but hopefully he can pass his fitness test and I'll be back at stand-off.
"I played there last year and I have a bit of experience there. I love it there.
"The return of Greg gives a different look to the team."