Craig Sandercock: Hull KR will show new-found steel against Catalan Dragons
HULL KR coach Craig Sandercock is hoping his side can show their extra steel this season by seeing off Catalan Dragons in their opening fixture.
The Dragons beat Rovers in all three league and cup meetings last season – with eight points the highest margin.
The clashes highlighted KR's main downfall last season – a lack of ability to come out on top in tight games.
And expecting another nip-and-tuck affair at MS3 Craven Park this Sunday, Sandercock is hoping to see some added steel from his men.
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"They were all narrow losses last year to the Dragons and I'd expect this game to be another close one," Sandercock told the Mail.
"I really think we are mentally stronger this year, and we have brought players in that we think will do a good job in tight contests.
"The key will be to be patient with the ball. "We don't want to be guilty of forcing passes and doing silly things that give away cheap possessions.
"If we can be patient and hang in there, hopefully we'll get the win at the back end of the game."
Having enjoyed a solid pre-season, with three wins from three against Gateshead, Wigan and Hull, the KR coach is delighted to be starting the new Super League season on home soil.
Rovers lost seven of their 13 home games last season, including their last six, and Sandercock is hoping to start the season as they mean to go on, as he looks to make the stadium, which will have a new North Stand completed towards the end of the season, a fortress.
"Last year we lost a few matches at MS3 Craven Park that we should have won, so we'll have an emphasis on improving that. "Hopefully we can turn it into a real advantage for us," he said.