Hull KR: Sandercock sets sights on shock win at Wigan
HULL KR coach Craig Sandercock admits tonight's clash with Wigan is a 'no contest' on paper – but is quietly confident his underdogs can win.
The Robins head to face the Warriors knowing few, if any, in Super League give them a chance of returning with the spoils.
With Wigan second in the table and already seven points ahead of KR, Sandercock understands why many are writing off his side.
But having close to a fully-fit squad to choose from, and with back-to-back league wins behind them, he is not paying much attention to such talk.
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"Everyone says we can't beat Wigan and I saw one of the rugby papers is giving us a 30.5 point start," Sandercock told the Mail.
"Yes, if you compare the two sides it's a no contest, but we have a quiet belief that we can do it and be competitive."
"If we are to be competitive we have to be good in every area of the game and for 80 minutes, but in the last six weeks we have been steadily improving.
"Our key indicators have been showing signs of improving and we have virtually a full-strength squad to choose from.
"We're going there with the belief we can be competitive."
Sandercock admits he is envious of the squad Wigan have at their disposal, with a side boasting internationals in almost every position.
Sandercock admits Sam Tomkins is the man they have to be most wary of, although he has stressed the need not to let their focus surround stopping just one man.
"We're not concentrating on just one player because that is fraught with danger," he said.
"It's been tried before and failed for a lot of teams.
"We do need to make sure we limit Sam's opportunities by not giving away silly penalties or by dropping the ball in areas you shouldn't.
"He's going to hurt us. There's no doubt about that, but if you limit what he does, hopefully it won't be as much.
"There are a few things you can do to limit him, but and I'll tell you those after the game."
Whilst admitting the danger posed by Tomkins, Sandercock sees threats throughout the Warriors' side.
"It's ridiculous how many quality players they have at Wigan," he said.
"It's not just their backs either. Gareth Hock is in pretty good form and he leads the competition in off-loads.
"Jeff Lima has won Premierships with Melbourne Storm and I love their hooker Michael McIlorum.
"I think he is a test player of the future for England.
"Our form has been inconsistent compared to Wigan's, but I suppose that's what you get when you don't have a squad of internationals.
"Our job in the coaching staff is to try and make our players more consistent.
"It helps having your best team available but if we can concentrate for the full 80 minutes you never know what might happen. Stranger things have happened."
Wigan vs Rovers preview – Pages 50-51