Hull KR fixtures a 'disgrace' - Craig Sandercock
HULL KR coach Craig Sandercock has labelled a fixture schedule which sees his side play three times in eight days 'an absolute disgrace'.
The Red and Whites face Castleford Tigers at MS3 Craven Park in the only – and final – Super League fixture of round eight this Sunday evening.
All other clubs have the benefit of playing either tonight or tomorrow, before entering the busy Easter period.
Although some sides also play next Thursday – a day earlier than Rovers' derby at Hull – they will be afforded an extra day recovery ahead of Easter Monday's full fixture list, when the Robins host Wigan.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
It is a situation which has left Sandercock furious, and he says he fears for his squad's health come the end of such a hectic period.
"I think it's an absolute disgrace and it borders on farcical. Ourselves and Castleford are the only Super League sides that play on Sunday, and a kick-off of 6.15pm at that," said Sandercock when asked about the fixture pile-up.
"We then have to back up on the Friday and then the following Monday. Three games in eight days is a disgrace."
Sandercock says Rovers have made representations to the RFL about the scheduling working against them in a key period of the season.
However, he says they have 'fallen on deaf ears', and claims the planning of the fixtures, which are made to meet the demands of Sky TV, contradict recent moves to protect the health of players.
"They talk about player welfare and they ban the shoulder charge, but yet they are quite happy for teams to play three games in eight days. That is ludicrous," he added.
"Originally we were scheduled for Friday, and we looked at that and we said that was okay. Then they change it to Sunday evening. It's a disgrace."
Sandercock is already facing difficulties with a small squad at the Robins and just last week he admitted he had risked players who were not fit for the clash at Bradford, with his side crashing to a 34-12 defeat.
Matters have worsened this week, with captain Michael Dobson and stand-off Travis Burns both looking set to miss the clash with the Tigers.
Dobson suffered a hamstring strain at the Bulls, whilst Burns damaged his back.
Sandercock says both men are keen to play, but with the fixtures piling up ahead, the coach says he would 'err on the side that they probably wouldn't be playing.'
"We have to really plan carefully on our rehab and what we do after each game," Sandercock said in reference to managing his players through the schedule ahead.
"Our medical staff and trainers are going to be working overtime trying to make sure we can present 17 players for each of those three games."