Paul Cooke: Blame Hull KR's players, not Craig Sandercock
HULL KR's players have to look themselves firmly in the mirror at present and start being accountable for their poor errors which are letting their coach Craig Sandercock down badly.
Some of the things we are seeing from the Robins' players are absolutely inexcusable – and it is unfair to point the blame at the coach.
Rustiness can't be used as an excuse, we are heading into round five of the season this weekend.
Players must be able to look their under-pressure coach in the eye after the game knowing they've performed to the maximum of their ability.
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I'm afraid very few can say this in the Red and White dressing rooms.
Last week at Salford, there were some very clear examples of the players letting their coach down.
Firstly, I'll use the big second rower Con Mika as a prime example.
In round one against Catalan, he drops a ball under no pressure on his own 20-metre line and Jamal Fakir picks it up and puts the game to bed as a contest.
Then, in round four at Salford, he makes the same basic error whilst not concentrating on a pass from skipper Michael Dobson just inside the Salford half.
This is a prime example of why Sandercock needs his experienced players to be accountable.
As a coach, he doesn't have the option of not playing him the following week, his squad is not strong enough to take such strong action.
Does anybody think that if Mika was at Hull FC, he would hold on to his place again this week after making glaring errors at such crucial times? I don't think so.
I'm by no means singling out Mika. Individual errors from Greg Eden, who mixes brilliance with down right stupidity at times, have also been costly, as has ill-discipline from the same players each week.
Another example of poor play was Omari Caro's failure to convert a great position into four points which would have levelled the game again in the dying stages, with a conversion to come to win.
He took a wonderful cut-out pass from skipper Dobson to be left with a one-on-one, just a metre from the try-line, with Jack Murphy, who must only just be 10 stones when wet through.
Instead of focusing solely on scoring, as any winger should, Caro stuttered and was picked up and thrown over the sideline.
Now, Sandercock can't coach bravery in this instance. He cannot run out on the field and score this try for Caro.
I've played with wingers who would have broken both of Murphy's legs, and risked injury to their own pretty face, just to score a try like this in training, let alone in a Super League fixture to save their side.
When I was at Hull, Gareth Raynor trained for such situations, practicing the exact same scenario. I'd certainly have backed him to finish that off.
The coach cannot coach desire, attitude and mental strength, so the players must come out fighting and show their worth.