We must be at best to win at St Helens, says Hull KR coach Craig Sandercock
HULL KR coach Craig Sandercock is confident his side can "sneak" a win at St Helens tonight – but only if they produce a near perfect performance.
The Red and Whites will go in search of a victory which would see them leapfrog Hull FC and possibly end the night in Super League's top six.
But given Saints' undoubted ability with the ball, Sandercock is expecting a tough test for his men – and admits he can only hope for a closely-fought win at best.
He told the Mail: "Hopefully, it will be a close game. If we get away with a win it will be close, there is no doubt about that.
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"They don't get much tougher than Saints. Someone told me that of their 13 starting players last weekend they had 10 internationals from England, Australia or New Zealand. That is a statistic which is almost unheard of to me.
"We need to stay in a position where we have half a chance to be able to sneak a win at the back end of the game.
"That means we need to be at our very best and compete for the whole 80 minutes.
"We can't give away silly penalties. We must complete our sets and do all the little things we need to, otherwise they have the ability to put some serious points on us."
Saints have been far from invincible this season, but have still scored more than 30 points in 10 league games.
With that in mind, Sandercock knows his side's defence will be key and having shared 72 points in a 36-36 thrilling draw at MS3 Craven Park in February, he is hopeful of a very different contest tonight.
"From our point of view, we gave away a lot of tries that day and that's something we don't want to happen again," he said.
"We have seen a big step up in defence in recent weeks and it needs to continue because St Helens are a very good side. We need to keep that momentum going and that improvement going.
"I am on record as saying that when you change defensive systems and structures from scratch, it takes time. You don't get instant results when you introduce new rules and philosophies. It just takes a bit of time and the boys are slowly getting there now.
"Confidence is sky high, the camaraderie, spirit and belief is pretty good and although there was a little setback on Friday night, we are hoping that is all it is. We will aim to keep building that momentum."
MICHAEL Dobson and Ben Galea have been handed their first Exiles call-ups after being named in a 25-man provisional squad to face England at Huddersfield on Wednesday. They are joined in the squad by Robins team-mate Jake Webster and Hull's Willie Manu.