Points For: 650
Points Against: 516
Home Record: W9 L4
Away Record (including Magic weekend): W8 L5 D1
Longest Winning Streak: 5 (x2)
Longest Losing Streak: 3
Top Points Scorer: Michael Dobson (246)
Top Try Scorer: Peter Fox (18)
Top Tackler: Scott Murrell (875)
Hull KR’s season ended in disappointment as they lost at home to Wigan in a pulsating playoff match in which they almost pulled off a miracle comeback. It was a bitter end to what should be seen as a very good season for the Robins as they emerged as a Super League powerhouse. After an offseason of relative calm, Justin Morgan managed to manouvre this squad into a top contender. However, a lack of experience at the top-end of Super League showed in both the League and the Cup, runs in both of which ended at Craven Park. Still, it was a very solid effort for KR, who can now justifiably claim to be top dog on Humberside.
It seems that Hull KR’s problem may have been shooting their wad too early. All of their most dominant wins were in the first third of the season. Although they were able to win throughout the rest of the season, they weren’t able to do so in such a dominant manner. It also didn’t help that they appeared to save their worst form for their last three games. It’s unfortunate that KR seemed to lose their two biggest home games of the season in differing forms or excruciating circumstances (the Golden Point cup loss to Warrington, and the playoff loss to Wigan) because the atmosphere at both those games was immense.
Still, there were many success stories throughout the year. Clint Newton and Ben Galea have proven to be two of the more successful imports of recent years. The Robins also have begun providing England with decent players, with Shaun Briscoe and Peter Fox in the train-on squad and I suspect Briscoe will be the starting FB in the Four Nations. Kris Welham also had a breakout year, and given the paucity of English centres I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets rep honours in the next few years.
For next year, Hull KR need to find an injection of raw pace. They seem to lack a threat from deep and not having to worry about long-range efforts can make defending against a side easier. Also, they could probably do with a front-line prop, and there will be space for one with Nick Fozzard leaving. Given that Hull KR have improved year on year since their promotion to Super League, and given that they finished in the top four this season, the bar has been raised pretty high for next season and you would have to think that they have to be (realistically) aiming for a trophy. Let’s face it: it’s not outside the realm of possibility.