Opposition Profile: Hull KR

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 07/02/2020 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League - Hull FC v Hull KR - KC Stadium, Kingston upon Hull, England - Hull KR celebrate Ben Crooks's try against Hull FC.

Leeds return to action in the Coral Challenge Cup this Friday at the Totally Wicked Stadium for the first time in 2020 to take on Hull KR, kick off 2:45pm.

This will be the second consecutive year that Tony Smith’s side have reached the last eight while Leeds’ last quarter-final appearance saw the Rhinos defeat Leigh Centurions 52-22 in 2018. Find out more about Hull KR’s Challenge Cup records here:


Overview

Having produced some spirited performances since the restart of the Betfred Super League, notably against Wigan and the Champions St Helens, Hull KR will turn their attention to the Challenge Cup this week, a competition they haven’t won since the 1979-80 season.

Hull KR have made seven appearances in the Final, but have only won the competition once. This week they will be aiming to get passed the quarter final stages for the first time since 2015. Up until last year’s quarter final match up with Warrington, they had fallen at round five and round six three times after the 50-0 defeat to Leeds in 2015.

Hull KR overcame Leigh 22-19 in the fifth round of the Challenge Cup earlier this year.

For this season’s campaign, Rovers entered in round five against Leigh Centurions at Hull College Craven Park. Despite the visitors racing into an early 12-0 lead, Hull KR scored three tries in eight minutes to turn the tables; Kane Linnett (pictured above), Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Will Dagger all crossing the try line. Former Rhino Liam Hood levelled the scores for Leigh before Josh Woods slotted a drop goal that looked to be sending the Centurions through. However Adam Higson’s second yellow card led to the match turning back in favour of the home side, with Nick Rawsthorne taking full advantage, scoring a try on the final play of the game.


Challenge Cup Quarter Final Form

This Saturday’s match will be the seventh time that Rovers have reached the quarter final stage of the Challenge Cup in the last 20 years.

In 2015 they faced Catalans Dragons on home turf and despite a strong start, which saw the Robins lead 26-4 at half time, Chris Chester’s side had to survive comeback from the French outfit to set up a semi final clash with Warrington Wolves; Ken Sio’s second try of the match securing a 32-26 result.

Hull KR’s 2009 Challenge Cup Quarter Final against Warrington proved eventful. Finishing 24 all, the match went to Golden Point with Warrington, who would lift the cup, going through.

In 2009, golden point extra time was required in the Robins’ last eight match up with Warrington Wolves. The match went down to the wire as tries for Kris Welham, Ben Galea, Clint Newton and Jake Webster were met by Warrington’s Vinnie Anderson, Chris Bridge, Jon Clarke and Matt King. Michael Dobson’s late penalty goal sent the game into overtime before Lee Briers kicked a successful drop goal on his third attempt to send the eventual Cup winners through.

Previous Challenge Cup Quarter Final Matches

2019: Lost 28-22 vs Warrington Wolves

2015: Won 32-26 vs Catalans Dragons

2011: Lost 54-6 vs St Helens

2009: Lost 25-24 vs Warrington Wolves (aet)

2008: Lost 24-28 vs St Helens

2006: Won 40-36 vs Warrington Wolves

1998: Lost 46-18 vs London Broncos


Challenge Cup Record against the Rhinos

In history, Leeds have met Hull KR 12 times in the Challenge Cup. Leeds have won seven of them, including three at home. The Rhinos’ 2015 Challenge Cup Final win is the most recent meeting.

The two clubs had met previously in round five of the 2002 competition. Leeds were once again too good for Rovers, winning 44-04 thanks to tries from Marcus St Hilaire, Ryan Sheridan, Kevin Sinfield, Rob Burrow and two a piece for Chev Walker and Keith Senior.

Hull KR’s last Challenge Cup win against the Rhinos came in 1986 when the tie went to a replay. 24,000 fans packed in to see the two sides draw the first match 24 all before Rovers took the win, nilling Leeds at Elland Road 17-0 result.


Key Players

MITCH GARBUTT

Position: Prop

Started the 2015 Challenge Cup final win over Hull KR

2020 Overall Appearances: 5

Departs Hull KR for Toulouse in 2021

Bio: Garbutt is one of six players in the KR team that could play their former side this weekend. The prop made his first appearance in a final with Leeds in 2015 against his current club and it remains his sole Challenge Cup honour. His experiences of the competition during his time at the Rhinos will be important if Rovers are to go a step further in 2020.

GREG MINIKIN

Position: Wing

Has only ever reached the Quarter Final stage of the Challenge Cup (2016 and 2017 with Castleford Tigers)

2020 Overall Tries: 6

England Knights representative in 2019

Bio: Winger Minikin will be hoping that he can play in his first Challenge Cup semi final should Hull KR win on Friday night. The winger has only ever reached this stage of the competition whilst at Castleford Tigers and York City Knights and will be a key player for them on the edge.