Stats Pack: Hull KR
Rhinos v Hull KR. Thurs 24th Sept. © MATTHEW MERRICK PHOTOGRAPHY
It’s a mid table clash tonight as Leeds Rhinos travel to take on Hull Kingston Rovers at Hull College Craven Park, kick off 7:45pm.
The two sides are sat level on points after the opening three rounds of the Betfred Super League season so before the teams run out, here are some of the key stats, figures and facts about both Richard Agar and Tony Smith’s sides.
Team Head to Head
The Rhinos have won this Super League fixture 21 times since Hull KR entered the competition in 2007. The Rhinos have an impressive away record against KR and have come out on top at Hull College Craven Park on 10 out of fourteen occasions, compared to Rovers’ four wins.
In last week’s headline clash with Wigan, the Rhinos were held to only six points but the game was an entertaining close clash, with Mikolaj Oledzki, Tom Briscoe and Jack Broadbent making notable contributions. Briscoe had his best game of the season so far, making the most metres out of any Rhinos player (159) and also made a break that could have seen a try for either himself or Leeming in the first half. Jack Broadbent who continued his impressive start the season with 20 carries against the Warriors.
Hull KR only won their first game of the season last week against Huddersfield Giants but already Tony Smith’s side have looked confident when coming from behind, like against Catalans Dragons in round one, or starting strongly, like last week against the Giants. The outside backs have been key to Rovers’ success; captain Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Ryan Hall leading the club in carries and metres. Hookers Matt Parcell and Jez Litten, who signed a new three year contract on Wednesday, have also been impressive, making 22 and 10 dummy half runs so far this season. Former Leeds player Parcell is also among the top metre makers for Rovers with 278.
Key Head to Head
An interesting head to head could come between one of the game’s upcoming young talents and an experienced NRL and international forward.
Cook Islands and New Zealand international Brad Takairangi is set to make his Hull KR debut against the Rhinos tonight, having suffered an injury during a pre season friendly. Takairangi is one of four former NRL players to arrive at Hull College Craven Park in the off season, joining Albert Vete, Ryan Hall and Korbin Sims and will be utilised in the second rows (he can also play centre). He has had plenty of experience in the NRL competition, playing for Sydney Roosters, Gold Coast Titans and Paramatta Eels, helping the latter to the Finals last year.
Facing off against him could be Leeds’ Alex Sutcliffe, who has been one of the youngsters currently impressing in the League. In his fifth year with the first team, last year’s YEP Shooting Star has played in every game so far in 2021 and has made 268 metres off 34 carries. Among Rhinos fans though, his tackling has earned praise, including one in round two against Castleford that won the ‘Indigo Fitness Hit of the Week’.
One to Watch: Hull KR
As highlighted in the Opposition Overview, Hull KR captain and centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall is going to be one to watch in Tony Smith’s side tonight. Now in his second year at the club, Kenny-Dowall is leading from the front on the numbers front, ranking among the top three Hull KR players in metres and carries; seconded only to wing partner Ryan Hall. He is also leading the League in offloads with 12, seven of which came against St Helens in round two. It will be the job of the returning Konrad Hurrell, youngster Jack Broadbent and winger Tom Briscoe, who had an impressive game against Wigan last week, to try and contain the New Zealand international.
One to Watch: Leeds Rhinos
After an epic performance last week against Wigan, prop Mikolaj Oledzki is set for another big week against Rovers. Oledzki produced his best statistics of the season in the defeat to the Warriors, playing the full eighty minutes, making 156 metres off of 20 carries (averaging 8 metres gained too), and also put in work in defence, making 44 tackles. It is the second week running that Leeds’ forward pack have impressed following their Challenge Cup clash with St Helens and Oledzki will be once again at the forefront of stopping the likes of Albert Vete, Matthew Storton and George King.
Returning to the 21-man squad on Wednesday, Richie Myler is in line to make his 250th Super League appearance. The half back/full back made most of his Super League appearances while at Warrington, while also playing 40 games for Catalans and 18 for Salford Red Devils. It will be his 61st Super League game for the Rhinos.
Winger Hall would celebrate a Super League milestone should he score against his former club tonight. He is currently one try away from reaching 200 tries in the competition, scoring 196 for Leeds and three for Hull KR, which would move him into second place in the all time Super League try scorers. He is currently tied with Keith Senior, his former centre partner at the Rhinos, and St Helens full back Paul Wellens on 199.