Super League: Friday’s talking points and team news | Rugby League News



Harry Newman is impressed with the turnaround Rohan Smith has overseen at Leeds

We take a look at what is being said and team news ahead of Friday’s two matches in the Betfred Super League…

Hull Kingston Rovers vs Leeds Rhinos (8pm, live on Sky Sports)

Five wins from their six games since the start of July have suddenly put a different complexion on Leeds’ season as they find themselves in the top six with four games of the regular season to go.

Victory away to Hull KR on Friday evening would put them three points clear of their opponents and give them some more breathing room over Hull FC and Salford Red Devils, both of whom play over the weekend.

Hull KR vs Leeds Rhinos

August 12, 2022, 7:30pm

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Rhinos center Harry Newman puts the turnaround down to the attitude of the squad and the influence of Rohan Smith, who took charge of the club in May when they were placed in the lower reaches of the Super League table.

“The boys have stuck together the whole time,” Newman told Sky Sports’ Rugby League Verdict. “It’s been a tough period and we started the year off really poorly, but there hasn’t been a moment where we’ve doubted ourselves and our ability.

“To come to where we are at this point of the season and be playing as well as we are, that’s a credit to Rohan since he came in.

“He’s changed a lot of the culture, how the boys are around the place, and I think it’s a massive credit to both him, the staff and the group for staying together for such a long time.”

Leeds Rhinos center Harry Newman says the turnaround from the Yorkshire club being at the bottom of the table, and then getting into the top six, is down to the changes head coach Rohan Smith has made.

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Leeds Rhinos center Harry Newman says the turnaround from the Yorkshire club being at the bottom of the table, and then getting into the top six, is down to the changes head coach Rohan Smith has made.

Leeds Rhinos center Harry Newman says the turnaround from the Yorkshire club being at the bottom of the table, and then getting into the top six, is down to the changes head coach Rohan Smith has made.

Smith has only been able to name a 19-man squad for the trip to Sewell Group Craven Park and that situation has not been helped by Aidan Sezer, Rhyse Martin and David Fusitu’a all picking up suspensions from last week’s 34-14 win over Salford Red Devils.

Hull KR are without Korbin Sims due to a suspension too, but welcome back Kane Linnett for the first time since April, along with Ryan Hall and Mikey Lewis returning from injuries too.

And Robins interim head coach Danny McGuire wants to see more of the resolve which got his side through last week’s 22-16 win over Toulouse Olympique when they face his former club, Leeds.

“What I asked [the players] when I was put in charge was to commit to each other,” McGuire said. “They’ve delivered that every training session and every game.”

Highlights of the Betfred Super League clash between Hull KR and Toulouse.

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Highlights of the Betfred Super League clash between Hull KR and Toulouse.

Highlights of the Betfred Super League clash between Hull KR and Toulouse.

Named squads

Hull Kingston Rovers: Ben Crooks, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Ryan Hall, Matt Parcell, George King, Kane Linnett, Matty Storton, Jez Litten, Elliot Minchella, Jimmy Keinhorst, Mikey Lewis, Rowan Milnes, Will Maher, Ethan Ryan, Sam Wood, Greg Richards, Frankie Halton, Will Tate, Phoeni Laulu-Togaga’e, Zach Fishwick, Connor Barley.

Leeds Rhinos: Harry Newman, Liam Sutcliffe, Ash Handley, Blake Austin, Mikolaj Oledzki, James Bentley, Zane Tetevano, Brad Dwyer, Richie Myler, Cameron Smith, Bodene Thompson, Morgan Gannon, Sam Walters, Jarrod O’Connor, Corey Johnson, Muizz Mustapha, Liam Tindall, Jack Sinfield, Zak Hardaker.

Castleford Tigers vs Catalans Dragons (8pm)

Lee Radford believes the frantic end to the Super League season is having an effect on the competition as his Castleford side prepare to face the Catalans.

The 2022 season has been condensed and the Grand Final brought forward to the end of September due to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup being put back to this year.

Highlights of last weeks' Betfred Super League match between St Helens and Castleford Tigers.

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Highlights of last weeks’ Betfred Super League match between St Helens and Castleford Tigers.

Highlights of last weeks’ Betfred Super League match between St Helens and Castleford Tigers.

That, in turn, means the competition’s regular season has featured two double-headers, with one over Easter being followed by Rounds 25 and 26 taking place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, and Cas head coach Radford believes the effects are showing.

“I think we are seeing games now not of the highest quality,” Radford said. “We’ve got another double-header before the end of the season and that’s going to have a massive knock-on effect.

“The coaches don’t produce the fixture list, so that’s something that needs to be looked at. Across the competition it is starting to fracture.”

Unlike some of his fellow coaches in recent weeks, Radford has been able to name a 21-man squad for this match with George Lawler and Daniel Smith returning. However, Liam Watts is suspended from last week’s 20-12 defeat to St Helens and Cheyse Blair is out due to concussion protocols.

Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Wakefield Trinity and Catalans Dragons.

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Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Wakefield Trinity and Catalans Dragons.

Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Wakefield Trinity and Catalans Dragons.

The Dragons have been afflicted by injuries recently but overcame that to beat Castleford’s local rivals Wakefield Trinity 20-16 last week.

Dylan Napa, Joe Chan and Matthieu Laguerre are all back for the visitors this week as they aim to build on last week’s stoic display and make certain of a top-four place heading into the play-offs.

“I think it’s one of the best wins in the history of Catalans Dragons,” McNamara said.

“We had 13 starting players missing and we only finalized the 17 on the Saturday after our travel. We had nobody else to pick.”

Named squads

Castleford Tigers: Derrell Olpherts, Bureta Faraimo, Danny Richardson, Paul McShane, George Lawler, Kenny Edwards, Adam Milner, Joe Westerman, George Griffin, Mahe Fonua, Alex Sutcliffe, Daniel Smith, Greg Eden, Suaia Matagi, Brad Martin, Sam Hall, Sosaia Feki , Gareth O’Brien, Cain Robb, Jason Qareqare, Alex Mellor.

Catalans Dragons: Arthur Mourgue, Tom Davies, Samisoni Langi, Dean Whare, Mitchell Pearce, Josh Drinkwater, Micky McIlorum, Alrix Da Costa, Benjamin Jullien, Paul Seguier, Matthieu Laguerre, Tyrone May, Corentin Le Cam, Dylan Napa, Mathieu Cozza, Cesar Rouge, Romain Franco, Joe Chan, Sam Kasiano, Sam Tomkins.

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