Rovers coach looking to tighten defence

Rovers coach Andy Hay. Picture: Bob Nunn.
Rovers coach Andy Hay. Picture: Bob Nunn.

Coach Andy Hay is looking for an improved defensive display in Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship game at Rochdale Hornets.

Rovers bounced back from a surprise defeat at Workington by trouncing North Wales Crusaders 56-18 last weekend.

“We can score tries, we know that, but I’d like our defence to be better. We’ll be doing a lot of work on that this week,” said Hay.

“We underperformed at Workington and we needed to pick our game up last Sunday and I thought we did.

“We were under a lot of pressure from the loss the previous week and, with everything happening overnight at boardroom level, I thought we came through it quite well on Sunday. We scored some good tries. Our defence wasn’t at its best but the attack was pretty good. It was a good game for us to take some confidence and play some football.”

Hay is wary of lowly Rochdale who have twice lost narrowly to unbeaten leaders Leigh but were thumped 48-6 at Keighley last weekend.

“Rochdale have been up and down. They were beaten at Keighley at the weekend but they’ve run Leigh close a couple of times,” he said.

“They have a dual registration arrangement with St Helens so I’m not sure who we’ll have to face.”

The Rovers coach hopes to have Jarrod Sammut, Danny Bridge and Chris Green available for this weekend’s game.

Sammut is on dual regstration from Wakefield while Bridge and Green have been on loan from Warrington and Hull FC respectively.

Hay said: “It was the end of the current loan deals for Chris Green and Danny Bridge on Sunday. The 28 days was up for both of them. I’ve spoken to both the coaches at the two clubs and and Mark (Campbell) has spoken to the people who deal with the finances.

“If we keep them, I think it will be on a week-to-week basis, with the parent club able to call them back if they need them. I am assured by both clubs we can keep them. It just depends on whether we can broker a deal with both clubs.

“Sammut can play for us if Wakefield don’t need him and I think he’ll probably be available for us again this week. I’ll be speaking to James Webster (Wildcats coach) to find out.

“Sammut is a quality player and he’s good to have around the team. He trains really hard and he wants to win and just play the game and those are the players you want in your team. He will be an asset to us if we can get him week in, week out.”

Hay hopes to have Andy Bostock and Etu Uaisele back from injury this weekend but he will again be without Matty Dale and Jamie Cording.

“Hopefully we’ll have Andy Bostock back,” he said.

“Etu trained last week and again on Monday when he was pushed very hard so he is likely to be fully fit.

“Gareth Moore was 18th man last weekend so he’s fit and ready for selection.

“Matty Dale is likely to be another week and Jamie Cording is a little more long term than that.”

Featherstone’s Ben Hellewell has joined Dewsbury on a month’s loan.

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