Tough start for Peters as he faces a visit from Wigan Warriors

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It’s straight into the fire for Willie Peters as he faces a visit from Wigan Warriors in his first competitive match as head coach of Hull KR.

The game is a repeat of round one last season when Wigan ran out comfortable 24-10 winners. The teams met twice more with Wigan winning 46-4 at home before Hull KR exacted revenge a month later at Craven Park, winning 38-28.

The two sides had contrasting 2022 seasons, with Wigan finishing second in Super League and winning the Challenge Cup while Hull KR finished outside the playoffs in eighth place, one place and two points above cross city rivals Hull FC.

Both Hull KR and Wigan have been able to name a close to full strength squad for the season opener. 

The Robins have included six of their seven new signings within their 21 man squad. Most notably their NRL recruits Rhys Kennedy, Tom Opacic and Sauaso Sue who all could make their debut for their new club. 

Wigan had a comparatively quieter pre-season, making just three signings. New boys Jake Wardle and Toby King look set to line up in a brand new centre partnership for the Warriors while Matt Peet confirmed in his pre match press conference that Ryan Hampshire is still recovering from a long term injury sustained last season.

Willie Peters and Matt Peet will be feeling confident heading into Saturday’s clash as both their sides had a successful end to their pre-season campaign. Hull KR dispatched last season’s Grand Final runners up Leed Rhinos 26-4 and Wigan were equally impressive emerging victorious 32-4 over Salford Red Devils. 

In his pre match press conference Willie Peters praised his side for their effort in defence against the Rhinos and said that this will again be a key focus against a dangerous Wigan Warriors side.

Looking ahead to the game on Saturday, the battle between the two forward packs is likely where the game will be won and lost. Both teams have a set of strong, mobile forwards that are able to get their team rolling down the field and we saw during Thursday night’s season opener that it is hard for the opposition to wrestle back momentum once a team gets on top.

 

Although Hull KR have strengthened in the off season, it is hard to see anything other than a repeat of last year with Wigan Warriors winning in round one. The Warriors have a strong core of quality operators with Jai Field and Bevan French being two of the most exciting players in the competition.

Furthermore Harry Smith is coming off the back of a career best year and will be boosted by inheriting the number seven shirt worn by Tommy Leuluai for so long.

If Hull KR are to spring an upset they will have to harness the power of the home crowd who have already sold out the North and West stand.

21 man squads:

Hull KR: Lachlan Coote, Ethan Ryan, Tom Opacic, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Ryan Hall, Jordan Abdull, Sauaso Sue, Matt Parcell, George King, Frankie Halton, Kane Linnett, Elliot Minchella, Jez Litten, Rhys Kennedy, James Batchelor, Matty Storton, Will Dagger, Mikey Lewis, Dean Hadley, Louis Senior, Sam Luckley.

Wigan Warriors: Jai Field, Bevan French, Toby King, Jake Wardle, Liam Marshall, Cade Cust, Harry Smith, Brad Singleton, Sam Powell, Liam Byrne, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, Morgan Smithies, Mike Cooper, Kaide Ellis, Ethan Havard, Kai Pearce-Paul, Joe Shorrocks, Patrick Mago, Brad O’Neill, Abbas Miski.

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