Chester hails team effort

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Published: Saturday 20th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Hull KR coach Chris Chester was delighted his players were able to demonstrate they are not a one-man team as they shrugged off the absence of injured captain Terry Campese to hammer Warrington 36-10.

Campese will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament but Maurice Blair once more stepped in to partner Albert Kelly at half-back and they orchestrated a six-try show that keeps alive Rovers’ top-eight hopes.

“It proves we’re not a one-man team,” Chester said. “‘Bobbie’ Blair is a very good half-back and kicks the ball well. He played a lot with Albert Kelly at the Gold Coast and they really shone tonight but the pack got us on the front foot.

“We spoke before the game about having to defend our line very hard and I thought physically we were very good. We fronted up against a very good Warrington side. We got in their faces and that put us on the front foot.”

Warrington made the livelier start and opened the scoring through prop Chris Hill but Rovers struck with two tries in the last five minutes of the first half through wingers Ken Sio and Josh Mantellato to put them in the ascendancy.

Kieran Dixon, revelling in the full-back role, and Liam Salter added further tries in the third quarter and acting captain Tyrone McCarthy and Kris Welham touched down in the final quarter as they home side finished in total control.

“We are kind of peaking at the right, time,” said Chester, who had set a target of four wins from the last six matches of the regular season to reach the top eight.

“Winning becomes a habit and you could see tonight there is a lot of confidence in the players. They are starting to believe, there are a lot of smiles on faces.”

Regular full-back Ben Cockayne, who was rested for Friday’s match, will be back in contention for Thursday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final against Catalans Dragons when Chester expects to also have forwards Dane Tilse, Greg Burke and Shaun Lunt back from injury.

“There’s going to be some tough calls,” Chester said.

Warrington went into the game without scrum-half Richie Myler after his wife, television presenter Helen Skelton, gave birth to their first son, but coach Tony Smith refused to use it as an excuse for a third defeat in four games.

“There are no excuses, we weren’t firing on all cylinders,” Smith said.

“I thought we were okay in the first half. Our defensive efforts were good but our attack lacked some punch, apart from the lovely play by our front-rowers for the try.

“I don’t think we asked enough questions of our opponents in the first half and that hurt us.

“It was a poor 10 minutes at the start of the second half and it put us on the back foot against a spirited side who are full of confidence at the moment.

“Our contact wasn’t great so we need to work on that and, once we do, we will come out the other side.”

The Wolves lost centre Toby King with an ankle injury but Smith says second-rower Ben Currie and half-back Gareth O’Brien will be back in contention, along with Myler, for Saturday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final against Leigh.

Published: Saturday 20th June 2015 by The News Editor

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