Hull KR Emerges as Dominant Force in Rugby League News

The Tide Turns in Hull as KR Emerge as Dominant Force

The landscape of rugby league in Hull has shifted, with Hull KR now establishing themselves as the dominant force relative to their crosstown rivals, Hull FC. This resurgence can be largely attributed to the tenure of former Black and Whites coach Tony Smith, who has now revealed the secret behind one of the Robins’ star signings.

Smith, who coached Hull KR from 2019 to the middle of the 2022 season, guided the club to their first-ever Super League playoff semi-final, kickstarting a string of impressive runs. While his time at Craven Park may have ended, the foundations laid during his tenure have proven pivotal, including the arrival of NRL standout Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

The former Kiwi international joined Hull KR in 2020 and has since made 93 appearances for the club, while also taking on a role in developing the team’s young talents. Reflecting on the acquisition, Smith has now disclosed that KR managed to secure Kenny-Dowall’s services “on the cheap.

“I was fortunate enough at my previous club before this one, at Hull KR, to get Shaun Kenny Dowall over,” Smith stated during Sky Sports’ preview of the Hull FC versus Leeds Rhinos clash. “They turned a corner on that and made it much more attractive, much more attractive and you start to develop a culture, and he was a big part of that. And he didn’t come for big money, he came at the end of his career, NRL career, to come over here to make a difference and to leave a legacy, he bought into that.”

Smith’s comments echo the sentiments of Wigan head coach Matt Peet, who has referred to Kenny-Dowall as one of the best-ever overseas signings in Super League, noting the significant impact he has had on the competition.

As Hull KR continue to thrive, the pressure mounts on their crosstown rivals, Hull FC, to turn their fortunes around. Smith believes that securing elite-level talent, much like the Robins did with Kenny-Dowall, could be the key to unlocking success for the Black and Whites.

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