Friday, 29 June 2007

Quins return to The Stoop

Quins RL return to The Stoop tomorrow for the first time in almost a month, to play Hull KR. In between the last home game the side suffered defeats away at Wigan in the Challenge Cup and Salford away in Super League, but fullback Chris Melling and centre Paul Sykes both made promising debuts in the mid-season Great Britain test match against France last Friday in Leeds.

Opponents Hull KR are experiencing a tough time at the moment, after some good early season results they are finding their first season in Super League a big challenge and are only one point above bottom club Salford. By comparison Quins have maintained a place in the top six in recent weeks and a home win would retain that position.

Despite the arrival of highly rated standoff or loose forward Paul Cooke from cross city rivals Hull FC the Robins have struggled in recent fixtures losing their last three league games, including a 40 – 0 blow out against champions St Helens in the last round. However, there is a danger that the Hull KR pack which features experienced forwards such as Michael Vella, Danny Ward and Mark O’Neill, may outmuscle an under-strength Quins pack.

Quins will be without GB debutant Melling, who picked up a groin strain last weekend, whilst in the halves Danny Orr is also injured; this may see Jon Wells moved to fullback where he’s played competently in the past, with Mark McLinden partnering Scott Hill in the halves. Up front Quins are looking most threadbare, prop David Mills is out with a reported hand injury joining long-term absentee Daniel Heckenberg, but youngster Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook is back after a spell on the treatment table. At the back of the pack influential captain Rob Purdham will miss the rest of the season, but the return of hardworking back-rower Henry Paul should mitigate some of the loss.

Despite the far from ideal situation on the injury front, and forecasted rain which may suit a forward based game, coach Brian McDermott will be quietly confident of a home win. Tickets can still be purchased online or over the phone for collection tomorrow, but fans travelling to the game by car should be aware that the Rosebine car park will be close due to an event at the international stadium.

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