Ryan Hall says Hull KR will have to ‘live’ with Tony Smith’s surprise decision.


The England winger, who wants to help the Robins just days after head coach Smith stunned players, club and fans alike by saying he won’t be there in 2023, is aiming to help the Robins achieve a sixth straight win

Ryan Hall of Hull KR
Ryan Hall of Hull KR

Prolific winger Ryan Hall says Hull KR “just have to live with Tony Smith’s shock decision” – and move on.

They host Wakefield on Saturday and are aiming for a sixth straight win. But the Robins are still reeling from head coach Smith’s surprise announcement that he will be leaving at the end of the season. He told unsuspecting players minutes before announcing his decision to the media on Wednesday.

England star Hall, who also worked for Leeds and the national team under Smith, said: “We were a bit shocked but that’s sport, isn’t it? Always expect the unexpected. That’s what happens in sports.

“At the moment things are going well in the team. We have to live with that and continue at the end of the season. But let’s make the best of it while he’s still in charge and get the best out of us while he can.”

Smith has clearly helped change the fortunes of the Robins over the past three years, but hinted at disagreements with Chief Executive Paul Lakin as the reason for his decision.

On the field, they are flying after reaching the Super League semi-finals for the first time last year and meet Huddersfield for a place in the Challenge Cup final in two weeks’ time.

Brad Takairangi is back in KR’s 21-man squad on Saturday for the first time since his 12-month suspended sentence. The 32-year-old ex-New Zealander crashed into a police car while drunk driving the wrong way down a dual carriageway.

When asked about Takairangi’s state of mind, Hall said, “Obviously he has a bit of work to do in his private life and he’s working on it. That has to be respected. You can’t expect him to just drop everything off the field to get his focus back on rugby.

Hull KR’s Brad Takairangi



“So it will be some time before he gets back to what he can do. But it’s good (his return) as he’s one of our foreign players and we think they’re at the better end of our player spectrum. There he has quality. We just have to bring that onto the pitch.”

Whether Takairangi plays on Saturday remains to be seen. But Wakefield, who have lost 124 points in their last three games, are desperate to get back on form. Wakefield were beaten 34-4 at home to Castleford last Thursday before being beaten 54-10 in Wigan on Easter Monday.

Rovers followed up their Good Friday derby win over Hull FC with a hard-fought 28-24 win in Toulouse on Easter Monday. Hall, 34, admitted: “Wakefield has received some poor results, which is dangerous.

“Sometimes you can feel a false sense of security when you’re up against a team that rocks a little bit. Either you take them lightly or we push hard and really get a result like other teams have done.

“We’ve looked at some video footage, but that too can lull you. You can see some visions of what they did in a game and sometimes they just do it habit do that in the game you play them in.

“The gaps against Wigan on Easter Monday just won’t be there. They could have been tricked by their coach Willie Poching. Sometimes it’s really hard to understand what the teams that are struggling are going to do. We can only prepare ourselves optimally and try to assert ourselves against them.”

Meanwhile, Robins captain Shaun Kenny-Dowall and second row Kane Linnett have been included in the opening 29-man squad of Ellery Hanley’s Combined Nations All Stars, set to play England on June 18.

Trinity winger Tom Johnstone – not currently in Shaun Wane’s England plans – is also named along with Wakefield teammates Kelepi Tanginoa, David Fifita and Mason Lino.

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