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SPIRIT OF 55: Wolves tamed by plucky Robins
10:35am Thursday 7th March 2013 in Wolves news
A TAME defeat and a poor performance in the sort of game they ‘should’ be winning are the reports you really don’t want to have to write.
First of all credit should be given to Hull KR.
Two seasons running they have overturned half-time deficits to beat Wire, making it difficult to describe it as a ‘fluke’.
They stayed in the game, never allowing Warrington to have that trademark burst of 15 to 20 minutes of dominance, and when they got close to the line they outperformed Wire at efficiently turning chances into points.
The season is long and it’s highly unlikely that this will be the only defeat Wire will suffer this year.
As always they must ensure they keep learning every week, probably more so from defeats than from victories.
It’s a sign of a defeat when you start noticing who isn’t playing.
It appeared Michael Monaghan’s energy and innovation around the play-the-ball in attack was missed. Maybe Briers would’ve been able to apply more pressure on Hull KR or been able to turn what pressure they did apply into tries, and maybe Adrian Morley wouldn’t have allowed the defensive line speed to drop off from what it is at its best.
Other established first teamers were missing, but there was still more than enough quality out on the park to produce a better performance.
All that quality was rendered insignificant by those two most common negative influences on the scoreboard - penalties and handling errors.
Sometimes, although not to my knowledge on this occasion, coaches, players and pundits will make reference to an ‘uneven penalty count’, with the inference that the referee’s job is to give an equal amount of penalties to each team. Clearly the job is to penalise every offence they see, no matter which team is committing them.
As with the handling errors, penalties result in having to do a lot more defending than you would like.
Away from the glare of the television cameras and a big home crowd, this had a feel of a defeat that the players hope will go relatively unnoticed.
All of them know though that in sport every match matters, pride is always on the line and champions are made when nobody is watching.
They won’t want another performance like that and smashing Saints at home on Friday will be the best way to get over it.