Motivated Rovers may not let Giants walk all over them
Huddersfield look on short side to back up win at Widnes
Betfred Super League
Sky Arena, 7.45pm Thursday
After a season in exile, Hull KR returned to the Betfred Super League full of optimism in February but already Rovers are facing a huge uphill battle to avoid a bottom-four finish.
Tim Sheens's side have won just one of their opening five fixtures – a home victory over fellow strugglers Catalans – and when the Dragons reversed that form in the south of France last weekend it left the Robins level on points with Steve McNamara's men and Salford at the foot of the table.
Three of KR's five games have been against their fellow cellar-dwellers so the road ahead looks tough, starting with a trip to Huddersfield.
Rovers are 7-2 to pick up a crucial victory at the John Smith's Stadium with the hosts 1-4 to back up last weekend's win at Widnes with another success.
Coach Rick Stone has made just one change from last week with Jordan Turner replacing Michael Lawrence.
James Donaldson is set to return for KR in place of Danny Tickle but the visitors will still be without hooker Shaun Lunt, who is likely to be sidelined for at least a month with a lacerated knee.
The Giants are asked to concede a handicap start of between 12 and 14 points and Rovers look worth backing in receipt of that hefty buffer.
The Robins were hammered 36-12 at Salford but have been competitive in their other two away trips, losing 20-11 at champions Leeds and 18-16 last weekend in France when KR led twice before eventually losing to a disputed late penalty goal.
Sheens may use the sense of injustice to motivate his troops but, whatever the pre-match team talk, Rovers should be able to at least make Huddersfield scrap for the win, especially with rain forecast for much of the day.
KR's neighbours Hull sold prop Liam Watts to Castleford on Wednesday. Watts will have to wait to make his Tigers debut as he still has two games of a three-match ban to serve after his recent sending-off against Warrington.
Hull KR +14
2pts 10-11 Betway
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