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Hull KR keen on keeping Saints down

Hull Kingston Rovers travel to St Helens for their Super League elimination play-off final having beaten them every time they've met so far this season -- and captain Michael Dobson is adamant they can repeat the trick on Saturday.
Hull KR keen on keeping Saints down
by AAP

By James Martin

LONDON, Sept 11 AFP - Hull Kingston Rovers travel to St Helens for their Super League elimination play-off final having beaten them every time they've met so far this season -- and captain Michael Dobson is adamant they can repeat the trick on Saturday.

Dobson featured in all three victories, two in the Super League and the other in the Challenge Cup fourth round, with the Robins drawn against the Saints after finishing eighth overall in the regular season to their opponents' fifth place in the table.

Rovers, however, enter the winner-takes-all clash -- defeat will mean the end of the losers' title hopes -- having won just one of their last six Super League matches while St Helens are resurgent with six wins out of seven.

But for Dobson, who will return to the NRL and Newcastle Knights next season, Rovers' record over the Saints this season outweighs their recent form.

"We'll be confident. We know if we play our best we will be in with a shout," said the former Canberra Raider.

"We're under no illusion how tough it is going to be at their place," Dobson added. "They have plenty of experience in the play-offs."

Hull FC face Catalan Dragons in the other elimination play-off on Friday, with the winners gaining a preliminary semi-final place.

Meanwhile League Leaders' Shield winners Huddersfield welcome Wigan in their qualifying play-off, a match where the victors go straight through to the semi-finals proper and the losers the preliminary semi-final as a reward for their position in the regular season standings.

Huddersfield have major doubts over back-row forward Ukuma Ta'ai, who suffered a badly split lip early in the second half of their 58-6 defeat by Bradford on the final day of the regular season.

The 26-year-old has been included in Huddersfield's 19-man squad for Thursday's clash but coach Paul Anderson said he was still undecided about whether to play the former New Zealand Warrior.

"Ukuma's got a fair split to his lip and there's no question he could be a doubt for Thursday. It just depends on how things go at hospital with the plastic surgery."

Meanwhile Warrington coach Tony Smith said his side had been buoyed ahead of their qualifying play-off with Leeds by their 14-12 win over Catalan Dragons at the weekend.

"I thought our defence was outstanding," said Smith. "I like that and I especially like that heading into the play-offs and we need to back that up."

Fixtures

Thursday

Qualifying play-off

Huddersfield v Wigan

Winners into semi-final, losers into preliminary semi-final

Friday

Elimination play-off

Hull FC v Catalan Dragons

Winners into preliminary semi-final, losers out

Saturday

Qualifying play-off

Warrington v Leeds

Winners into semi-final, losers into preliminary semi-final

Elimination playoff

St Helens v Hull K R

Winners into preliminary semi-final, losers out





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