Rugby League - Sandercock: We've got it tough

Hull KR coach Craig Sandercock feels his side have been dealt a tough hand in their quest to close out a Super League play-off place.

PA Sport
Rugby League - Sandercock: We've got it tough
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Hull will play just three matches at MS3 Craven Park in the closing three months of the campaign

Rovers look well placed to secure a top-eight spot with a five-point cushion over ninth-placed Wakefield with five regular-season games remaining.

But Sandercock is taking nothing for granted with a lengthy injury list to contend with and some uncomfortable games, starting with a trip to competition favourites Wigan on Friday night.

Sandercock has also pointed out his side's fixture list is lopsided, with just three matches at MS3 Craven Park in the closing three months of the campaign, but he is determined to brush that aside.

The Australian said: "The RFL in their wisdom have allocated us only three home games out of our last nine. No other team in Super League deals with that but that is the way it is and we will just deal with that the best way we can.

"We just need to turn up the best we can and cross our fingers that in the next few weeks we get a few players back.

"We can't go on missing six players and remain a force.

"Our first job is to get our injured boys back as soon as possible and try to get some sort of semblance of a full-strength side on the field."

Rovers are missing the likes of Cory Paterson, Graeme Horne, Alex Brown, George Griffin, Kris Welham and Ryan O'Hara for the trip to the DW Stadium.

They were beaten 34-6 by Warrington on their last outing while their two previous clashes with Wigan this season - 84-6 and 46-14 hammerings - also do not bode well.

But Sandercock said: "It doesn't get any bigger - Friday night against the best side in Super League. We just need to be at the top of our game. It is very important not to invite them down our end."

Wigan enter the game in good heart after securing a place in the Challenge Cup final with a 70-0 thrashing of London Broncos last weekend.

Now their priority is regaining - and keeping - the top spot they surrendered to Huddersfield after losing to rivals St Helens in their last Super League game.

Coach Shaun Wane said: "We have Huddersfield in a couple of weeks but the first and most important is Hull KR. All I am thinking about is Friday night and I want us to be at our best."

Wigan's Challenge Cup final opponents Hull are also in action as they host Widnes at the KC Stadium.

The Airlie Birds will hope their cup run will reinvigorate their league form after a run of five successive defeats that has put their top-eight place in jeopardy.

Half-back Jacob Miller said: "It's definitely started to sink in that we've reached the final but we've got to get our season back on track in the regular comp and we're looking forward to doing that."

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