06 October 2023

Willie Peters wants Hull KR to become established top-four Super League club

06 October 2023

The prospect of a historic first Grand Final appearance is not enough for Hull KR head coach Willie Peters as he plots to make the Craven Park club a permanent fixture among the Betfred Super League elite.

Rovers head to League Leaders’ Shield winners Wigan on Saturday standing 80 minutes from their debut in the domestic showpiece after rallying brilliantly from last month’s Challenge Cup final loss to earn a place in the post-season play-offs.

But with the backing of the club’s new ambitious owners, Peters believes his job will be far from finished even if his side manage to upset the odds at the DW Stadium and book their place at Old Trafford next weekend.

“We’re not where we want to be,” admitted Australian Peters, a former Wigan player who has made a huge impression since his arrival in east Hull last year as a then relatively low-key appointment in his first head coaching role.

“We’re in the top four teams this year but we talk about being a top-four club in everything we do, and you can’t just do that for one year, you need to do it year in, year out.

“It’s no fluke that the likes of Wigan and Saints are in the top four all the time. They got their club and their culture right years ago, and they bring in the right players year in, year out.

“We want to be a top-four club too, and we’ve got an excellent opportunity this week. The job’s not done yet, and as much as we’re pleased with what we’ve done so far, I don’t like putting a ceiling on things when you’re still in the competition.”

Rovers’ tumultuous campaign saw them get off to a flying start before being ravaged by injuries, experiencing the full range of Challenge Cup emotions with a golden point semi-final win over Wigan at Headingley followed by their agonising last-gasp Wembley loss to Leigh.

Many believed Rovers’ season to be as good as over after that final disappointment but instead Peters rallied his players for a post-season run that saw them snatch fourth place on the final day of the regular season, then sink the ailing Leopards in the first elimination round.

“Wembley could have changed our season for the worst, but we looked at the areas we needed to work on and we came back to what we do well,” added Peters.

“The players are still fresh and we’ve now got a lot of players who could make the 17. We are still training with the same intensity and momentum and it’s really important at this stage of the season to keep that going.”

Rovers’ injury issues have eased to the point where Sauaso Sue is the only confirmed absentee, and Peters hopes one last push will be enough to ensure veteran centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall can sign off his memorable Craven Park career with a Grand Final appearance.

“Shaun is going to leave a legacy at our club and we are extremely proud of what he’s done for us and will continue to do for us as a coach,” added Peters.

“The fans love him, the players and staff love him, and we’re proud of his achievements but he’s not finished yet.”

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