23 Sep 2021

Play-off preview | Wolves v Robins

Warrington Wolves and Hull KR go head-to-head in the second Play-off eliminator this Friday live on Sky Sports Arena!

Team news

Steve Price has included Daryl Clark, Danny Walker and Toby King in his Warrington 21-man squad ahead of Thursday's clash against the Robins.

Prop Mike Cooper misses out for the Wolves as he serves a one-match suspension picked up during last weeks win against Castleford.

The Robins have been dealt a huge blow heading into their Play-Off eliminator on Friday Night - in form hooker Matt Parcell misses out after sustaining a pectoral injury against Leeds last week. Hull KR are still without the likes of Ryan Hall and Greg Minikin through injury.

George Lawler makes a welcome return to the Robins 21-man squad - the forward has recovered from a dislocating thumb that has kept him out since Round 22.

Warrington Wolves: Sitaleki Akauloa, Matty Ashton, Blake Austin, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Jason Clark, Ben Currie, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Toby King, Tom Lineham, Ellis Longstaff, Jake Mamo, Robbie Mulhern, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Josh Thewlis, Danny Walker, Gareth Widdop, George Williams, Connor Wrench.

Hull KR: Ben Crooks, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Jordan Abdull, Albert Vete, Korbin Sims, Brad Takairangi, Kane Linnett, Jez Litten, George Lawler, George King, Matty Storton, Will Dagger, Mikey Lewis, Joe Keyes, Rowan Milnes, Will Maher, Luis Johnson, Muizz Mustapha, Will Tate, Tom Whur, Jimmy Keinhorst.

Head-to-head

Last ten meetings

Wolves 50 - 26 Robins (SLR5, 1/5/21)
Wolves 40 - 10 Robins (SLR8, 8/8/20)
(at Emerald Headingley, Leeds)
Robins 16 – 14 Wolves (SLR18, 15/6/19)
Robins 22 – 28 Wolves (CCQF, 31/5/19)
Robins 6 - 54 Wolves (SLR12, 22/4/19)
Wolves 28 - 14 Robins (SLR2, 9/2/19)
Robins 20 – 34 Wolves (SLR22, 20/7/18)
Wolves 40 – 26 Robins (SLR11, 14/4/18)
Wolves 46 – 24 Robins (S8Q-R7, 23/9/17)
Robins 16 – 16 Wolves (SLR20, 1/7/16)

Super League summary

Warrington have won 19

Hull KR have won 9

1 draw

This is their first time meeting in the Super League Play-Offs. 

Ones to watch

Chris Hill 

After Mike Cooper copped a one match ban following a red card against Cas last week, front row partner Chris Hill will be tasked with leading his pack against an unpredictable Robins side. The departing front rower has hit form reminiscent of the performances that earned him club and international honours over the past 10 years, and he will be desperate to end his time at the Wolves by winning an elusive Grand Final ring.

Hill has run for well over 100 metres a game in 2021 and tops the tackle efficiency charts for the Wolves. He has made 601 tackles during his 20 league appearances and missed just 17. His experience and reliability will be critical for the Wolves during this Play-off’s series, as he looks to guide his team to a fifth Grand Final appearance. 

George Williams 

There was huge pressure on George Williams shoulders following his arrival at the Halliwell Jones mid way through the year – but so far, he has revelled in it. He kicked the winning drop goal against Leeds Rhinos on his Warrington debut and again away at Salford in Round 24. Williams also crossed for a crucial try against former club Wigan at Dacia Magic Weekend – and boy did he enjoy it! Pressure… What pressure?

Williams is one of a few Wolves players who has tasted Grand Final success. If it’s finally going to be Warrington’s year in 2021, he will have a big part to play. His partnership with Gareth Widdop is slowly building momentum and the Wolves have already beaten all top six teams in either league or cup competitions this year – they have everything in place and more to go all the way this season.

Mikey Lewis

The loss of Matt Parcell will put a dent in the Robins attack. Parcell has been electric from dummy half and a significant threat going forward. His absence will put more responsibility on the young shoulders of Mikey Lewis. Lewis is very much an off-the-cuff type player. He plays what’s in front of him and comes up with moments of individual brilliance that could be key to a Robins victory on Friday Night.

Lewis has try contributions in his last 4 matches and has only failed to contribute by either scoring or assisting a try in 2 of his 10 games this year. He’s very much of the same ilk as Matt Parcell – both are quick off the mark and take advantage of gaps in a defensive line – albeit from different positions. He averages a line break a game and will look to keep that going on Friday. The Wolves have shown a lot of grit this season which could make it difficult for the Robins to go set to set with them, re-emphasising the importance of a maverick like Lewis turning up and being a thorn in the Warrington side. 

Shaun Kenny-Dowall 

An ever-present in 2021, the Hull KR skipper has been a constant figure and a reassuring presence in a Robins side littered with both experienced and young talent. And they don’t get much more experienced than SKD. He has won NRL Grand Finals and Four Nations competitions and will need to lean on that big game experience to help his side in this Play-Offs series. 

His knowledge in approaching and managing these high-pressure games will be invaluable to a Robins side that so far lack big game experience. On the pitch, SKD has been a standout player. He’s in the top 3 Hull KR players for carries, metres made, line breaks, tackle busts and offloads. He will need to bring all that and more against the Wolves to lead his side to a famous Play-off victory. 

All roads lead to the Grand Final... Be there at Old Trafford on October 9 and watch Champions be crowned. Who will you be backing? Get your tickets here.

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