Tommy Lee says it’s paramount Hull KR hit the ground running in the Qualifiers by beating his former Salford side tomorrow.
The hooker is back in the Robins squad for the first time since the 52-22 Super League thrashing of the Red Devils a month ago – but insists that will count for nothing at KCOM Craven Park tomorrow night.
Having survived 2015’s middle 8s with Salford with ease, as well as watching the Devils relegate Rovers from the sidelines in 2016’s Million Pound Game, Lee knows exactly what pressures lie ahead and hopes to clinch an opening victory in round one.
“We ran away with the score-line last time, and maybe it was an off-day by them. We had a good 60 minutes but there’s a lot more on the line now. We’re at home, and all four are vital in these Qualifiers,” Lee told the Mail.
“I survived with Salford but I was out for the season with a knee reconstruction. I didn’t play from Easter that year. It’s a stressful time, let me tell you.
“We have to get out on the front foot and win our first few to take the pressure off.
“You don’t want to be constantly chasing your tail or else the pressure will build and build. You don’t want to be behind the eight-ball, you can try too hard and it can have a negative effect. We have to show composure.
“We’re very confident we can get through. Everyone wants to be a part of this and we all have one goal – to survive.”
With coach Tim Sheens naming a strong side for tomorrow’s Salford clash, Lee is looking forward to linking up with another former Devil in Todd Carney.
Lee, who hopes to get the nod to feature against Ian Watson’s men, believes the Australian playmaker will have a huge influence on KR in the Qualifiers.
“I never played with Todd at Salford but I lived near him,” Lee added.
“Some of the things he does in training, you can see his quality. Everyone raises their game around him.
“He’s quiet – but he’s great to have on board and we’re all looking forward to playing with him more.
Super 8s and Qualifiers fixtures announced
“I knew the club were after him earlier in the year but when it finally got over the line, it has been a great boost.
“We have competition in that area anyway, but this is a mini-season itself so if we can add quality elsewhere then great.
“He’s not living with me just yet – we’ll have him around for tea a few times though!”