Catalans Dragons head coach Steve McNamara has backed Hull KR to ruffle a few feathers if they make the Super League play-offs.
The Robins were well placed after claiming six wins in eight games but that momentum was brought to a halt by an enforced five-week break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A second defeat to Catalans in nine days saw Rovers drop out of the top six, although they are only behind Leeds Rhinos on points difference.
McNamara’s table-topping side have beaten KR three times this year but on each occasion they have been pushed all the way.
The former England coach has seen enough to suggest Tony Smith’s men can extend their season and be genuine contenders for Old Trafford.
“I think they’re a great chance of the play-offs and they’ll be dangerous if they get there,” McNamara said after Monday’s game at Craven Park.
“They’re a big team. They’re not renowned as a big team but they’ve got some big bodies now all across the park.
“They’ve got some ability to hurt you in attack and they’ve improved their defence. They’re certainly heading in the right direction.
“The ground is alive on game day, you could see that today. It always has been. There’s always that energy from the people of east Hull and it creates a great atmosphere here.
“For me, the team looks like it’s improving and the club looks like it’s improving in all areas. That’s great for Super League and everybody involved.
“They’re a good team who are well coached and we respect them a lot. We truly respect them.
“We’re thankful we’ve managed to get the three wins against them this season.”
It appears to be two from three for fifth and six spots, with Hull FC currently just above Rovers and Leeds.
The Rhinos take on Castleford Tigers on Friday night and FC face a trip to Warrington Wolves before KR round off the weekend against bottom side Leigh Centurions.
Adam Quinlan (1) of Hull KR is congratulated by Greg Minikin (3) of Hull KR
(Image: David Greaves/News Images)
McNamara believes anybody would have a hard time predicting what will happen in a heavily congested final six weeks of the regular season.
“Because of the current situation, we’ve got seven games to play in August, I’m not sure how many Hull KR and the other teams have got,” he said.
“There’s going to be some twists and turns so you’ve just got to keeping picking up the two points wherever you can.
“That’s why it was very important for us to come here and get this done tonight regardless of the circumstances.
“It’s a really important one because you don’t know what’s around the corner.”