Rugby League: Rovers on the brink: Hull KR in drop zone

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The Independent Online
JOHN DORAHY goes back to the club he served as a player tomorrow for a match that could seal fates at the top and the bottom of the First Division, writes Dave Hadfield.

Victory for Dorahy's Wigan will continue what is starting to look like an inexorable march to a fifth successive Championship. Defeat for Hull Kingston Rovers could end their fight to stay in the First Division. If they lose and Oldham and Wakefield pick up points, Rovers will be relegated.

The links go beyond Dorahy's inspirational playing days on Humberside. The Hull KR coach, George Fairbairn, spent his prime with Wigan, even coaching them during the one season - which seems to belong to another century - that they spent in the Second Division.

When Fairbairn says that his side will give their all, it is impossible to disbelieve him. Nobody could fault Rovers' work-rate, but, especially when they are as hard hit by injuries as they have been this season, they simply do not have enough players of experience and quality.

There have been times this season when Wigan have looked capable of labouring against the most modest opposition. This week has emphatically not been one of them.

Against Halifax on Thursday night, they played their most exhilarating rugby of the whole campaign. Any repetition of that sheer verve will be far too much for Rovers and will send Wigan into their double-header against Bradford Northern next week with an ominous spring in their stride.