George King has called for the rules to be tweaked after being left feeling deflated by Hull KR’s inactivity.

Rovers this week saw a seventh consecutive game postponed after Salford Red Devils were left unable to fulfil Thursday’s scheduled fixture at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The Robins made attempts to bring forward a match to plug the gap but neither Leigh Centurions nor Huddersfield Giants were willing to step in.

That means last Saturday’s hastily-arranged trip to Perpignan to face Catalans Dragons has been KR’s only fixture in six weeks amid a fresh coronavirus crisis in Super League.

Rovers therefore face a race against time to reach 18 games, the minimum number that must be completed to be eligible for the play-offs.

King believes that threshold should be lowered if KR are unable to fulfil fixtures through no fault of their own, which has been the case in recent weeks.

“It’s quite deflating,” the prop told Hull Live.

“But it’s just one of those things and a sign of the times. Hopefully we can tick off a few games in the next few weeks or so.

“We’re not worrying about getting to 18 games. The fans, the RFL and the people at the top can tell we are trying.

“We went to Catalans at late notice which showed we are trying to fulfil fixtures. I think if push came to shove and we were one or two games off they’d be able to see the effort that we’ve shown.

“Teams are unfortunate that they can’t play us for financial reasons but should we be punished because teams can’t play us? Is it our fault if their stadium is available or not?

“Catalans last year got a bit of leniency so if it came to it I think clubs and fans would understand.

“I think 16 or 17 is probably fair. But realistically taking player welfare into account we could be able to play eight or nine games.”

KR’s next opportunity to tick off another fixture is against familiar foes Catalans.

Tony Smith’s side are aiming to make it third time lucky after following up their golden point defeat in round one with a 32-30 loss in Perpignan last weekend.

“I think we are getting closer,” said King.

“We’ve competed against the top teams in every game we’ve played.

Adam Quinlan (1) of Hull KR celebrates his try with team mates
Adam Quinlan (1) of Hull KR celebrates his try with team mates

“There’s probably been only one or two games out of the 11 that we’ve played that we haven’t performed on the day or the opposition have just been better than us. All the other games we’ve been really competitive and pushed teams close.

“It’s always a good sign coming into the latter stages of the season that we can compete with anybody. It’s just about getting over the line.”

The positive from the latest postponement is that Rovers have nine days to prepare for their latest clash with the Dragons.

Steve McNamara’s team do not have the same luxury after hosting Wakefield Trinity on Thursday night.

As well as having the edge energy-wise, King is hoping the Robins will be backed by a healthy crowd in the first game at Craven Park since restrictions were lifted.

“It’s reversed a little bit in terms of we went there underdone and they’ll be coming to us underdone,” said King.

“They’ve got a quality side and with our home crowd there in full force it’s just going to make for a really good game.

“It’s going to help us even more now we’re back to full capacity. I know some fans out there are nervous to come but the club are going above and beyond to make sure people are safe.

“All I can say is please turn out as best you can and we’ll do our best to put on a performance.”

Hull KR fans celebrate Shaun Kenny-Dowall's try against Salford
Hull KR fans celebrate Shaun Kenny-Dowall's try against Salford

Rovers are in the mix for a play-off spot as Super League heads into August, an unfamiliar position for a club that have spent recent seasons battling to avoid relegation.

King is optimistic about KR’s chances of extending their campaign but knows talk is cheap.

“We might sit sixth but we want to be up there with the best at the top,” he said ahead of Thursday’s game between Hull FC and Leeds Rhinos.

“You can’t just sit comfortably in sixth and say, ‘We’re happy now’. We’ve got to strive to be better.

“We’re confident of making the play-offs. There’s a good belief in the camp. It’s just a matter of going out there and doing it rather than talking it up.”