Albert Kelly: Hull KR great Mike Smith talk 'inspired' cup progress

By Matt NewsumBBC Sport
Albert Kelly
Albert Kelly scored his 13th try of the season in Rovers victory against Catalans Dragons

Half-back Albert Kelly says the words of 1980 Challenge Cup winner Mike Smith inspired Hull KR to victory in Thursday's quarter-final against Catalans Dragons.

Rovers moved into the last four with a 32-26 win to reach their first semi-final since 2006.

The Robins have not been to the final since 1986, and last won it in 1980.

"It's something special, we had Rovers great Mike Smith come into speak to us about the cup," Kelly told BBC Sport.

"It was a really inspirational speech, just the passion and the way he said it, he holds the competition close to his heart and it really affected us boys.

"We took that attitude into the game."

Introducing Hull KR's Albert Kelly

Smith and the Rovers side of 1980 edged city rivals Hull FC in the only all-Hull final at the national stadium, winning 10-5 in a match where player-coach Roger Millward broke his jaw.

Six years later Rovers were back at Wembley, with free-scoring centre Gary Prohm in the side, but lost to Castleford by a point after John Dorahy failed to convert John Lydiat's last-gasp try.

Kelly, 24, has been a useful acquisition for Hull KR since his winter move from Gold Coast Titans, with 11 tries in 16 league games added to two tries in two Challenge Cup games.

He and fellow Titans import Maurice Blair both agreed to remain with Rovers beyond the current campaign, having settled into life in East Yorkshire.

"I'm half way around the world playing football, some call a job, I call it a game.

"It's something I love doing and to travel doing it, I wouldn't have it any other way."

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