Castleford 20-24 Hull KR

A late Liam Watts try gave Hull Kingston Rovers a 24-20 victory over Castleford Tigers in a tight affair at The Jungle.


Both sides served up an entertaining game for the neutral, a topsy-turvy encounter reminiscent of a play-off game and a superb advert for the sport.


Shaun Ainscough, who joined the Tigers earlier this week on loan from Wigan following Richard Owen‘s unfortunate injury last week, scored a hat-trick of tries and made an invaluable contribution on the wing to have an immediate impact.


But it was not enough for Castleford to claim their second victory of the season following their early season scalp over Leeds, Hull KR rising to the challenge and stealing the points with eight minutes to go.


Terry Matterson’s men opened the game with two tries inside the first ten minutes by Michael Wainwright and Ainscough, only to be pegged back by an Hull KR side also featuring a debutant in Australian forward Joel Clinton.


With just three minutes on the clock, Rangi Chase shrugged off the attentions of the Rovers defence to deliver a looping ball to England centre Michael Shenton, who had the easy task of presenting Wainwright with the easy task of scoring.


Another try soon followed, the architect this time being the returning Brent Sherwin, his deft chip falling nicely for Ainscough to hack-on and re-collect and score under the posts.


It was a fair reflection of the opening quarter with Hull KR doing most of the defensive work but got themselves back into the game with Scott Murrell‘s try.


Murrell dove his way over from dummy-half after Liam Watts went close and it was again followed in quick succession, similar to the Tigers, by a second try.


This time it was Michael Dobson scoring, half-back partner Chaz I’Anson’s kick landing nicely for the Australian, managing to ground the ball before it bounced out of play.


Castleford paid the price for their inability to convert pressure into points, Brent Sherwin twice kicking the ball out on the full and making silly handling errors when they had the ball.


They thought they had recovered the lead shortly before the break when Ainscough crossed again but the try was ruled out for a knock-on.


Once more, the Tigers came out fighting straight from kick-off and Ainscough soon restored the lead with two more tries.


Ryan McGoldrick supplied the first with a superb pass and James Evans, who created space for Ainscough on a number of occasions, gave him the simplest task of scoring for the second.


The 20-12 lead evaporated once more, though, as Hull KR rallied and Ben Cockayne scored in the corner following Ainscough’s failed attempt to kick the ball dead from Dobson’s grubber kick.


Despite considerable pressure from the Tigers, the Robins held firm and delivered a massive late blow with Watts’ try, given the nod by video referee Steve Ganson much to the dismay of the home supporters.


The youngster, who in the past was a Tigers junior, looked to have fumbled the ball over the line but was adjudicated to have got his hand to the ball and ground it just in time and give Robins’ coach Justin Morgan a much needed relieving victory.

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