Hull KR conquer FC in bruising clash

Hull Kingston Rovers won a typically bruising contest against Hull FC, with Josh Hodgson outstanding.

The game began with customary intensity, with both sides battling to gain the ascendency. Liam Salter opened the scoring on 10 minutes, after a move down the right side. The KR celebrations were delayed, however, while referee Richard Silverwood checked with his officials after a brawl broke out in centre field. He eventually awarded the try.

On 19 minutes a great dummy half scoot from Hodgson took KR almost 50 metres to the line. They forced a drop out, and were beginning to look like they were winning the forward battle up the middle.

A minute later they were in again. French backrower Kevin Larroyer crossing simply from 10 metres out after some good structured attack on the right edge.

Rovers grabbed their third try on 14 minutes. A break from Burns was backed up by Keating, who showed strength to get an offload away two metres from the line, which Salter gleefully accepted to cross. With Burns adding the extras it was an impressive 18-0 lead, with Rovers looking good.

Hull were struggling to find a way back into the game, but found it a short time later via young backrower Dean Hadley. He powered over on the right side, shrugging off a Cockayne tackle to get the ball down, despite the close attentions of two Rovers defenders. Miller added the extras.

Errors then began to creep into the game, with Rovers particularly at fault. After a Rovers try was disallowed for obstruction, FC went up the other end with seven first-half minutes left, and almost forced another score. Ellis used his strength from close range after Ade Gardner spilled a kick. The video ref ruled in KR’s favour, though.

It looked as though they had regained the ascendency, but it was Hull who would have the last word before half time. Jamie Shaul rounding off a fine move to score. Rovers lead by six going into the break.

Rovers opened the scoring in the third second-half minute when they opted for two points from a penalty, with Burns converting.

On five minutes Jason Crookes spilled a Josh Hodgson kick on his own 20 metre line. Five minutes later, he was sent off, perhaps somewhat harshly, for a high tackle on Liam Salter. The young Rovers centre also left the field, groggy from the collision.

KR immediately took advantage. Graeme Horne put Ade Gardner over in the right corner. Burns added the extras with a fine kick from the touchline.

The Black and Whites were not dead and buried, though, with Houghton forcing his way over from dummy half after Cockayne had had the ball ripped from him in his own 20 metre area. With 24 minutes to play, it was 26-18 to Rovers.

With 20 minutes remaining, they scored again, Palea’aesina going over in typically robust fashion from a good pass from Miller to bring the Black and Whites right back into it.

Rovers worked hard to re-establish their edge, and finally scored again with eight minutes left. Horne showed great handling to slip a pass for Gardner to use his experience and strength to finish well in the corner. Burns hit another great touchline conversion.

They rounded the scoring off in fine style, when a cheeky chip from Hull on their own 20 metre line saw Neville Costigan flick the ball from round his ankles up to a rampant Josh Hodgson, who showed his class to round five FC defenders to score.

Burns added the extras, and Rovers were home and dry. They will feel the brusies tomorrow, though.

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