Wigan 8-18 Hull KR: Tony Smith’s side up to fifth as Wigan suffer back-to-back defeats

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

Oliver Gildart scored two tries on his return from injury but it was not enough to prevent Wigan crashing to their second consecutive Betfred Super League defeat as Hull KR made it three wins in succession with an 18-8 victory.

Wigan dominated the first half and were camped on Hull KR’s line for most of it, but the last pass was not good enough and they found themselves trailing at the break as Ben Crooks grabbed the opener just before the interval following great work from Brad Takairangi.

Defences were on top inside the first 20 minutes with not many clear scoring opportunities. Liam Farrell and Jackson Hastings both went close for the Warriors, while Rovers hooker Matt Parcell was brought down inches short of the line.

The visitors looked to have done enough when Ryan Hall went over in the corner to extend Hull KR’s lead to 12-0, but a brace of tries in three minutes from Gildart gave Wigan a chance heading into the final 10 minutes.

The Warriors were not at their best, but they were in the ascendancy and looked like winning the game. The Robins had other ideas and they made the game safe with five minutes to go as Adam Quinlan crossed for their third try of the evening.

Hull KR were guilty of making too many handling errors in their own half, but Wigan could not capitalise on that as Liam Marshall spilled the ball in a good attacking position following good work from Hastings.

Wigan started to dominate proceedings with Liam Byrne and Sam Powell both held up over the line, while George King was sent to the sin bin after Rovers gave away three consecutive penalties. The Robins managed to withstand over half a dozen sets on their own line and prevented the Warriors from posting any points.

Wigan’s inability to score despite their constant pressure came back to haunt them as Takairangi produced a sublime long ball for Crooks to score in the corner just moments after intercepting a ball from Hastings to lead 6-0 at half-time.

Wigan continued to enjoy plenty of possession and they thought they had scored after the break when Farrell went over, but referee Robert Hicks ruled he had knocked the ball on.

Hull KR were not happy with their narrow lead and they almost doubled their advantage with Crooks going close in the corner. Hull KR could sense an upset and they extended their lead in the 62nd minute when leading try scorer Hall jumped higher than Jake Bibby to collect the ball and touch down from Mikey Lewis’ towering bomb. Crooks converted for a 12-0 lead.

That score finally got the Warriors going, and Gildart marked his first start of the season with a try in the corner following a neat inside ball from winger Marshall. Harry Smith failed to convert but they were back in it at 12-4.

The Warriors then made it back-to-back tries with Smith kicking ahead and Marshall picking it up before sending the ball inside for Gildart to grab his second as they trailed by four heading into the final 10 minutes.

Just when it looked like Wigan would go on and win the game, Rovers made the game safe when Lewis’ cute kick back inside saw Quinlan scoop it up and touch down under the posts. Crooks’ third conversion sealed the victory.

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