Wigan too strong for Rovers

Wigan proved too strong for Hull KR to move within 80 minutes of the Super League Grand Final.

After a cagey start, the Warriors took the lead when Pat Richards took in Sean O’Loughlin‘s long pass out wide, but a mistake from the kick-off enabled Hull KR to level things up through Peter Fox.

Rovers, backed by a noisy away support, then backed up with a second try in as many minutes after Scott Murrell‘s short kick through, Ben Fisher kicked on and Ben Cockayne collected the ball to score and give the visitors a 12-6 lead.

The game had opened up, and it took just three minutes for Wigan to level things up, with Mark Riddell‘s short ball sending Liam Farrell crashing over the line from close range.

After Michael Dobson had nudged Rovers back in front with a penalty, Man of Steel contender Sam Tomkins then made his mark on the match, setting up Darrell Goulding for a try wide on the right shortly after the same man had been denied by the video referee.

Tomkins had identified a weak spot in the Rovers back line, and he hit once again near the interval, putting a try on the plate for winger Goulding to stretch Wigan’s advantage to 24-12. Rovers were then gifted an opportunity on the stroke of half time, but they failed to take advantage, and went in ten points down.

For the first ten minutes of the second half, Rovers turned the screw, and had Wigan pinned back in their own half with a high completion rate and solid last tackle plays. However, after a spell of territorial advantage, they lost their grip when Josh Hodgson‘s decision to run the ball on the last tackle eased the pressure on the home side, and when the same player conceded a penalty shortly after, the Warriors marched up the field in relief.

And just a few tackles later, scrum half Thomas Leuluai battled his way through a gang of tacklers to score, and the game was all but over as a contest two minutes later when Joel Tomkins found Martin Gleeson outwide, and the centre coasted through a gap and stepped full back Shaun Briscoe to score.

Peter Fox grabbed a try in return for the visitors to give them faint hope, but any chance of an unlikely comeback were well and truly put to bed when Joel Tomkins added a try, and the final score of the game, to help Wigan sign-off at the DW Stadium for the season with a win.

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