After winning their opening four games in the Qualifiers Hull KR knew that they could be back in the promised land of Super League by Saturday teatime. They needed to win while relying on Warrington beating Leigh at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Wire kept up their end of the bargain in a topsy turvy game and so did Rovers. Tim Sheens side ground out a 12-6 victory over Widnes to signal wild celebrations in the East Stand. Hull KR are back in the big time!
It was a cagey start to the game with neither side wanting to make early mistakes. The Robins took the lead though when Jamie Ellis kicked a penalty after a high shot from Widnes. The two sides traded blows set for set until the 20th minute when Widnes scored the opening try of the game. A high kick from Danny Craven was palmed on by Stefan Marsh into the arms of Hep Cahill who strolled over to give Widnes a 2-6 lead after the conversion.
There was a real battle going on through the middle as both sets of forwards were going at each other hammer and tongs. Rovers began to turn the screw of that battle in their favour when Man of the Match James Greenwood and big Mose Masoe were introduced from the bench. It was Masoe who provided a moment of magic to send Rovers into the half time break in front. He attacked the line and got a wonderful ball round the back of the Widnes defenders legs and into the arms of Thomas Minns who crashed over from close range.
Jamie Ellis kicked the touchline conversion to give Rovers a deserved half time lead.
HT Hull KR 8-6 Widnes Vikings
The Vikings came out firing in the second half and Rovers were defending their own line for most of the first ten minutes after the break. They did their jobs well though and battled for each other and got their rewards thanks to great defence and some poor Widnes attack.
It was a real end to end game in the first half and that continued in the second. Both sides were guilty of making mistakes and giving penalties away as you may expect under the immense pressure of today’s game. Midway through the half news filtered through that Warrington had beaten Leigh meaning all KR had to do was hold on to their lead and they were up. That news lifted the crowd who began to roar their side towards victory.
The winning try for Rovers came from a Widnes attack. The Vikings broke through the middle and got a couple of offloads away as they looked to score. Luckily for Rovers the second offload was brilliantly read by Ryan Shaw who intercepted the ball and raced 80m to score. That looked to be that, Rovers were up, but Jamie Ellis couldn’t convert meaning Rovers only led 12-6.
With time running out Widnes got the ball back from the kick off and looked to pinch a draw but Rovers were not to be denied and held on to spark jubilant celebrations around Craven Park.
FT Hull KR 12-6 Widnes Vikings
After the disappointment of last season all was forgiven today as Hull KR made it back into the promised land of Super League at the first time of asking. Tim Sheens and his side have done a brilliant job in the qualifiers and now, with the pressure off, Rovers will look to make it 7 wins from 7 in their final two games. Congratulations to everyone at the club!
Look out for a promotion special issue of FanaticHull on sale around Craven Park at the Catalans game on Friday night! (£2)