Probably still hungover from the promotion celebrations, the Robins were well beaten by a relatively strong Warrington side, which included big names such as Daryl Clark, Chris Hill and Stefan Ratchford.
Rovers rang in the changes, with the Championship Player of the Year Shaun Lunt getting a well deserved rest. It was a chance for the fringe players to make a name for themselves, and put them into the eyeline of head coach Tim Sheens for the Super League campaign to come.
Rovers were the first to put points on the board, with youngster Will Oakes carrying on his fine form to touch down in the corner after some slick passing. The first half was a real arm wrestle with both sides coming close but it was the Wolves who hit back through Ben Pomeroy. After Chris Atkin charged down a kick, Chris Clarkson broke through the Warrington defence like a hot knife through butter to kick through for Rovers’ top try scorer Ryan Shaw to touch down. Not two minutes later, Rovers and Ryan Shaw were in again! After a 100% kicking record so far for Jamie Ellis, Rovers were leading 18-4.
The wolves hit back soon after, with Stefan Ratchford taking a high kick brilliantly to score. Very soon after, it was 16-18, with Brad Dwyer capitalising on some poor Hull KR discipline. And that is how the half ended.
Half Time: Warrington 16-18 Hull KR
The second half however was a lot different. The half started even, but it was the Wolves who struck first through NRL bound Andre Savelio, who managed to barge over from close range. Harvey Livett’s conversion put the Wolves ahead for the first time in the game, and they never looked back. Warrington’s quality began to show, which was frustrating Rovers. So much so, that tempers boiled over leading to Lee Jewitt and Jack Hughes being sent to the sin bin. 3 minutes after this, Warrington scored again through Ben Pomeroy’s second of the game after some poor goal line defence from KR. Rovers’ never say die attitude that has helped them through so many games this season showed again as Will Oakes scored his second to get the Robins back into the game after a brilliant cut out pass from Jamie Ellis. That made it 26-24 with 21 minutes left, so the game was definitely on. Unfortunately for Rovers, these were the last points they managed to put on the board.
Andre Savelio crossed for his second try of the game after Kevin Browns short pass sent him over. Rovers’ heads dropped after this and discipline became an issue, with 3 penalties resulting in Peta Hiku getting in on the act. Their quality continued to show with a further two tries before the final hooter from Ben Currie and Harvey Livett, which saw the game end 42-24.
Full Time: Warrington 42-24 Hull KR
It is certainly not an embarassing result for Rovers by any part, but in the end Warrington’s Super League quality prevailed and saw them through. Bring on Super League!
Photo Credit: Hull Kingston Rovers.