ROVERS 44-18 WILDCATS

posted on 19 May 2013

A dominant second half performance from Hull KR saw the Wildcats hopes of closing in on the top eight take a hit.

Wakefield led 18-16 at the break after a frenetic first half, but Hull KR scored 28 unanswered points to blow away the visitors.

Graeme Horne, Rhys Lovergrove and former Wildcat Luke George all crossed for braces of tries, whilst Craig Hall and Con Mika also claimed four-pointers.

The Wildcats had recovered from 12-0 down to go 16-12 in front courtesy of tries from Dean Collis, Ben Cockayne and Lee Smith, whose penalty on the hooter had given Wakefield the half-time advantage.

Ultimately it was a combination of poor discipline and errors that contributed to the Wildcats downfall as Rovers ran out deserved and comfortable victors.

Wakefield carried the early threat after Josh Hodgson was first guilty of conceding the penalty and then coughing up possession, but despite some half openings the Rovers line remained intact.  The same couldn’t be said for the first test of the Wildcats goal line defence.  Successive penalties helped the home side 90 metres upfield and Burns’ ball to Horne saw him ride the tackle of Wood and roll over the line.

After the spell of early pressure it was all Rovers from that moment.  First Peter Fox couldn’t handle a swirling bomb from Dobson and took a bang on the head that forced him from the field, before the other Rovers old boy Ben Cockayne spilled a grubber.l  A try didn’t come from that set, but with Wakefield pegged back, Rovers struck as Collis came out of the line but was too slow to stop Dobson getting the pass out and the overlap put George over.

Richard Agar’s men desperately needed the next score and they got it through Collis.  After the Robins conceded a drop out Wakefield punished them with the repeat set and after the dangerous Kirmond drew the attentions of the Robins tacklers, it created the overlap from which Collis sprinted to the corner.

The Wildcats made it back-to-back tries when a penalty presented the chance to make easy yards and it was a superb flat pass from Kyle Wood that did the damage, allowing Vince Mellars the simple task of putting Cockayne in at the corner.

Rovers early intensity was always going to be hard to maintain and when it dropped, Wakefield sensed the chance to strike.  The turnaround was complete when Tim Smith kicked to the corner and Lee Smith gathered and shrugged off some flimsy Rovers defence to get in at the corner, his sweetly struck conversion giving Wakefield the lead.

Neither side seemed to want to take a stranglehold of the game and from the restart Mathers spilled the ball backwards but Burns knocked on to present the ball back.  However, Wakefield threw a forward pass, compounded that with dissent and Rovers took full advantage for Horne to cross for his second try.

The scoring didn’t end there though, Cockayne’s restart bouncing out to give Wakefield a set-of-six with less than 60 seconds on the clock.  A try wasn’t forthcoming but an easy penalty was, and Lee Smith was again the man to convert, an 18-16 lead for the Wildcats at the break.

Hull KR get the better start to the first half and they did the same again in the second, Burns and Withers combining for the half break and although Mathers hauled down Salter, Horne stayed composed on the last tackle to loft an inch perfect kick into the hands of Hall who dotted down under the sticks.

The home crowd were becoming frustrated with the amount of the referee’s whistle they were hearing and the game threatened to boil over moments before George claimed his second try and gave the home side an eight-point lead with a quarter of the game remaining.

It wasn’t just the home fans getting frustrated with the referee and the Wildcats felt hard done by in the lead up to Lovegrove’s seemingly decisive try.  First Burns slipped into a tackle and Danny Washbrook was penalised for a high shot, then as Lovegrove rumbled his way over, James Child ignored Danny Kirmond’s pleas to consult his touch judge and awarded the score.

Mika added another ten minutes from time when Wakefield ere penetrated through the middle of their defence and there was no doubting Lovegrove’s second when he was just too powerful to stop getting to the line.

Teams

Rovers

Hall, Brown, Salter, Welham, George, Burns, Dobson, Griffin, Hodgson, Paea, Horne, Lovegrove, Mika. Replacements: Withers, Cox, Beaumont, Walker.

Wildcats

Mathers, Fox, Collis, L. Smith, Cockayne, Wood, T. Smith, Poore, Aiton, Raleigh, Mellars, Kirmond, Washbrook. Replacements: Amor, Wilkes, Molloy, Annakin.

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