Catalans Dragons 32-30 Hull KR

It was five weeks in the making but Hull Kingston Rovers finally returned to Super League action. Tony Smith named a close to full-strength side. Originally Rovers and Catalans were not expected to face each other this weekend. KR had St Helens and Catalans, Castleford but both sides opponents had to pull out due to Covid self isolations. Catalans came into the game with 11 wins from 12.

This rearranged fixture got off to a great start for the visitors with returning half-back Jordan Abdull forced his way over. The Dragons were back level minutes later, a handling error from the Robins deep in their own territory gifted Matt Whitley his first try of the game. Halfway through the first half, Abdull kicked to the corner finding Kenny-Dowall leaping above his man knocking the ball back for Linnett. Linnett in turn gave the ball back to his captain to put the Robins back in front. The ever-lively Sam Tomkins stepped and weaved his way around some loose KR defence to even the game only moments later. Indiscipline from the French outfit meant Abdull could again give Rovers the advantage with a penalty. A spiralling bomb once again from the influential Abdull was allowed to bounce twice and into the grateful arms of the onrushing Greg Minikin to give KR an eight-point lead. As the half drew to a close Jez Litten found Adam Quinlan who raced from his own half to touch down. Hull KR against all odds led 26-12 at halftime.

With all but those at the game following the score online due to no other coverage being available, it made for a nervy affair back in East Hull. The tension was ramped up further when Whitley scored four minutes into the restart. Abdull was showing his class throughout the entire game. A dummy followed by some forward like strength saw the number 7 cross the try line for the second time in the evening. That was as good as it got from the Red and Whites, Kasiano the latest Dragon on the scoresheet to bring the game back to just a six-point gap. Catalans were level after Yaha was given space wideout and obligingly scored. The decisive points in the last fixture between the teams was a drop-goal in golden point on the opening day. On this occasion, it came in normal time, from a penalty by the boot of Arthur Mourgue just 10 minutes from the final hooter.

A thrilling fixture very few had the pleasure of seeing. Many Rovers fans would have been happy with the result before play but to have lost a lead will leave a bitter taste. Ill-discipline and tiredness crept into Tony Smith’s team during the second half and it ultimately cost them. However, so many positives can be found including the ever-impressive display from half-back Jordan Abdull who did not deserve to be on the losing side.

Report by: Simon Bromwich

Catalans Dragons 32 (12)
: Whitley 2, Tomkins, Goudemand, Kasiano, Yaha. Goals: Mourgue 6.

Hull Kingston Rovers 30 (26)
Tries: Abdull 2, Kenny-Dowall, Minikin, Quinlan. Goals: Abdull 5.

Published on: 26th July 2021