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Defeat drags Rovers into relegation dogfight
Hull Kingston Rovers 10 Wakefield Trinity 38 (Sunday, August 18)
By Beverley FM rugby league reporter Ian Judson
Hull Kingston Rovers slipped to a desperately disappointing defeat, as Wakefield Trinity ended their five-game losing streak.
Rovers were kept scoreless in the second half by a committed, determined, Trinity outfit. And the result drags the Robins back into the relegation dogfight.
A frustrating afternoon saw the Robins commit far too many mistakes and give away cheap possession and territory, which Trinity took full advantage of.
Tony Smith brought Kane Linnett straight back into the starting line-up, while recent arrival Dean Hadley started at loose-forward.
Craig Hall also returned from injury on the wing, while prop Mitch Garbutt returned on the bench after an injury lay-off.
Talisman Danny McGuire also came back into the starting line-up having missed the clash at Wigan Warriors last week.
A minute’s silence before the kick-off for young Batley Bulldogs player Archie Bruce was impeccably observed in the ground by all fans, players and officials.
A fortuitously forced scrum by a knock-on from a Trinity player, from a Josh Drinkwater kick which was hacked forward by McGuire, set up a promising position for the Robins.
However, just as they seemed to be creating an overlap with a long pass, Linnett was unable to take the pass in and knocked on to relieve the pressure for the visitors.
A promising burst from Trinity debutant Morgan Escare then threatened the Rovers line, but the full-back then knocked on trying to get up to play the ball.
A soft penalty gave Rovers another chance to pile more pressure on the visitors line, before another penalty increased it.
From the second tackle Chris Atkin was held up over the line, before an errant pass fell to Wakefield speedster Ben Jones-Bishop. From the resultant pressure caused by Jones-Bishop’s break, an audacious run by Kyle Wood set up the position for Jacob Miller to cross for the opening try. Danny Brough added the extras.
Straight from the kick-off a knock on by Ryan Hampshire gave Rovers another chance to press the visitors line, but a knock-on in the first tackle wasted the opportunity.
A silly penalty on half-way then allowed Wakefield to set-up camp in the Rovers half, before another penalty allowed Brough to extend their lead, which was totally against the run of play.
Trinity then increased their lead as a break down the left-hand side was far too easy to allow Lyne to put Jones-Bishop away from the half-way line. Brough again added the conversion.
Trinity gave Rovers another opportunity by being over elaborate in midfield; a forward pass presenting the Robins with a scrum just in the Wakefield half of the field.
However a poor last kick option by Atkin saw the ball roll dead and give the visitors a seven tackle set after Garbutt had gone close.
A 40/20 from Brough then set-up another attacking chance for the visitors, but a knock-on at the first tackle saw them frustrated close to the Rovers line.
A knock-on from an attempted interception by Jones-Bishop gave the Robins another chance, and this time, from a Drinkwater kick, Ben Crooks climbed higher than everybody else to score. Ryan Shaw however hit the post with the conversion.
Rovers were again invited to the Wakefield end as Litten suffered a high tackle, and once again the pressure told as Garbutt was able to reach out and touch down. And this time Shaw made no mistake with the boot to close the gap to four points.
Trinity forced a goal line drop-out with another foray to the Rovers line, but were too short on time to really take any advantage from a very long drop out.
Half Time: Hull Kingston Rovers 10 Wakefield Trinity 14
Rovers started the second half in determined fashion, still continuing to make metres, much the same as they had started the first half. However it was the visitors who were granted the first real opportunity as McGuire knocked on close to the Rovers line.
From the scrum Trinity moved the ball from left to right and Kyle Wood dummied his way over; once again Brough stretching their advantage with the boot.
Rovers were being very busy all over the pitch, but were finding it difficult to break down a stubborn Wakefield defence, and were looking particularly disorganised in the final third of the field.
Escare started alarm bells ringing again with a break from inside his own half to set -up a promising position for the visitors, but a knock-on relieved the pressure once again.
A penalty for the Robins then invited them to the Wakefield end again; then a penalty for a high shot on Crooks cranked up the pressure even more. However, the chance again went begging after a knock-on by Jones-Bishop gave Rovers an attacking scrum, but a wayward pass went behind Crooks and into touch, as the mistakes continued.
A soft penalty for interference handed Trinity another penalty as they looked to close the game out and from the resulting pressure Bill Tupou forced his way over from close range. Brough kept up his 100 per cent record with the boot to move the score seemingly beyond Rovers reach.
Yet another knock-on, this time by Linnett, handed Trinity another chance, and this time it was fatal as another try for Miller soon followed and sent Rovers supporters heading for the exit.
Yet another knock-on, by Crooks, gave the ball straight to opposition winger Ryan Hampshire, who scooted in for another try, but for the second time Brough was off target with the boot.
There was still time for Brough to hit the post with a drop goal attempt, which saw Rovers breakaway with a dash by Ryan Shaw. However from another mistake Trinity soon broke back to the other end of the field and Hampshire added his second try following up a kick to touch down.
A kick-off that went straight into touch presented Rovers with a scrum close to the Wakefield line, followed by a penalty. However the game then petered out to a disappointing finish, with home fans booing at the final hooter.
Hull KR: Adam Quinlan, Ryan Shaw, Ben Crooks, Kane Linnett, Craig Hall, Danny McGuire, Josh Drinkwater, Mose Masoe, Chris Atkin, Daniel Murray, Joel Tomkins, Weller Hauraki, Dean Hadley: Interchange: Mitch Garbutt, Kyle Trout, Jez Litten, Robbie Mulhern
Wakefield Trinity: Morgan Escare, Ben Jones-Bishop, Reece Lyne, Bill Tupou, Ryan Hampshire, Jacob Miller, Danny Brough, Anthony England, Kyle Wood, Craig Kopczak, James Batchelor, Danny Kirmond, Kelepi Tanginoa: Interchange: Chris Annakin, Chris Green, Tyler Randell, Adam Tangata
Scorers: Hull KR: Tries: Ben Crooks (33) Mitch Garbutt (36) Goals: Ryan Shaw 1/2. Wakefield Trinity: Tries: Jacob Miller (10, 68) Ben Jones-Bishop (19) Kyle Wood (45) Bill Tupou (64) Ryan Hampshire (74, 78) Goals: Danny Brough 5/8
Penalties: Hull KR: 11. Wakefield Trinity: 5. Goal Line Drop Outs: Hull KR: 1 Wakefield Trinity: 0. 40/20s: Hull KR: 0. Wakefield Trinity: 1 (Brough)
Man of the Match: Jez Litten