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Rugby League: Key mistakes cost Robins

HULL KINGSTON ROVERS 20 – 34 WARRINGTON WOLVES (Friday July 20)

Despite a first half brace from Elliot Wallis, errors at key moments in the game saw Rovers lose out in the final quarter to a strong Warrington side.

The Red and Whites were forced to play from behind against the Wolves, after the visitors flew out of the blocks and opened the scoring eight minutes in.

Good scrambling defence had already wrapped Tyrone Roberts up over the line, before a penalty handed Warrington consecutive sets and Daryl Clark’s flat dummy-half ball sent Mike Cooper crashing over from close range.

Roberts slotted over the extras from in front, but the Robins hit back just five minutes later after their first visit to the Wolves’ quarter saw them carve the visitors open.

A high tackle on Danny McGuire allowed Rovers to build pressure on Warrington’s line, and after Junior Vaivai went close on the left flank, the ball was quickly moved back to the right. McGuire and Chris Atkin fixed the Wolves’ defence, creating the space for Adam Quinlan to fire a long cut-out ball across to Elliot Wallis, and the young winger sailed over at the corner for his first Super League four-pointer.

Danny Tickle’s kick drifted agonisingly wide, but ten minutes later he had another opportunity after Wallis was presented his second senior try on a plate.

McGuire’s towering bomb was fumbled by Tom Lineham, much to the East Stand’s enjoyment, and Wallis gleefully snapped up possession to scamper over from 20 metres out.

Tickle shaved the upright with his second touchline kick, leaving the Robins two points ahead, but Warrington responded just four minutes later. A break down the left was stopped by a good covering tackle from Shaun Lunt, but Rovers’ skipper was left dazed and needing treatment after taking a head knock.

After a lengthy stoppage, the Wolves got back underway and an early kick from Roberts was dotted down by Stefan Ratchford, with Roberts adding the conversion.

Lunt departed for a head-assessment, forcing a major reshuffle in the Robins’ ranks, but the Red and Whites regrouped and scrambled well to make it to the break with no further damage.

Rovers’ skipped failed his head-test, ruling him out of the rest of the game, but despite that blow, the Robins flew out of the blocks after the restart and snatched the lead back once again.

Rob Mulhern’s excellent one-handed offload put Atkin away, and after an interchange of passes with McGuire, the ball was lofted wide to the right. Warrington got back to wrap Liam Salter up, but referee Liam Moore pulled play back for a late hit on Atkin, and from the resulting penalty, Atkin’s smart pass allowed Mulhern to drive through a tackle and get the ball down.

Tickle added the extras, but seven minutes later Clark’s break from dummy-half put Roberts over for a score he improved himself.

Errors with ball in-hand were heaping pressure on the Robins’ defence, and after Wallis fumbled a Roberts bomb, Warrington attacked the short side direct from the scrum. Salter looked to have Toby King covered, only for referee Moore to back into his path and King capitalised on his good-fortune to stroll through the resulting gap.

The Red and Whites responded in the best way possible, as the lively Atkin sent Ben Kavanagh clear with a lovely dummy-half pass before backing up to take his team-mate’s pass and scamper away to score under the posts.

Tickle’s conversion drew Rovers back to within two points of the visitors, but back-to-back penalties against the Robins soon had the Wolves at the door again and Kevin Brown’s dummy and step saw him squeeze over despite a valiant effort from Kavanagh.

Four minutes later Warrington secured their win when Declan Patton plunged over from dummy-half, with Roberts converting both tries to finally end Rovers’ faint hopes of sneaking into the Super 8s for 2018.

Hull KR: 1. Adam Quinlan; 37. Elliot Wallis, 11. Maurice Blair, 2. Junior Vaivai, 27. Will Oakes; 7. Danny McGuire, 24. Chris Atkin; 8. Nick Scruton, 9. Shaun Lunt, 21. Rob Mulhern, 34. Danny Tickle, 12. James Greenwood, 17. Chris Clarkson. Subs: 10. Mose Masoe, 13. Ben Kavanagh, 14. Lee Jewitt, 22. Liam Salter.

Tries: Wallis (13, 24), Mulhern (43), Atkin (59) Goals: Tickle 2/4

Attendance: 7,045

(report courtesy of www.hullkr.co.uk)