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Rugby League: Under-strength Rovers lose cup battle

Challenge Cup, 6th Round: Hull KR 10 – 28 Wigan Warriors (Sunday May 13)

Head coach Tim Sheens praised his team for their effort and commitment after an under-strength Rovers side lost out 28-10 to Wigan Warriors in the sixth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

Hull KR went into the game without 16 first team players through various reasons but put up a courageous effort at KCOM Craven Park, coming back to tie the game at 10-10 midway through the second half before three late Wigan tries sealed the contest.

The match was also marred by a potential ACL injury for in-form prop Robbie Mulhern, whilst Danny Tickle was sent off for retaliation in the 40th minute and will await any disciplinary outcome this week.

Speaking after the match, Sheens said: “I am very proud of the effort. With Quinlan’s sin-binning and Tickle’s sending off, we probably played 80 per cent of the game with 12 men and that didn’t help against a strong Wigan outfit.

“It’s another one of those games for us where I love the effort but loathe some of our execution. We missed a couple of chances and missed a couple of goals and it all added up to put us under the pump, but we still had a chance at 10-10 on the hour.

“But still we hung in there for the first part of the second half, it was just the last 15 minutes when it got away from us. That was a bit disappointed but I think everyone was exhausted, I don’t think anyone had anything left, and I’m not going to be a coach that criticises from the box under those circumstances.”

On a disappointing day which also saw James Greenwood leave the field with a concussion and Mose Masoe pick up a knock, there was a major positive in a promising debut for 18-year-old winger Elliot Wallis.

“He’s  a big strong kid is Elliot and I think he’d be the quickest at the club by some distance. He is seriously rapid but hasn’t had a chance to show it yet.

“To come in and have to defend with just 12 and be on the edges that were a bit skinny because of that one man out of the line I thought he did a really good job.”

Hull KR: 1. Adam Quinlan; 5. Ryan Shaw, 22. Liam Salter, 2. Junior Vaivai, 37. Elliot Wallis; 19. Tommy Lee, 11. Maurice Blair; 21. Rob Mulhern, 24. Chris Atkin, 23. Josh Johnson; 34. Danny Tickle, 12. James Greenwood, 30. Joe Cator.

Tries: Atkin (21 mins), Vaivai (51)

Goals: Shaw 1/3

Attendance: 3,524