Wigan Warriors 8-18 Hull KR

Hull Kingston Rovers travelled to Wigan Warriors on Friday night. The Robins had not had much luck away at the DW Stadium in recent years. They were, however, boosted by the recent results beating Leigh and Salford in the last two, scoring 40 points in each. Wigan had the previous week off due to match postponements, prior to that suffered defeat for the first time in the league this season in resounding fashion to Catalans Dragons 48-0.

The late team news saw Tony Smith’s men without three of the recent weeks top performers; Jordan Abdull, Korbin Sims and Rowan Milnes. This meant Brad Takairangi shuffled into the halves to partner Mikey Lewis. The first half saw both defences on top, the hosts had the best of the possession and chances twice Powell was held up over the line. Even after being reduced to 12 men, Rovers defence held firm, George King the man sin-binned. The score was opened in the 39th minute, winger Ben Crooks for KR from a looping pass from Takairangi. Crooks converted his own try for an unlikely 6-0 lead at halftime.

The second half was more of the same for Wigan unable to penetrate the visitors’ line when it mattered. Midway through the second period Mikey Lewis lofted a high cross-field kick to the corner finding his man Ryan Hall. Super League’s top try-scorer out jumping his opposite number Jake Bibby to double the Robins advantage. As the game entered the final 15 minutes Wigan had a lifeline through Oliver Gildart, outnumbering the defence on the left edge and setting up a nervy finish. It was the first time in 140 minutes that the KR defence had been breached. Soon after, a clever kick from Smith found Marshall who in turn found Gildart once more for his second try of the night on his first appearance of the season. The last score of the game came in four minutes from time. Mikey Lewis once again with an assist. A reverse grubber kick straight from the training ground found Adam Quinlan on the inside for an easy score. 2009 was the last time Hull KR had a victory on the road against the Warriors and on the defensive effort alone the Robins earned their win. Saints, Hull and Catalans the next three fixtures but Tony Smith’s men look up for the test.

Report by: Simon Bromwich

Wigan Warriors 8 (0)
Tries: Gildart 2.

Hull KR 18 (6)
Tries: Crooks, Hall, Quinlan. Goals: Crooks 3.