A battle between two sides who have confirmed their places in Super League for 2016. Hull Kingston Rovers are unbeaten in the Qualifiers, while Salford have only lost one game out of six.
Last Time Out
Hull Kingston Rovers just did enough to get the better of Sheffield Eagles at Bramall Lane. Chris Chester probably would have taken a ten point victory at the start of the evening, the 100% record of his side will have bee top priority. Eddie Battye started the scoring for the match as Sheffield went into an early lead but Hull KR hit back on three occasions. Ken Sio scored twice, and Maurice Blair also got in on the act. John Davies was sin-binned during the first half for Sheffield after an illegal challenge on Matty Marsh. Quentin Laulu-Togagae kept the Eagles in close contact with Rovers as the Samoan scored the first try of the second half. Sio completed his hat-trick a few minutes later before Millar notched his first try of the tie. Three tries on the bounce for Hull KR proved to be too much for Sheffield to respond to. Adam Walker, Kris Welham and Marsh all touched down as the visitors took a stranglehold. Millar finished the game with a hat-trick following two tries in four minutes.
Salford Red Devils made sure their Super League status wasn’t going to be changed for next season after a 24-10 victory at the Select Security Stadium against Widnes Vikings. It was Salford who scored first, Josh Griffin crossed the whitewash after a great offload from Junior Sa’u. A penalty goal soon after made amends for Dobson’s missed conversion. Patrick Ah Van responded well for the Vikings with a try after 12 minutes. Scott Taylor and the Leigh-bound Cory Paterson scored within five minutes of each other to put Salford 18-4 up, the score stayed the same till after half-time. Liam Hood threw a spanner in the works for the visitors as he was sin-binned for a high tackle on Kevin Brown. But, with a numerical disadvantage to start the opening minutes of the second half, the visitors started strong and that showed on the scoreboard when Sa’u scored. Before the hour mark came another sin-binning for a Salford player, Harrison Hansen was the guilty party after twisting the leg of Hanbury in the tackle. Lloyd White scored four minutes after Hansen’s temporary departure, many thought Widnes would find a way back into the match despite being 24-10 down but Salford defended well and no more points were scored. A late punch-up made James Child show two red cards, one to either side. Kevin Brown and Josh Griffin were sent to the sheds with two minutes of the game remaining.
Maurice Blair and Matty Marsh paired up in the halves for Hull KR last Friday against Sheffield Eagles. A mix of youth and experience can be used at this time of the season in Rovers’ case, their top tier status has been confirmed and it’s good to see Chris Chester experimenting. Ian Watson selected Tommy Lee and Michael Dobson as stand-off and scrum-half respectively against Widnes, it proved a treat due to the Red Devils returning to the AJ Bell Stadium with an important win.
Hull KR will be wanting to keep their 100% record up until the bitter end of the Qualifiers, and it’s Salford who stand in their way this weekend. The Challenge Cup finalists have been impeccable in the middle eights but the Red Devils, who have only lost one game in the campaign, will be wanting to end the season on a good note and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them do so – Salford by 8