Warrington Wolves survived a scare from the Hull KR on Saturday afternoon to pick up their sixth win in a row.
Warrington Wolves survived an early second-half resurgence to overcome Hull Kingston Rovers 40-26 to go level on points with second placed Wigan Warriors.
In the game’s opening set, Shaun Lunt had to leave the game due to a knee injury after a tackle on Ben Westwood.
Minutes later the Robins got the first points of the game after a high tackle by Tyrone Roberts, with Ryan Shaw knocking over a penalty.
Although the away side pressured the Wolves line, their defence held firm before Mike Cooper crossed for the first try of the game. After man repeated sets the front rower broke the hosts’ deadlock with Stefan Ratchford adding the extras.
Warrington then pushed on, with Jack Hughes next on the score sheet after finding a way through the Rovers line.
Soon after they were over again, this time through Ben Currie after a perfectly timed pass from Kevin Brown.
Just before the half time hooter Hughes had his second, as a kick to the corner wasn’t dealt with well by the visitors’ defence, giving his side a 22-2 lead at the break.
Three tries in nine minutes saw Tim Sheens’ side come up with a second-half revival.
Firstly, through Maurice Blair, who took advantage of some poor communication between Josh Charnley and Ratchford to run onto the ball and finish under the sticks.
Jamie Donaldson then found a way to take a deflected Danny McGuire kick to score, before Chris Atkin put the away side with two following a tremendous break by debutant Junior Vaivai.
Although the game looked like it could have gone the way of the away side, Steve Price’s side found a way to put the game to bed.
Firstly, after building pressure, Wire were able to find a way to get Tom Lineham over in the corner.
Ratchford then benefited from a Ben Currie offload to secured the two points before converting his own try, with Ryan Atkins then finishing off a brilliant team try started by Bryson Goodwin.
Rovers would have the last laugh, as McGuire darted over from dummy half for a late consolation effort.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Lunt’s loss cost Rovers
The loss of Shaun Lunt early in the game was a key moment, as the visitors lost one of their most influential players. Their bench was depleted within minutes, and although it may not have changed the result it did have a huge impact on Rovers’ chances.
Sita Akauola stepped up for his team in the absence of his injured teammate Ben Murdoch Masilla. The prop forward seemed to be on a rampage, winning the gameline for his team and setting the platform for his team to make the plays that won them the game. His influence off the bench was crucial.
Man Of The Match- Bryson Goodwin (Warrington Wolves)
The NRL veteran showed why he is a key player for the Wolves. His line-running and decision making were well thought out in attack, and his experience showed in defence as he slowed the Rovers revival down and gave his forwards the opportunity to push back.
What are they saying
Steve Price – Warrington Wolves Head Coach
“It was the longest game I’ve ever been involved in to be honest with you, it felt like it went on for eternity. I was very pleased with the outcome, to score 40 points; that’s what good teams, do they find a way to get it done and we did that today. I was disappointed with our start to the game especially with out intent and attitude and then to come out in the second half and for them to score those quick tries was disappointing, as we really pride ourselves on our start to each half. But as I said, good teams find a way and I’m proud of the guys to have been able to do that. We didn’t panic. We stayed at it with our game plan to get 40 points .”
Tim Sheens – Hull KR Head Coach
“Junior [Vaivai] trained really hard and we weren’t going to play him until next week, but we were forced to with two centres out and he did pretty well. It gave me a good chance to see him and Justin Carney play alongside each other, and they looked a strong pairing down that edge so we’ll keep going with that. I was very, very disappointed with the try on half-time. I’ve got a picture of Vaivai grounding the ball but the three officials missed it.That just made our job a lot harder in the second half. We needed to keep the scoreline down in the early minutes, but as it was we did better than that.”
Warrington Wolves 40
Tries: Cooper, Hughes (2), Currie, Lineham, Ratchford, Atkins
Goals: Ratchford (6)
Hull KR 26
Tries: Blair, Donaldson, Atkin, McGuire
Goals: Shaw (5)
Warrington Wolves: Stefan Ratchford, Tom Lineham, Bryson Goodwin, Ryan Atkins, Josh Charnley, Kevin Brown, Tyrone Roberts, Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Jack Hughes, Ben Westwood Subs: Joe Philbin, Morgan Smith, Sitaleki Akauola, Dominic Crosby
Hull KR: Adam Quinlan, Ryan Shaw, Liam Salter, Junior Vaivai, Justin Carney, Danny McGuire, Chris Atkin, Robbie Mulhern, Shaun Lunt, Mose Masoe, Maurice Blair, Danny Tickle, Ben Kavanagh Subs: Nick Scruton, Matty Marsh, James Greenwood, James Donaldson
Referee: Jack Smith