Hull Kingston Rovers travelled to Toronto to claim an important win to keep their Super League survival hopes alive. Here’s our verdict…
Against their first ever Super League opponents it was Toronto that got the historic fixture underway, and they broke the deadlock after 10 minutes through Rawsthorne. Rovers went in defensively and left the gap for the hosts to overlap and Rawsthorne was able to dive over in the corner.
Rovers responded with a brilliant interception from Quinlan, who ran 50m before throwing a pinpoint pass over his head back inside for Vaivai to saunter in behind the posts.
In similar fashion, Craig Hall plucked out the pass out of the air and went 90m to put his team in front, completing a turnaround of two tries in four minutes.
Chris Atkin went for a drop-goal but the Wolfpack charged it down. Rovers reclaimed the ball though and got a penalty for holding down, with Hall taking the two to extend their lead going into the break.
The hosts reduced the deficit through Dixon, who received a short inside pass from dummy half, juggled with it but spun to slip out of the tackle to score the try.
Minutes later, Toronto claimed a penalty for a ball steal on Chase Stanley, and Gareth O’Brien took the two to level the scores. Rovers conceded another penalty after the restart for offside and O’Brien claimed another two points to put the Wolfpack into the lead.
Rovers then bagged back-to-back tries around the hour mark. The first was from James Greenwood, as he got his arm free in a tackle on the half way line and found Quinlan with a good offload, and the full-back in turn found Atkin to score behind the sticks and take back the lead. After the restart Clarkson picked up a fumble and trundled 25m to score in the corner.
With less than ten minutes to go. Dixon danced through the tired Rovers defence to score to the right of the posts to keep Toronto’s hopes alive.
But they conceded a penalty from a high tackle on Danny McGuire, and Hall nailed the kick from 48m out. Rovers hung on to claim an important win.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Hull KR make too many mistakes
Despite their step closer to survival, the Red Robins conceded too many penalties which could have coste them the result.
This would be a point to improve on if they are to get the win at Leeds in their next Qualifiers contest.
Toronto are fit for Super League
Even though they lost their first ever league game against a Super League side, the Wolfpack have proven themselves more than competing with that level of opposition.
They still have a chance for a place in the top flight but there is work to do, particularly now that they have been shown to be beatable at the Lamport Stadium.
Man of the Match – Craig Hall (Hull Kingston Rovers)
On his second spell at Hull KR Craig Hall stepped up against his former side with a wonderful try from his own tryline and added to the scoresheet with two vital conversions.
Toronto Wolfpack – 22
Tries: Rawsthorne (11′), Dixon (44′, 73′)
Goals: O’Brien (5/5)
Drop Goals: n/a
Hull Kingston Rovers – 28
Tries: Vaivai (21′), Hall (25′), Atkin (60′), Clarkson (63′)
Goals: Tickle (4/4), Hall (2/2)
Drop Goals: n/a
Toronto Wolfpack: O’Brien, Rawsthorne, Wheeler, Stanley, Caton-Brown, McCrone, Wallace, Lussick, Beswick, Sims, Dixon, Paterson, Emmitt.
Interchanges: Ackers, Buchmann, Sidlow, Whiting.
Hull Kingston Rovers: Quinlan, Hall, Crooks, Vaivai, Wardill, McGuire, Atkin, Scruton, Lee, Mulhern, Tomkins, Greenwood, Tickle.
Interchanges: Donaldson, Masoe, Kavanagh, Clarkson.
Referee: James Child