FOUR POINTERS: Salford Red Devils 24 Hull Kingston Rovers 14
Hull KR surrendered a 14-0 lead as Salford put together a sufficient 2nd half performance to keep their Challenge Cup run alive.
Never celebrate early
Ryan Lannon looked to have scored a 60m wonder try, lifting his arm in a showboating celebration, only to be ankle tapped 5 metres from the line. He was made to look a fool and in the process pulled his hamstring – what goes around comes around, I guess. I’m pretty sure he won’t be celebrating prematurely again.
Neither side can defend the short side at scrums
From the first scrum of the game, Hull KR attacked the short side of the Salford scrum defence. They had clearly spotted something in the pre-match analysis and it paid off, with Shaun Lunt crossing for two nearly identical first half tries from the scrum. However, the 2nd try was debatable with Hicks missing deliberate obstruction from Jamie Ellis in the build up. Either way, it was clear Salford struggled to defend the short side, so much so that they decided to employ the same tactic against their opposition. It proved a lucrative tactic, with Kris Brining crossing from long range. Although attacking the short side off the scrum isn’t new in the NRL, in the Super League it is rarely used and it looks like Tim Sheens might just be on to something here; watch this space.
Hull KR will be able compete in Super League
Last night Hull KR showed they were able to compete with a current top four Super League team, regardless of how fortunate they were with refereeing decisions. They defended well against Salford for a large part of the game and although Salford weren’t as clinical as they have previously been this season, Hull KR showed they could trade shots with them in preserving their lead until 30 minutes to go. Their mentality, however, was lacking as they capitulated from the 50-minute mark onwards, with only Salford’s errors capping their own winning margin.
Shaun Lunt deserves a place in a Super League side
Lunt scored both of Hull KR’s tries in a comprehensive performance up the middle. He showed great loyalty in sticking with KR after their relegation from the Super League last year and he looks to have made an astute decision, now guiding them to a bounce-back promotion. Now he’s got former junior Kiwis captain Zach Dockar-Clay challenging for the number 9 jersey, he’ll most likely push on further as a player; it will be interesting to see if he stays with the Robins going into next season.
Salford Red Devils: 24
Tries: Lannon, Kopczak, Brining, Murdoch-Masila Goals: Dobson 4
Hull KR: 14
Tries: Lunt 2 Goals: Ellis 3
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