Hull Kingston Rovers came from behind to beat London Broncos by 22 points to 12. Here’s our review…
The Red and Whites made a flying start, posting points inside the first three minutes in just their second set of the game. This came on the back of a 90-metre first set from the kick-off where Nathan Mason fumbled on London’s first tackle and a couple of plays later, Josh Drinkwater sent Kane Linnett powering over.
Six minutes later the Broncos were over to level the scores as ex-Robin Jordan Abdull combined with James Cunningham, and his short ball sent Matty Gee strolling through a gap and over where they were able to dominate the field position.
In the last few minutes of the half the Red and Whites were forced to see off consecutive sets on their own line before Junior Vaivai almost poached a try from a Drinkwater grubber on the hooter. However he just failed to ground the ball before the dead-ball line and so London went into the break two points ahead.
In the second half Will Lovell’s attempted offload went loose, giving the Red and Whites great attacking field position, and Mitch Garbutt continued his outstanding start to the season by stretching out of a three-man tackle to get the ball down.
Five minutes later the Robins were in again after another London error, this time Matty Fozard where he fumbled a Mark Ioane offload.
This allowed Drinkwater to send a long ball which allowed Vaivai to show his exceptional footwork to skip around Ryan Morgan before flicking the ball out for Craig Hall to race over out wide – skipping past Alex Walker on route.
Suddenly the game had swung firmly in Rovers’ favour after. Hall converted his own try, and by the time the third quarter came, the Robins had extended their lead again through Garbutt’s second of the afternoon.
Mose Masoe’s inside ball for Danny McGuire saw the half-back flick an offload away that Drinkwater tipped on over his shoulder and Garbutt ploughed his way over from ten metres out.
Despite that, the Broncos refused to lie down and it took some great defence from the Robins to keep them out.
They were finally rewarded for their efforts six minutes from time when Jay Pitts touched down an Abdull grubber but it was just a consolation as the Robins secured their second win of the season.
Dagger took his chance
After two weeks of Chris Atkin starting as full-back, the match was a good opportunity for the young Will Dagger to show his coach what he’s been missing out from and he took it well.
The main concern they’ve had is the errors from the high-ball that had conceded tries, but Dagger had brought his safe hands and put a good shift into the offensive play.
Garbutt shines again
As mentioned in my preview Rovers danger man would be Mitch Garbutt. He continued to gain valuable metres for his side and not to mention bagging a couple of tries.
His performance has once again earned him a man of the match.
London deserved better
The scoreline doesn’t do it justice for London, they looked like the team that wanted the win more than Rovers in the first half.
However when they needed to take their chances in the final third, they lacked the clinical edge to put the ball over the line. Although credit where it’s due to Hull KR’s defence on their try line.
London caused problems
Another case of why the scoreline didn’t do justice for London is that their pace from the rook was quicker than their opposition.
Matthew Fozard – who started as hooker – was able to get the ball out quicker and so they were able to gain more metres along the areas where Rovers were short on numbers.
Hull KR: 22
Tries: Linnett (3), Garbutt (44,56), Hall (47)
Goals: Drinkwater (1), Hall (2)
Drop Goals: n/a
Tries: Gee (10), Pitts (74)
Goals: Dixon (2)
Drop Goals: n/a
Hull KR: Dagger, Crooks, Keinhorst, Vaivai, Hall, McGuire, Drinkwater, Mulhern, Lawler, Masoe, Linnett, Hauraki, Greenwood
Interchanges: Lee, Garbutt, Lannon, Atkin
London: Walker, Dixon, Morgan, Kear, Williams, Abdull, Cunningham, Mason, Fozard, Richards, Pitts, Gee, Yates
Interchanges: Pelissier, Loane, Battye, Lovell