Hull Kingston Rovers booked their place in the Coral Challenge Cup quarter-final draw after beating Salford Red Devils 32-18 at the AJ Bell Stadium. Here’s our verdict…
Rovers went ahead in just the sixth minute as Kane Linnett got onto a simple kick from Danny McGuire to break the deadlock.
Salford soon hit-back, moving the ball wide to the right for Krisnan Inu to force his way over from close-range.
The Red Devils then took the lead with 22 minutes gone. They moved the ball to the right channel once again, putting Niall Evalds one-on-one with Ryan Shaw. The Salford fullback then bounced off his man and spun inside to score.
Then, Welham was fed by Sio on the left edge to go in for the third of the afternoon, converted by Inu, for a 14-6 half-time lead.
Krisnan Inu added a penalty goal five minutes into the second half for 16-6, but Josh Drinkwater’s try under the posts was duly converted by Shaw to reduce the arrears to four points.
Another Inu penalty put Salford 18-12 ahead but that was as good as it got for the hosts.
First, Junior Vaivai finished a sensational move from the Robins, latching onto Craig Hall’s kick to the right corner to ground just in time.
hen Danny Addy’s try from dummy-half put Rovers 24-18 ahead, with Shaw maintaining his 100 per cent record, and the kicker added a further two for 26-18 with just five minutes remaining.
The icing was on the cake just before the final hooter as Weller Hauraki scored against his former club for 32-18
The Old Cliche
There was honestly no other way to describe this match as the tale-of-two-halves. As mentioned the Red Devils had the lead for 50 minutes but it was the last 30 minutes from Rovers that earned them the win.
A Sneak Peek
The match was also a taste of what’s to come in a fortnight’s time as the two teams will meet again at Anfield for the first time at Magic Weekend.
However anything can happen in those two weeks which could possibly affect the teams going into their next meeting.
Better Luck Next Year
It was a short and sweet campaign for Salford as they couldn’t replicate their dominant performance over Rochdale Hornets.
Their focus will now be on the Super League for the remainder of 2019. As it stands they are currently in a position to compete for the play-offs and that will look to be the objective.
A Much Needed Win
As for the winners, Hull KR earned their first win in four games after a fantastic 30 minutes of Rugby. Meaning they will progress to the quarter finals.
Despite the relegation battle they are currently going through in the Super League. They will hope a cup run can give them the confidence to compete for league safety.
Hull KR will now host Warrington Wolves at Craven Park for a place in the semi-finals.
Salford + 18
Tries: Inu (15), Evalds (25), Welham (36)
Goals: Inu (3)
Drop Goals: n/a
Hull KR + 32
Tries: Linnett (7), Drinkwater (51), Vaivai (58), Addy (63), Hauraki (80)
Goals: Shaw (6)
Drop Goals: n/a
Salford: Evalds, Olpherts, Inu, Welham, Sio, Lui, Hastings, Mossop, Lussick, Dudson, Bibby, Griffin, Burke.
Interchanges: Wood, Walker, McCarthy, Murray.
Hull KR: Hall, Shaw, J Keinhorst, Crooks, Vaivai, McGuire, Drinkwater, Harrison, Addy, Mulhern, Linnett, Tomkins, Lawler.
Interchanges: Hauraki, Atkin, Lannon, Rooks.