Hull Kingston Rovers fell to a 17-16 golden point extra time loss at Salford Red Devils but results elsewhere meant the Robins’ place in Super League 2020 was confirmed. Here’s our verdict..
Josh Drinkwater broke the deadlock on eight minutes, supporting Kyle Trout who gathered Danny McGuire’s offload.
Danny McGuire was sent to the sin-bin in the 31st minute, and Salford capitalised on their man advantage when Jake Bibby crossed in the left corner on the next set. Krisnan Inu missed the conversion as Rovers led 6-4.
Shaw added a penalty goal two minutes from the break for 8-4 in favour of the visitors, whilst Craig Hall missed a drop-goal just before the half-time siren sounded.
Tui Lolohea’s unconverted try levelled the scores, just five minutes into the second half, as Inu missed his second of the night. However he converted a penalty from 40m out minutes later for a 10-8 advantage.
Kane Linnett then gave Rovers the lead once more, collecting Shaw’s inside pass after Weller Hauraki’s great work in the build-up.
Shaw’s fourth goal of the night, via a penalty, put Rovers 16-10 up heading into the final ten minutes.
Meanwhile Drinkwater’s drop-goal attempt was blocked by a Salford defender with six minutes remaining.
Joey Lussick’s try in the final minute, converted by Inu, took the match to golden point, where Inu’s drop-goal gave Salford the 17-16 win.
Salford Finish Third
Head coach of the year nominee Ian Watson was delighted with how his side turned the tide in the second half as they caused their own problems for most parts of the game.
But their late try from Lussick meant that they’ve secured third and will travel to second place Wigan next week to begin their Grand Final campaign.
Rovers Stay Up
It wasn’t the fairytale ending for Hull KR but their story in Super League lives on as London failed to beat Wakefield.
Head coach Tony Smith wasn’t delighted with his side failing to win and Salford chasing them for large parts of the game.
Best of Both Worlds
The night was the best of both worlds for both sides despite Salford being the victors and Rovers going home with nothing.
Salford got the two points, Warrington failed to beat Leeds which means the Red Devils have that top three spot which provides not one but two chances to get to the Grand Final.
Whereas Hull KR were playing for Super League survival hoping that other results would go their way. Even though Huddersfield came from behind to beat Catalan, Wakefield did the job over London meaning the Broncos will go down.
English Rugby League said a fond farewell to one of their greatest servants Danny McGuire. He wasn’t able to get on the scoresheet but it was his line-break that helped set up the first try.
The Hull KR players set up a guard of honour for Danny as he made his way back to the dressing room for the last time.
McGuire will finish with 489 career appearances and 285 tries, representing the Great Britain Lions; England; Leeds Rhinos and Hull Kingston Rovers.
Tries: Bibby (33), Lolohea (45), Lussick (79)
Goals: Inu (2)
Drop Goals: Inu (89)
Hull KR 16
Tries: Drinkwater (9), Linnett (58)
Goals: Shaw (4)
Drop Goals: n/a
Salford: Niall Evalds, Ken Sio, Kris Welham, Jake Bibby, Krisnan Inu, Tui Lolohea, Jackson Hastings, Adam Walker, Logan Tomkins, Lee Mossop, George Griffin, Josh Jones, Greg Burke.
Interchanges: Joey Lussick, Ben Nakubuwai, Josh Johnson, Ryan Lannon.
Hull KR: Adam Quinlan, Craig Hall, Ben Crooks, Kane Linnett, Ryan Shaw, Danny McGuire, Josh Drinkwater, Kyle Trout, Matt Parcell, Daniel Murray, Dean Hadley, Weller Hauraki, Robbie Mulhern
Interchanges: Danny Addy, Mose Masoe, Chris Atkin, George Lawler.