A late try from Danny McGuire secured a first win in two games for Hull Kingston Rovers. Here’s our verdict…
There was little to separate the two sides in a tight opening quarter. A howling gale and persistent rain prior to kick-off set the tone for a conservative start from both sides.
With chances few and far between, Hall opted to take on a 50-metre penalty goal after David Fifita was pulled up for a late hit on George Lawler. The winger had the distance, only for the ball to hit the post and land in the arms of Danny Brough who cleared Trinity’s line.
Rovers were penalised for a hand on the ball just short of their line. Brough slotted over the simple kick and as the teams returned to the halfway mark for the restart, referee Tom Grant sent Danny McGuire to the sin-bin for poor discipline.
Despite that numerical disadvantage, the Red and Whites levelled the scores with a 40-metre penalty from the boot of Hall four minutes from half-time to send the sides into the break locked at two-apiece.
In the second half, Wakefield looked to be getting on top of the Robins, controlling the field position battle and winning penalties as a result, which saw Rovers placed on a team-warning for consecutive infringements on their line.
The Red and Whites had to dug deep in defence to see off four back-to-back sets of Trinity pressure, and they were rewarded with two penalties of their own, the second of which gave Hall the simple task of tying the scores once again.
The game was anyone’s to win in the final quarter, and it took an exceptional piece of defensive work from Hall to deny Tom Johnstone at the corner after Reece Lyne’s break had put the home side on the attack.
With ten minutes to go Brough’s third penalty goal of the afternoon edged Trinity ahead once again, but that lasted just three minutes as the Robins poached the all-important and long-awaited first try of the game.
Josh Drinkwater’s cross-kick was pushed back by Keinhorst, and the ever-alert McGuire was in the right place at the right time to pick up the pieces and scamper in at the corner.
Hall kept his cool to slot over the conversion from the touchline, and although Wakefield threw everything they had at Rovers’ line in the final seven minutes, the Red and Whites stood strong.
The conditions set the tone
As said, the mix of gale and rain set the tone for the match, making it difficult for both sides to retain ball control and so many penalties were given.
Both sides were evenly matched
Throughout the 80 minutes there was nothing to separate the two sides.
This was seen to be surprising, considering Wakefield had back-to-back wins and Hull KR had two consecutive defeats coming into this match.
But all that was put aside and both teams had put on spectacular defence, only for the late try by McGuire to decide the victor.
Wakefield had the chances
Although both evenly matched it was Wakefield that had the looked to have the match in their favour, having the most possession and chances to score.
But of course the Wildcats failed to convert those chances into tries.
The Red Robins lacked the game management to see it through the 80 minutes in previous games where they would make drastic decisions that weren’t necessary at the time.
Although the Red and Whites had improved on this, the defence was also the best we’ve seen all season. Prior to the game, Hull KR had one of highest number of missed tackles, but today they improved.
Wakefield – 6
Goals: Brough (3)
Drop Goals: n/a
Hull KR – 10
Goals: Hall (3)
Drop Goals: n/a
Wakefield Trinity: Hampshire, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone, Miller, Brough, Fifita, Wood, King, Batchelor, Kirmond, Arona.
Interchanges: Horo, Pauli, Kopczak, Hirst.
Hull KR: Dagger, Oakes, Keinhorst, Vaivai, Hall, McGuire, Drinkwater, Masoe, Lee, Jewitt, Hauraki, Linnett, Lawler.
Interchanges: Garbutt, Greenwood, Addy, Atkin.