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Match Report: Hull Kingston Rovers 22 Wigan 20
Posted by Bilko on March 02 2015 - 01:45

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Hull Kingston Rovers v Wigan Warriors - First Utility Super League 20
Sunday 1st March 2015. Kick Off 3:00pm at Craven Park.

Match Report

That was a frustrating last half an hour to watch in this game at Hull KR. Wigan with a 20-6 lead didn't manage it at all well and the last thirty minutes was pretty much a carbon copy of the Widnes match, except we obviously lost this time.

It was a pretty funny turnaround in fairness to have gone from 6-4 down to 20-6 up, within four minutes of actual game time either side of half time, but for me that was a perfect platform laid to push on and control the rest of the game and like at Widnes, Wigan failed to do that.

What got me most was the average starting position of the Rovers sets second half. I haven't seen a video back but they continually seemed to be starting sets near half way whilst they had managed to ensure we were pushed deep in our quarter when we started ours.

Most of that was by our own doing and the reality is that if you keep gifting sides easy field position, your going to get punished. Rovers basically ground us down in the end.

I certain think that the game was refereed far differently than the Brisbane game, and Wigan struggled with a 13-8 count against them, but more telling I think was drop outs forced was 4-0 in Rovers favour.

Some of those drop outs were down to good Wigan defence but it highlighted how Rovers cranked up pressure during the game and completed sets well. I can't recall us having made them sweat heavily in defence too often during that game.

That might sound a daft statement when you've scored four tries but if you take those four tries out of the equation, I can't recall Wigan pushing Rovers back on their own try line defensively that often.

It took 24 minutes for the first score to occur and it was a total gift. You could see what Joe Burgess was trying to do, a trickling grubber from Darrell Goulding was heading dead but he clearly wasn't aware of Ken Sio sneaking up on him to nick the try. His focus seemed totally on the ball rather than the real danger, which was the attacker, and he simply failed to control a situation he was in full control of. Conversion from Josh Mantellato made it 6-0.

Wigan had barely looked like scoring before that try but they quickly responded off the back of a penalty twenty metres from their own line. Matty Smith despatched it quickly to the touchline and all of a sudden Wigan were on the attack with passing left getting Burgess over in the corner. Smith failed to convert so it was just 6-4.

Within the first half, Lee Mossop had made his return off the bench and I thought he was excellent with a good initial half hour stint either side of half time. He capped it off with a try on 37 minutes to the left of the posts which Smith converted for a Wigan lead of 10-6.

Then amazingly Wigan scored another with ten seconds left of the half, this time Josh Charnley scoring in the right corner despite having to collect a pass off the ground from Ryan Hampshire. Smith couldn't convert this time but Wigan somehow went in the sheds with a 14-6 lead when I'd have been more than happy to take just 6-4 down.

Rovers would have been a bit stunned by that but it was nothing compared to Wigan's start to the second half. In almost a replica of the move against Brisbane, Burgess breaks from 80 metres out down the left wing and finds George Williams with an pass on the outside. Williams this time doesn't need to give the ball back to Budgie, he finished himself under the posts and that move saw a touchdown after just 30 seconds of the second half. Smith converted for a 20-6 lead.

Those quick fire tries evoked memories for me of our cup tie at this ground back in 2013 when a 4-0 Rovers lead on 35 minutes had been turned into a 34-4 deficit by the 54th Minute.

I suppose you have to credit Rovers for not going under from this point onwards but it was another stroke of fortune that got them on the comeback trail. Wigan second half were playing into the strong wind and a bomb from Matty Smith ended up blowing backwards from the Wigan chasers and Ken Sio scooped the ball up to return it towards the try line. Wigan did manage to scramble back to stop him initially but he eventually claimed his second score of the game and although the conversion missed, it was now 20-10.

Then when Adam Walker scored on 56 minutes it was now 20-16 after Mantellato converted and it really was game on again.

Much as I'm frustrated with Wigan's play in the final half hour, Rovers had to be credited for their substitutions in particular. I thought Graeme Horne mad some good impact for them as substitute hooker and during the latter stages Chris Chester introduce Kieran Dixon who's pace late in the match was an excellent option against clearly tiring Wigan defence.

It was him actually who got Rovers in front with 8 minutes to go. He scored to the left of the posts and the conversion from Mantellato put Rovers into a 22-20 lead that they didn't let go of.

Wigan might have come back to nick the win but personally I don't think they deserve it the way they ended the game. Shaun Wane is quoted saying our set completion in the final quarter was down at 22% and that says an awful lot. Rovers pinned us back late in the contest and in a way showed us how to do it. We did get into territory score with a minute to go but John Bateman's error typified the afternoon in the end.

On the coach home I was listening to the debates being made randomly by supporters and their was plenty of talk about how opposition sides are clearly trying to niggle us this season.  At times I think Wigan have every right to stand up for themselves, and it's not always something that will work against us, but considering we had a good leads here and at Widnes, I struggle to see what we could gain from getting involved in pushing and shoving situations that they both sucked us into.

Even though punches are rarely thrown these days, those kind of incidents can only fire players and most importantly the crowd up, raising the tension. Surely our plan should be more to keep the pace, tension and crowd noise down?

Anyway the end result was a loss. I can take that IF we bounce back well with a good win at Castleford on Friday. That's the key. The loss here was incredibly frustrating but let's see what the response is because Castleford, having lost all three games so far, are not that poor. It will be a huge test for us at their ground and us Wigan fans will feel a hell of a lot better if we can pass that challenge. We shall see what happens.

Team Sheets

- Hull KR Position Wigan 1
2 Ben Cockayne Full Back Ryan Hampshire 20
4 Josh Mantellato

Right Wing

Josh Charnley 2
18 Liam Salter Centre Anthony Gelling 3
3 Darrell Goulding Centre Joel Tomkins 11
5 Ken Sio Left Wing Joe Burgess 5
23 Terry Campese Stand Off George Williams 6
7 Albert Kelly Scrum Half Matty Smith 7
8 Adam Walker Prop Ryan Sutton 28
24 John Boudebza Hooker Mike McIlorum 9
14

Mitch Allgood

Prop

Taulima Tautai

24
6 Maurice Blair 2nd Row Connor Farrell 31
13 Tyrone McCarthy 2nd Row Liam Farrell 12
17 Greg Burke L.Forward John Bateman 14
-
1 Kieran Dixon Substitute Sam Powell 16
11 Kevin Larroyer Substitute Tony Clubb 17
12 Graeme Horne Substitute Lee Mossop 23
20 James Green Substitute Larne Patrick 25
- Chris Chester Coach Shaun Wane -

Score Sheet

Hull Kingston Rovers 22

--- Wigan Warriors 20

Tries (4):
Ken Sio 2
Adam Walker
Kieran Dixon

---

Tries (4):
Joe Burgess
Lee Mossop
Josh Charnley
George Williams

Goals:
Josh Mantellato 3/4
--- Goals:
Matty Smith 2/4

Scoring and Incident Pattern

24th Minute Hull KR 04 Wigan 00 Try: Ken Sio
Hull KR 06 Wigan 00 Conversion: Josh Mantellato (1/1)
27th Minute Hull KR 06 Wigan 04 Try: Joe Burgess
Hull KR 06 Wigan 04 Missed Conv: Matty Smith (0/1)
37th Minute Hull KR 06 Wigan 08 Try: Lee Mossop
Hull KR 06 Wigan 10 Conversion: Matty Smith (1/2)
40th Minute Hull KR 06 Wigan 14 Try: Josh Charnley
Hull KR 06 Wigan 14 Missed Conv: Matty Smith (1/3)
Half Time Hull Kingston Rovers 06 Wigan Warriors 14
41st Minute Hull KR 06 Wigan 18 Try: George Williams
Hull KR 06 Wigan 20 Conversion: Matty Smith (2/4)
51st Minute Hull KR 10 Wigan 20 Try: Ken Sio (2)
Hull KR 10 Wigan 20 Missed Conv: Josh Mantellato (1/2)
58th Minute Hull KR 14 Wigan 20 Try: Adam Walker
Hull KR 16 Wigan 20 Conversion: Josh Mantellato (2/3)
72nd Minute Hull KR 20 Wigan 20 Try: Kieran Dixon
Hull KR 22 Wigan 20 Conversion: Josh Mantellato (3/4)
Full Time Hull Kingston Rovers 22 Wigan Warriors 20

Video Highlights

Referee

Robert Hicks

Penalties Conceded

Hull KR 8 Wigan 13

Match Attendance

7,632

Weather

Blustery and some rain early in the second half.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 20 - Round 3

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 St Helens 3 3 0 0 91 27 +64 6
2 Leeds Rhinos 3 3 0 0 106 60 +46 6
3 Catalan Dragons 3 2 0 1 58 48 +10 4
4 Warrington Wolves 3 2 0 1 47 52 -5 4
5 Wakefield Wildcats 3 2 0 1 84 104 -20 4
6 Widnes Vikings 3 1 1 1 86 76 +10 3
7 Wigan Warriors 3 1 1 1 66 60 +6 3
8 Hull FC 3 1 0 2 53 39 +14 2

Top 8 Qualify for "Super 8s" after Round 23 / Top 4 Qualify for Play Offs

9 Hull Kingston Rovers 3 1 0 2 76 104 -28 2
10 Salford Red Devils 3 1 0 2 46 102 -56 2
11 Castleford Tigers 3 0 0 3 48 58 -10 0
12 Huddersfield Giants 3 0 0 3 40 71 -31 0

Round 3 Results
Thu 26 Feb Leeds Rhinos 28 Huddersfield Giants 24 12,878
Fri 27 Feb St Helens 21 Castleford Tigers 14 10,066
Sat 28 Feb Catalan Dragons 38 Warrington Wolves 18 8,946
Sat 28 Feb Salford Red Devils 32 Hull FC 28 3,606
Sun 1 Mar Hull Kingston Rovers 22 Wigan Warriors 20 7,632
Sun 1 Mar Widnes Vikings 58 Wakefield Wildcats 16 5,810

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