Galea scores hat-trick to keep Rovers in play-off hunt

Crusaders 10 Hull KR 38

A hat-trick of tries from Ben Galea in his 100th appearance for Rovers helped to maintain their push for a play-off place by exploiting the latest round of turmoil in Wrexham.

Crusaders gave as good as they got in the first half, but could not find an answer to the Australian second-rower's destructive running in the left-hand channel, especiallyoff the shoulder of Michael Dobson.

Two of his tries came as part of the Robins' three-try burst in eight minutes at the start of the second half and the Welsh side never recovered from that. It has been, to put it mildly, an interesting week in the short but eventful history of the Crusaders. No sooner had they made an expansive gesture of confidence in the future by signing a high-class, if ageing, player such as Keith Senior than they were suspending seven of their current roster for boozing in the build-up to a match.

They were lined up in the stand in their best collars and ties, like naughty schoolboys waiting to be summoned by the headmaster.

Throw in the two Hull KR players currently suspended by their club for alleged misdemeanors and you could justify calling this the Disciplinary Derby.

Unusually for them this season, Crusaders made rather a promising start, building some pressure and going close to an opening try through both Tony Martin and Gareth Thomas, the latter of whom later went off with a suspected broken arm.

Then, however, they failed twice in as many minutes to make the right decisions in defence and found themselves 12 points down. Jake Webster's pass to Sam Latus yielded the first try and a lovely short ball from Dobson to Galea the second.

Crusaders had a one-man advantage for 10 minutes when Jason Netherton was sin-binned for a late challenge on Michael Witt, but they failed to capitalise on it, both Lincoln Withers and Elliot Kear spilling the ball with the line beckoning.

They continued to dominate when Rovers were back up to strength and finally got their reward when Vince Mellars' pass gave Kear just enough space to squeeze in at the corner.

When Frank Winterstein wrestled his way over five minutes later, it was only fellow Australian Clinton Schifcofske's inability to add a second difficult conversion that kept Rovers in front at half-time.

Unfortunately, that was as good as it got. A series of handling mistakes at the start of the second half led to Shaun Briscoe getting over.

Galea's dummy and footwork produced another try and he ran off Dobson again for his third. Clint Newton and Dobson completed the damage, but Crusaders' coach, Iestyn Harris said that he was proud of the efforts of his depleted side.

"Their willingness to work for each other was there for all to see," he said. "The other seven will be back in training on Monday with a point to prove, but this group really dug in together."

Rovers' Justin Morgan echoed that assessment. "You've got to give creditto Crusaders," he said. "I thought they were very spirited."

The Robins have their own internal distractions, but Morgan dead-batted the rumours that have him going to Castleford next season and the issue of when his two suspendedplayer will be available again.

Crusaders Schifcofske; Reardon, Thomas, Mellars, Kear; Martin, Witt; O'Hara, Withers, Bryant, A James, Winterstein, Flowers. Substitutes used Williams, Burke, Grant, J James.

Hull KR Briscoe; Fox, Webster, Wellham, Latus; Green, Dobson; Vella, Fisher, Netherton, Newton, Galea, Murrell. Substitutes used Wheeldon, Taylor, Hodgson, Lovegrove.

Referee T Alibert (France)

Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own