Harlequins 35 Hull KR 16: Slick Sheriffe arrests Rovers progress

Matt Gafa and Rikki Sheriffe each scored two tries as Harlequins moved back into the Super League play-off places with a hard-fought victory over Hull Kingston Rovers.

Gafa scored in each half to take his tally for the season to eight as the London club produced a dominant first-half display and then withstood a second-half fightback from a determined Rovers side.

The visitors made the brighter opening to the game and it was only a combination of poor decision-making and strong home defence that kept the scoresheet blank. First, the burly Rovers stand-off, Paul Cooke, broke tackles before Ben Galea's grubber kick eluded everybody. Moments later Ben Fisher knocked on with the line at his mercy.

Midway through the half Quins turned the game on its head, scoring two tries in three minutes. The first came when Danny Orr's chip allowed Jon Wells to leap highest and plunge over the line; seconds later the captain, Rob Purdham, stole in after Sheriffe had made an electrifying 50-metre run.

With Henry Paul converting one of the tries and adding a penalty, Harlequins had a 12-0 advantage and the confidence seemed to drain from the visitors. The Londoners then made their dominance tell again when Orr made a surging break and Gafa was on hand to scamper over, Paul adding the extras again.

Just as in the first half Hull KR made a strong start to the second period. This time they were rewarded when Ben Cockayne profited from a Cooke up-and-under to crash over for a try.

The conditions deteriorated but Quins still managed to stretch their lead when first Paul kicked a drop-goal and then Gafa scored his second try after more good work by Purdham. But the visitors were refusing to go quietly and quick tries from Cockayne and Kirk Netherton produced a frantic finale to the game.

With the minutes ticking away, and with Rovers desperate for possession, Sheriffe found space to twice dart in and seal victory for the home side.

Harlequins: Wells, Clubb, Gafa, Howell, Sheriffe, Paul, Orr, Temata, Randall, Ward, Mbu, Worrincy, Purdham. Interchange: Rinaldi, Melling, Haggerty, Grayshon.

Hull Kingston Rovers: Briscoe, Fox, Cockayne, Walker, Fitzhenry, Cooke, J Webster, Mills, Fisher, Vella, Newton, Lovegrove, Galea. Interchange: Crossman, Gene, I'Anson, K Netherton.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).

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
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat