Hull 44 Hull Kingston Rovers 18: Cooke controversy deepens Rovers woe

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The Independent Online

Paul Cooke faces an uncertain future at Hull Kingston Rovers. The stand-off is rumoured to have been sacked, following indiscretions in training.

He was at the KC Stadium yesterday to watch as the Robins were run ragged by a rejuvenated Hull. Rovers' coach, Justin Morgan, said Cooke was "not fit for selection during the week", but refused to say if he was injured.

"That was my decision," Morgan said. "The 17 who played today were fit for selection. I will just leave it at that." When asked if Cooke had been sent home from training, Morgan replied: "I cannot confirm or deny that. We will give an answer when the time is right. He has not been disciplined by the club; whether he will be is a board decision." Pushed on whether the 27-year-old would play for him again, Morgan said: "We will cross that bridge when we come to it."

The furore overshadowed a fine performance from Hull, Cooke's former employers. Shaun Berrigan created four tries for Richard Agar's side, who have a Challenge Cup semi-final against Wakefield on Sunday.

Hull trailed 18-16 at half-time after tries from Ben Galea, Ben Cockayne and Chaz I'Anson, but they scored 28 second-half points. Tom Briscoe and Kirk Yeaman scored twice for the home side and Scott Wheeldon, Graeme Horne, Craig Hall and Matt Sing also touched down. Danny Tickle kicked six goals.

Hull: Sing; Hall, Horne, Yeaman, Briscoe; Washbrook, Berrigan; Dowes, Houghton, Thackray, Manu, Tickle, Radford. Substitutes used: Lee, Broughton, Wheeldon, Cusack.

Hull Kingston Rovers: Cockayne; Fox, Lovegrove, Welham, Steel; Galea, Dobson; Vella, K Netherton, Crossman, Gene, J Netherton, I'Anson. Substitutes used: Aizue, Mills, Chester, Fisher.

Referee: S Ganson (St Helens)

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