Hull FC 24 Hull KR 38 match report: Revenge proves Magic for Rovers
Fascinating clash typifies first day of Super League's annual Magic Weekend
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
the etihad stadium
Sunday 18 May 2014
Hull Kingston Rovers gained revenge for last year's injustice at the Etihad, but they did it the hard way, resisting the bravest of fight-backs from 12-man Hull.
Hull played most of the second half without Jason Crooks, sent off for a high tackle, but they kept the Robins on their toes to the end of a fascinating match that typified the first day of Super League's annual Magic Weekend.
It also made up for the offside try that beat them 12 months ago, although this was a match with its share of points to argue over. With Hull City kicking off at precisely the same time at Wembley, this could have been billed as the Empty City Derby. It is to be hoped that someone, from one of the place's three clubs, remembered to turn out the lights before passing the Humber Bridge.
No sooner had the shock news of an unlikely two goal lead drifted north – prompting a rare outbreak of unified chanting– than Rovers were in the process of putting the lights out on their neighbours in the first quarter.
Ben Cockayne chimed into the back-line to release Liam Salter for his first try after 10 minutes. Another 10 and Kevin Larroyer was taking Josh Hodgson's pass to go over. When Salter crowned a dazzling move, involving Cockayne, Hodgson, Travis Burns and Kris Keating, it seemed as though the usual rivalry between these clubs might have turned into a tepid no-contest.
It is a rare Hull derby without controversy, however, and a large slice of it saw the complexion of the game change. Joe Westerman did the damage with an incisive run and a pass to put Dean Hadley one-on-one with Cockayne. The full-back was beaten all ends up, but stuck out his foot for a trip that was not effective enough to stop Hadley scoring, but enough to see him leave the field injured. Remarkably, the referee, Richard Silverwood, took no further action, but Hull were back in the game.
Both sides had tries disallowed before, on the stroke of half-time, Kirk Yeaman supplied the pass for Jamie Shaul to race away and make the scoreline much more typical of these occasions.
Burns stretched the lead a little with a penalty awarded for a high tackle, before Crookes was guilty of a much worse one on Salter. This time the red card got an airing, for only the fifth time in the Magic Weekend's history.
Worse still, within a couple of minutes they had conceded again, Gardner scoring in the corner. There was still life in 12-man Hull as they showed when Danny Houghton went over and when Burns' tackle stopped Yeaman going in.
An unlikely comeback was on the cards when Feka Palea'asina bludgeoned his way through. With nine minutes to play, however, Gardner, on loan from St Helens, squeezed in at the corner again, before the outstanding Josh Hodgson made it look more clear-cut than it had been.
Wigan Warriors beat the league leaders Leeds Rhinos 18-14 in a tight match in which both scored three tries. The difference was that Matty Smith kicked three goals for Wigan, Kevin Sinfield only one in reply.
The London Broncos almost had their first Super League point of the season but Josh Drinkwater failed with the conversion attempt from his own late try to leave the Catalan Dragons fortunate 24-22 winners.
In another gripping contest, Widnes beat Salford 30-24, with Paddy Flynn's second try in the last minute clinching it.
Hull FC Shaul; Colbon, Tanaloa, Yeaman, Crookes; Rankin, Miller; Paea, Houghton, Watts, Ellis, Hadley, Westerman. Substitutes used Heremaia, Palea'asina, Bowden, Carvell.
Hull KR Cockayne; D.Hodgson, Welham, Salter, Gardner; Burns, Keating; Netherton, J.Hodgson, Weyman, Larroyer, Horne, Costigan. Substitutes used Green, Lovegrove, Langley, Walker.
Referee R Silverwood (Mirfield).
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