Hull Kr 14 Wakefield 9: Cockayne repays Morgan's faith

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The Independent Online

Hull Kingston Rovers made the sort of start to life in the Super League that can only give them confidence for the struggles that lie ahead.

Riding a tide of emotion throughout their first game at this level on Saturday, the Robins stuck to their task even when Trinity threatened to take control. They got their reward with Ben Cockayne's last-minute winning try.

Cockayne's fortunes mirrored the ups and downs Rovers can expect this season. He was one of three players sent to the sin-bin during a passionate game, and he made a couple of mistakes that could have cost his side the points.

But he was there at the end to take a pass from Chris Chester and score a try that was cruel on Wakefield and particularly on Sam Obst, who had lost the ball when trying to play out time.

Cockayne was one of a dozen survivors from Rovers' promotion side, when the conventional wisdom is that sides need to rebuild completely to have a chance of surviving in the Super League.

"I always had faith in their ability to play at this level," said their coach, Justin Morgan. Key players like Scott Murrell, James Webster and Ben Fisher all made the transition without trouble, while the know-how new signings like Chester and Michael Vella will bring was vital when Wakefield turned up the pressure. "We need to improve," said Morgan. "We're going to get that every single weekend."

The Wildcats only battled clear of relegation on the final weekend of last season and on this showing they could face a similar battle this time.

Their established half-back pairing of Jamie Rooney and Ben Jeffries threatened to take over in the second half, but their coach, John Kear, said that his side were guilty of thinking the job was done when they led by a point going into the last minute.

Hull KR: Cockayne; Dyer, Morton, Goddard, Ford; Murrell, Webster; Ward, Fisher, Vella, Netherton, Morrison, Chester. Substitutes used: Aizue, Gallagher, Gannon, Weisner.

Wakefield: Field; Fox, Demetriou, Atkins, Tadulala; Rooney, Jeffries; Watene, Obst, Moore, Elima, Golden, Ferres. Substitutes used: March, Latu, Catic, Lima.

Referee: A Klein (Keighley).