Hull KR 16 Harlequins 40: Morgan says Rovers out of play-off race as Quins keep pace

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The Independent Online

Hull Kingston Rovers' coach, Justin Morgan, said he was no longer worried about making the Super League play-offs after this defeat. He was more concerned with the poor performance his side turned in yesterday.

Harlequins continued their quest for the final play-off spot with a second win in a row. Tries by Chad Randall, Will Sharp, Dave Howell and Henry Paul and two penalties from Rob Purdham gave the Londoners a 28-0 half-time lead from which Rovers would never recover. Despite a late fightback led by Michael Dobson, Quins ran out clear winners.

Asked what had gone wrong, Morgan replied: "How long have you got? It's easier to talk about what went right – not much. It's difficult to put your finger on what went wrong and a week is a very long time in the game. We didn't turn up to play in the first half. We fell too far behind and we can't claw that back. I sound like a broken record at times. I've said this plenty of times this season about conceding that many points and expecting to win games.

"Realistically, when you toss up that sort of performance you're not going to do much when you get there [the play-offs] anyway, never mind winning games to get there. I'm not worried about that, I'm worried about how poor we were today. It was the lack of effort that worried me most."

His opposite number, Brian McDermott, suggested his side's display was a contender for the club's best away performance of their campaign. "It rivals Hull up here as our best performance on the road this season," he said. "Things just seemed to work and I thought we just looked in control."

The Quins coach also singled out Purdham for special praise after he kicked eight goals from eight attempts.

"He has been back with us now for a few weeks since his injury and he had a couple of ropey games mid-season," McDermott said.

"I'm not going to play the violin for him but he was struggling with his back and his knee, but he just seems to be getting better and better. We are such a massively different team when he's in it. He doesn't just come up with quantity stats but quality. He rarely just carries the ball or makes a tackle, there's always something."

Hull Kingston Rovers: Briscoe; Fox, Webster, Welham, Steel; Galea, Dobson; Crossman, Fisher, Mills, Vella, Gene, Cockayne. Substitutes used: J Netherton, Cooke, K Netherton, Aizue.

Harlequins: Melling; Sharp, Clubb, Howell, Sheriffe; Hill, Orr; Ward, Randall, Haggerty, Grayshon, Purdham, Paul. Substitutes used: Rinaldi, Temata, Heckenberg, McCarthy-Scarsbrook.

Referee: P Bentham (Castleford).