Hull KR 21 Hull FC 20: Craig Sandercock praises players for keeping their heads in last-gasp Hull derby victory
A Craig Hall drop goal 46 seconds from time gave the Robins the win in what Sandercock described as the best during his reign in charge
Friday 18 April 2014
Craig Sandercock praised his Hull KR players for keeping their heads to give him what he called his best win as coach.
The Robins saw off city rivals Hull FC 21-20 thanks to a Craig Hall drop goal with 46 seconds left, on a night when the video referee was one of the hardest working people in the ground.
The Robins had three tries denied at the screen and felt they had other decisions go against them, not to mention losing a 10-point lead before winning the game all over again.
"I'm happy the boys dug so deep under some extreme adversity. That's a year's worth in one night," the Australian said of the amount of decisions he felt had gone against his side.
"I'd have to say yes (his best win), considering the amount of adversity. I don't want to comment but I was very disappointed at a myriad of decisions.
"Under those conditions, to win the game, the boys deserve a lot of praise for their performance. We had to win it all over again. There were a few times when I thought we were going to be home, but Hull to their credit fought back."
At 20-16 ahead and with just under 10 minutes to go, Rovers sub James Green dropped the easiest of chances to score another try, shelling a pass a yard from an unguarded line.
Hull then scored through Fetuli Talanoa to make it 20-20, but Richard Whiting failed with the conversion and Hall won the day.
"That was the fourth heart attack of the night for me," Sandercock added.
For Hull it not only represented a sorry derby defeat but a second drop-goal loss in three games.
The Black and Whites were undone by Salford and Rangi Chase's one-pointer in the Challenge Cup a fortnight ago and are showing worrying signs of being unable to finish teams off.
Coach Lee Radford was brought in to try and reverse the losing culture which had manifested under Peter Gentle last season, but he admitted he was concerned at the trend his side have developed this campaign.
A former Hull player and a native of the city, he understands the importance of this fixture but he also knows his side need to try and remedy their ills when it comes to close-run games.
"A derby loss is always tough to take, the scoreline is tough to take," he said.
"I might be wrong and the statistics might show I am wrong, but I felt they had more possession than us and we didn't make them work hard enough to come away from their end of the field. We felt like we were chasing and it happened too often.
"It got to 20-20 and we got back into it; we have had opportunities in cup games, play-offs games and massive games. We have to take them and we didn't.
"I'm frustrated for sure. It's an away game, a loss, a close game, a loss. It's evident. What do you do? We only keep doing what we're doing. I don't want to tear the teddy up but we have lost another close game. But if they're not stinging, I'm coaching the wrong group."
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