Hull KR 22 Harlequins 8: Dobson helps Rovers return to form as Quins are blown away

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The Independent Online

Michael Dobson made an instant impact as Hull Kingston Rovers' new on-field general, leading his troops to an ultimately convincing victory yesterday. The Australian scrum-half scored a try in each half at a windswept Craven Park and showed a range of skills that will make him a valuable addition for the Robins.

His input and an improved display by his team-mates wiped out the memory of last week's defeat at Huddersfield, after which Rovers' coach, Justin Morgan, accused them of lacking effort. Neither side could be accused of that yesterday, although in a gale that made controlling the ball difficult Quins had the better of the first half, taking the lead near the midway point through Michael Worrincy. Danny Orr's pass came straight back to him from Henry Paul and the scrum-half reacted quickly enough to send Worrincy over.

Rovers' reply can through Dobson, the former Catalans and Wigan scrum-half making an impressive debut for his third Super League club. Dobson's strength is his kicking game, but he chose to run the ball on the last tackle and caught the Quins defence flat-footed with a sharp little step.

The game tilted back towards the Londoners in the last few minutes before the interval, when Jake Webster was sent to the sin-bin for his part in a fracas at a ruck. Quins immediately capitalised on his absence with Scott Hill, whose short, flat passing was ideally suited to the conditions, sending the lanky Jon Grayshon reaching over the line.

Quins undid much of their good work immediately after half-time, however, as a mix-up between Gareth Haggerty and Julien Rinaldi conceded possession and Paul Cooke was allowed to pass off the floor for Chris Chester to score.

Chad Randall became the second man to visit the bin, for holding on after making a tackle, and Rovers took advantage when Stanley Gene took a pass from Cooke and beat the defence with a subtle sidestep.

Quins could not find a way back and Gene's break and Dobson's kick ahead brought them another try in the last minute to further emphasise the new recruit's value.

"I thought we were very good in the second half when we had the elements against us," Morgan said. "We showed some grit and determination."

Hull Kingston Rovers: Briscoe; Fox, Walker, Webster, Fitzhenry; Cooke, Dobson; Vella, Fisher, Crossman, Newton, Gene, Murrell. Substitutes used: Mills, Chester, Cockayne, Watts.

Harlequins: Melling; Wells, Clubb, Howell, Sheriffe; Hill, Orr; Temata, Randall, Ward, Worrincy, Mbu, Paul. Substitutes used: Rinaldi, Haggerty, Grayson, Barker.

Referee: S Ganson (St Helens).

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