Hull KR 39 Wigan 22: Dobson inspires Rovers to punish wasteful Wigan

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The Independent Online

Michael Dobson scored four tries against his former club as Rovers staged an inspired comeback to end a six-game losing run.

When a simple try by Pat Richards put Wigan 12 points ahead in the first minute after half-time, it seemed that the Robins' depressing sequence of defeats would go on. But Dobson, who helped to save Wigan from relegation two years ago, had other ideas, lunging over the line to score his second of the match and spark Rovers' renaissance.

They drew level when Ben Galea and Chaz l'Anson combined to send Jon Steel over in the corner and Dobson put them ahead for the first time since the opening minutes when he produced a cunning little kick and followed up to touch down.

The Australian scrum-half slotted over a strategic drop goal and then took a pass from the outstanding Stanley Gene for his fourth try.

He could have had five, but unselfishly passed to Rhys Lovegrove instead as his side ran riot in the final minutes.

His coach, Justin Morgan, attributed Dobson's startling contribution to asking him to take on a little less responsibility.

"He'd got into the habit of trying to do everything," Morgan said. "We gave him just a couple of things to do and he did them very well."

Nobody had more cause to recognise that than Wigan's coach, Brian Noble. "He and Stanley Gene were superb," Noble said. "Their enthusiasm was fantastic."

Rovers had taken an early lead when Kirk Netherton darted over from dummy-half, but Wigan should have taken complete control during a first half when they made far more chances than they took.

Joel Tomkins brought them level and George Carmont took Thomas Leuluai's pass on the tryline to put them ahead. There were signs of things to come, however, when Dobson exposed their hesitant defence for the first time after Iafeta Paleaaesina had lost the ball.

Gareth Hock's break set up Carmont for his second and when Sean O'Loughlin marked his return from a broken shoulder by giving Richards a stroll-in, Wigan looked as though they would keep up their challenge for third place in Super League. Instead, it is Rovers' supporters who had their play-off dreams renewed, especially if Dobson can sustain this sort of form.

Hull KR: Fitzhenry, Steel, Welham, Webster, Lovegrove, Galea, Dobson, Crossman, K Netherton, Mills, Vella, Gene, Cooke. Substitutes: L'Anson, Aizue, J Netherton, Fisher.

Wigan: Richards, Calderwood, Goulding, Carmont, Phelps, Barrett, Leuluai, Fielden, Higham, Coley, Hansen, Tomkins, Hock. Substitutes: McIlorum, Colbon, O'Loughlin, Paleaaesina.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).

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