Rovers escape lightly as King powers Wolves top

Hull KR 16 Warrington 46
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The Independent Online

Warrington inflated their already prodigious points difference advantage at the top of Super League still further – but not as much as they should have done.

Matt King (right), a new dad celebrating Father's Day, led the way with a hat-trick of tries as the Wolves topped 40 points for the ninth time in the competition this season. So inept were Rovers, they should regard themselves as getting off lightly.

In the opening quarter Rovers' blunders delivered a series of invitations for their visitors to open the scoring, all of which were returned unopened. Garreth Carvell losing the ball three metres from the try-line was merely the most blatant snub.

Then, as though someone had flicked a master-switch, Warrington started to hold onto the ball. The result was four tries in eight minutes of mayhem.

Rovers did not help themselves, conceding two quick penalties to set up the position from which Michael Monaghan caught them cold with a long pass to Simon Grix.

There was more than a hint of forward about Chris Bridge's tumbling pass to Lee Briers that put King on his way almost immediately after, but two more tries, from King and then Ryan Atkins, were simply the product of moving the ball wide quickly, the way the Wolves have been doing to great effect all season.

"There was a bit of anxiety early on, trying too hard to bounce back," said their coach, Tony Smith. "But then we took control for 15 minutes and that really hurt Hull KR."

Michael Dobson, the architect of so much of the Robins' best work over the last two years, was having one of those afternoons when he could not weight a pass properly.

Not that his kicking was much better, as when he was charged down by Monaghan for Briers to score the first try of the second half. Briers then supplied the kick from which Rhys Williams touched down. Even after Blake Green finally put them on the scoreboard, Rovers allowed Brett Hodgson's kick-off to bounce into touch,to concede the position allowing Atkins to claim his second.

Rovers got further tries through Liam Colbon and Scott Taylor, but King and Richard Myler finished the job for the league leaders.

"I've walked away very upset and disappointed," said Rovers' coach, Justin Morgan. "That first-half performance wasn't acceptable. Everyone associated with the club deserves better than that."

Hull KR: Briscoe; Cockayne, Hall, Welham, Colbon; Green, Dobson; Netherton, Hodgson, Vella, Newton, Galea, Taylor. Substitutes used: Wheeldon, Murrell, Lovegrove, Watts.

Warrington: Hodgson; King, Bridge, Atkins, Williams; Briers, Myler; Morley, Monaghan, Carvell, Grix, Westwood, Harrison. Substitutes used: Higham, Cooper, Blythe, Solomona.

Referee: S.Ganson (St Helens)