Warrington 34 Hull KR 36: Rovers grab dramatic late victory

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The Independent Online

Three tries in a frantic last eight minutes sealed a scarcely credible comeback by Hull KR after they had seemed dead and buried at Warrington yesterday. Rovers had trailed by 16 points when a combination of the second-half substitute, Paul Cooke, and two young three-quarters, Peter Fox and Kris Welham, snatched an unlikely Super League victory.

The club's problem child, Cooke, put in the cleverest of kicks for Fox to beat Kevin Penny and touch down. Then Welham picked up a loose ball to send Fox on a long dash for his second. Deep in the final minute, Shaun Briscoe seemed to have wasted the Robins' last chance when he was tackled rather than getting a pass to men in support, but Cooke saved his blushes by kicking for the corner for Welham to score, with Michael Dobson landing the conversion.

"We kept the faith," said their coach Justin Morgan, "To be brutally honest, we weren't in control of that game at any stage, but the 17 players believed we could win." That win leaves Rovers still in with a chance of catching Bradford in sixth place, whilst Warrington are now vulnerable to a strong finish from Wigan that could deprive them of fourth.

"We gave ourselves too much defence to do and we just ran out of gas," said Warrington's James Lowes. "When your tank is low that's when you make poor decisions."

Warrington were not helped by injuries either, with Chris Riley and Paul Rauhihi both out of contention in the second half.

Warrington had led through Chris Hicks' early try, before Jake Webster gave Rovers the advantage. Welham then experienced a topsy turvey few minutes that typified his match. He was twice penalised for tackles on Riley and both times Warrington used the possession to score, although in between Welham managed to touch down.

Martin Gleeson's splendid solo try had Warrington looking in command at half-time and when Scott Grix scored from another penalty conceded by Welham, Warrington were once more on their way. But Ben Cockayne got one back for Rovers before Grix's second seemed to have settled it, only for Rovers' late surge to provide a thrilling climax.

Warrington: Hicks, Riley, Gleeson, King, Penny, Briers, Monaghan, Morley, Clarke, Rauhihi, Mitchell, Westwood, Grix. Substitutes: Cooper, Parker, Blythe, Wood.

Hull KR: Briscoe, Fox, Welham, Webster, Steel, Galea, Dobson, Aizue, Fisher, Mills, Vella, J Netherton, Gene. Substitutes: Cooke, Crossman, Cocayne, K Netherton.

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington).