Rugby League: Harrison try decides Humberside dispute

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The Independent Online
Hull. . . . . . . . . . 14

Hull Kingston Rovers. . .6

HULL progressed into the second round of the Yorkshire Cup with a late try after Rovers had missed several opportunities of their own.

An exchange of penalties brought the only early scoring, with neither side able to hang on to their passes. The first of Hull's new batch of Australian imports, Scott Gale, made the breakthrough with a simple try in the 35th minute, kicking into an embarrassing gap under the Rovers posts and following up to score.

Paul Eastwood had no difficulty with the conversion, but, a minute after half-time, Rovers should have been level. Graham Cook intercepted Ian Stevens' pass and although he was overhauled as he tried to race in along the right wing, Rovers kept their heads and worked the ball to the other flank for Bright Sodje to score from Julian Barkworth's pass.

Sodje ran around close enough to the posts to give Mike Fletcher a good shot at goal, but the normally reliable marksman missed both that conversion and a penalty two minutes later.

The rest of Sodje's contribution was something to forget. First he was sin-binned for holding back Gary Nolan as he tried to support Richard Gay's break - an offence which also brought two more points from Eastwood.

On his return, Sodje - Rovers' leading try-scorer of last season - was responsible for wasting two chances, once by fumbling on the first tackle and once by stepping into touch.

He was not alone in looking confused by possession, because Rovers are a rare example of a side who seem happier without the ball. They work hard on their tackling and often enjoy a territorial advantage, but then lack the craft to make it count.

Hull, nowhere near as impressive as they were in winning at Wigan last week, eventually made Rovers pay. Andy Dannatt got over the try-line only to be turned on to his back, but there were gaps down the left wing in the last minute which the home side were able to exploit for substitute Paul Harrison to take Steve McNamara's ball and settle the Humberside argument for the time being.

Hull: Gay; Eastwood, G Nolan, Stevens, O'Donnell (P Harrison, 15); Gale, R Nolan; Dannatt, Jackson, Marlow, Walker (Busby, 30 (Walker, 63)), McNamara, Sharp.

Hull Kingston Rovers: M Fletcher; Cook, Bibby, Lyman, Sodje; Parker, Windley (Hoe, 71); C Harrison, Richardson, Vannet (Fletcher, 51), P Fletcher (Barkworth, 30), Thompson, Speckman.

Referee: J Holdsworth (Kippax).

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