Hull KR vs Catalans Dragons match report: Ken Sio kills off Dragons' fightback as Robins rock into last four

Hull KR 32 Catalans Dragons 26: Rovers reach Challenge Cup semi-final for first time as a Super League club

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The Independent Online

Hull KR withstood a spirited fightback from Catalans Dragons to secure their first Challenge Cup semi-final as a Super League club.

The Robins made a dream start by romping into a 24-0 lead after 28 minutes but were forced to sweat on the outcome after the visitors eventually found their spark to cut the deficit to just 10 points.

However, prolific winger Ken Sio went over for his second try of the match and Josh Mantellato took his goal tally to six from seven attempts to ease their side into Sunday’s last-four draw with a 32-26 triumph, as they set their sights on adding to their solitary cup final success of 1980.

In the end Catalans had left themselves too much to do as their woeful away form continued, while Rovers made it eight wins out of 10 at home this year.

Chris Chester’s in-form team were boosted by the return of Shaun Lunt and Dane Tilse from injury and both made key contributions.

The visitors’ defence was exposed as early as the eighth minute when Sio took Kieran Dixon’s pass to outsprint Fouad Yaha for his 16th try in his first season with the club.

The Catalans could not handle the offloads of prop Adam Walker, who combined with fellow front rower Tony Puletua on 16 minutes to get Dixon over for a second try, Two minutes later Mantellato outjumped full-back Morgan Escare to collect a high kick and send lively scrum-half Albert Kelly over.

Coach Laurent Frayssinous was on the touchline by then, having stormed down from his seat in the stand, and he had an excellent view of Graeme Horne’s fourth try as Hull KR tightened their grip.