Widnes Vikings vs Hull KR: Resilient Rovers head to Wembley with spring in their step

Tries from Kris Welham and debutant George Lawler were enough as Rovers went top of the Super 8s Qualifiers

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The Independent Online

The Hull KR coach Chris Chester is relishing a run of winning form ahead of the Challenge Cup final next Saturday after his side claimed a hard-fought 12-8 win over Widnes on Sunday.

Tries from Kris Welham and debutant George Lawler were enough as Rovers went top of the Super 8s Qualifiers at the expense of the misfiring Vikings. Victory also gave them some much-needed momentum ahead of their meeting with Leeds Rhinos at Wembley next weekend.

“We’ve hit a little bit of form,” Chester said. “We’ve got four wins from four now. It was a gritty performance. We were very physical and put them off their game.The win takes the pressure off and now we can just concentrate on the cup final next week.”

Rovers made a raft of changes, bringing in Matthew Marsh, Dane Tilse, Aaron Ollett and John Boudezba and giving Lawler his debut after he was added to the squad following the win against Halifax. The Vikings were forced to draft in Danny Tickle and Chris Clarkson for injured duo Willie Isa and Macgraff Leuluai, but neither enjoyed the openings that were there against Sheffield a week ago.

Indiscipline, poor handling and poor execution were the overriding themes of the first period but Chester was happier as his side went in with a six-point lead. “There’s going to be some sleepless nights in the next couple of days as there’s been some good performances,” he said. “I’m not there with the Wembley 17 yet. I’ve got a really big headache now. A few weeks ago we couldn’t get a side together and now we’ve got a lot of players putting their hands up.”

Widnes coach Denis Betts admitted his side were left rattled by the early exchanges in the driving rain. He said: “I’ve got to give them [Rovers] credit. They’ve come here with great energy. They turned up and we didn’t.”

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