Hull KR dismantle Wigan Warriors in statement Super League performance

Hull Kingston Rovers' Oliver Gildart celebrates with team-mates -Credit:PA
Hull Kingston Rovers' Oliver Gildart celebrates with team-mates -Credit:PA

The noises coming out of Hull KR this week were all about a statement performance. Up against another Super League heavyweight, it was all about sticking to the contest and showing their own credentials.

Willie Peters' side did all that and more. They were nothing short of outstanding, defeating the reigning league and World Club Champions, Wigan Warriors, 26-10 at Craven Park on Friday night.

Responding to last week's setback at Catalans Dragons, there was a drive about the Robins, who had star half-back Mikey Lewis back in the side. The 22-year-old missed the trip to Perpignan, but he returned to slot in alongside Tyrone May, adding the gloss to a polished performance in East Hull, with the team's ability to be efficient as one collective unit shining brightly once again.

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Of course, Wigan will have self-reflection of their own, but it takes nothing away from the home side, who pressured them all night. In fact, Rovers took the game to the opposition and soon dismantled them, getting width into their attack and chancing their arm. They were brave, energetic, and exciting to watch, getting their just rewards in front of an atmospheric crowd that got into the contest and helped ensure the result was only going one way from the very first minute.

The Robins fed off that backing. They were solid in the opening exchanges, and when they got their opportunities, they struck. That theme started in their first attacking set, with Jesse Sue storming over for the first try inside ten minutes.

With a spring in their step, Rovers then scored again as former Wigan centre Oliver Gildart, in for the injured Tom Opacic, showed his class to finish strong after a slick right-to-left shift. Lewis then added a penalty goal, with the home side also standing tall at the other end, showing their resilience and willingness to dig in for one another and scramble defensively.

Those qualities then paid dividends on the half-hour mark, with the Robins cutting Wigan to shreds through Peta Hiku, who exchanged passes with Niall Evalds before fending off a last-ditch effort to score. It was nothing less than Peters' side deserved, who took a strong 18-0 lead into the break, repelling Wigan again as they looked to stretch their legs.

Matt Peet's side became more desperate in the second half, but each attack was met with the same desperation in the Robins' defence. However, the quality within Wigan is well-known, and eventually, they hit back. A Jai Field break gave them field position, and they made it count as Bevan French's looping pass found Abbas Miski to score.

Wigan then threatened again, but Rovers survived. They then landed their own decisive blow as Ryan Hall squeezed over to extend their lead, and the result was beyond doubt as Kelepi Tanginoa, outstanding off the bench, raced almost the entire length of the field to score after Hall did enough to deal with a Wigan pass.

The Warriors kept going, and they got a consolation try through Liam Farrell, but it was too little, too late. The game then boiled over after a coming-together between the two sides, who meet again in the Challenge Cup semi-final next month, with Rovers seeing out a performance and result that will make the rest of the competition stand up and take notice.


Rovers Starting XIII: 2. Niall Evalds; 35. Joe Burgess, 1. Peta Hiku, 4. Oliver Gildart, 5. Ryan Hall; 27. Tyrone May, 7. Mikey Lewis; 8. Jesse Sue, 9. Jez Litten, 10. Jai Whitbread; 11. Dean Hadley, 12. James Batchelor; 13. Elliot Minchella

Interchange: 14. Matt Parcell, 15. Sam Luckley, 17. Matty Storton, 20. Kelepi Tanginoa

18th man: 10. George King

Wigan Starting XII: 1. Jai Field; 2. Abbas Miski, 3. Adam Keighran, 4. Jake Wardle, 5. Liam Marshall; 6. Bevan French, 7. Harry Smith; 16. Luke Thompson, 9. Brad O'Neil, 19. Tyler Dupree; 21. Junior Nsemba; 12. Liam Farrell; 13. Kaide Ellis.

Interchange: 8. Ethan Havard, 14. Mike Cooper, 15. Patrick Mago, 17. Kruise Leeming

18th man: 20. Harvey Hill


Rovers Tries: Sue, Gildart, Hiku, Hall, Tanginoa

Goals: Lewis 3/6

Wigan Tries: Miski, Farrell

Goals: Keighran 1/2

Referee: Tom Grant