Hull KR's latest away day blues hit as Warrington Wolves secure big victory

There's something about the west end of the M62 that doesn't mix with Hull KR. Once again, the Robins fell to defeat on the road to one of Super League's top-half sides, with Warrington Wolves coming away as deserved 20-8 winners.

Willie Peters' side have continued to show up their doubters this year but questions about their ability to pick up wins against the big teams away from Craven Park still remain. It's 15 months since Rovers last won outside of Yorkshire and while they dragged their way into this contest, the opening quarter of this game saw them outplayed and the damage done.

Warrington, it must be said, were excellent. Sam Burgess side were on it from the start and deserved their win. And Rovers shouldn't be too dispirited given their back-to-back wins over Wigan Warriors and St Helens. This sequence of games have still shown they're among the top sides. But they do still have this away-day itch that needs scratching.

Two changes were forced on Willie Peters. Elliot Minchella always faced a race against time to be fit after a groin complaint at the weekend, and he ultimately succumbed to time, but an unexpected absentee was Sam Luckley, ruled out with a hand injury. George King and Jack Brown, the boyhood Robin signed from Hull FC in the week, were drafted in on the bench. Kelepi Tanginoa was promoted to starting back-row, with Dean Hadley playing at loose forward.

Lacking the presence of their captain, Rovers started the game lacking the intensity that has been so evident in recent weeks. Warrington were bang at it from the get-go. They were full-throttle, the handbrake was well and truly off. Rovers couldn't match them.

After quickly gaining a territorial advantage, Warrington would land the first blow. It became a common theme for them to go digging down Rovers' right-edge. They regularly struck gold, too. Matty Ashton was given enough space to scorch down the touchline and then pass in-field to Toby King to open the scoring.

Josh Thewlis tagged on the extras and then got a chance to add another from in front of the sticks. Warrington were awarded a penalty try after Joe Burgess' illegal tackle was adjudged to have denied Ashton a try in the corner. 12-0 after 12 minutes, and Rovers could have no complaints.

The barrage continued. Rovers were giving far too many penalties away, piggybacking Warrington upfield from their own half. Warrington are far too good to be doing that while defensively, the Robins right edge was all over the place. Rovers scrambled, but eventually King would grab a second. Mikey Lewis was penalised for a high tackle and then Rovers' right-edge got their bearings wrong. That allowed King to step inside scrambling defenders to finish, with Thewlis making it 18-0 from the boot.

Rovers had, by this point, started to get a foothold in the game. Credit must go to Warrington; they had been sublime to this point, conceding no penalties or handling errors in their own half. They had been outstanding. But when they finally gave Rovers a chance, they took it. Zane Musgrove produced a loose carry in his own half and from the following set, Kelepi Tanginoa crashed over George Williams, offloading the ball to Niall Evalds, who in turn released the ball to Jack Broadbent, who stepped Matt Dufty to score his second try in as many outings for the club. It gave Rovers a glimmer of hope at the break, with the score 18-4.

Rovers came out much better after the break; not for the first time this season, and displayed some promising signs. They had a try disallowed after Ryan Hall juggled a ball in the build-up but minutes later, Magic Mikey came to the fore. Rovers had perhaps been fortunate to receive a penalty after Dufty was adjudged to have illegally stolen the ball off Tyrone May, despite the former having the ball before a contested strip. With that territory, Lewis gathered his initial kick that had rebounded to him before scurrying to the sideline, dancing inside and scoring out of nothing. He did miss the conversion, meaning it was still a 18-8 deficit.

But Rovers were well in the contest at this point. From the kick return they broke through the middle with Litten and earned a repeat set in Warrington's half. But they couldn't capitalise. They huffed and puffed after that and did have some moments - Niall Evalds looked particularly threatening, but Warrington stood up strong defensively and restricted their chances. At the other end, Hiku did superbly to deny Ashton his second when he dived to the corner.

Rovers eventually ran out of time, but the damage had ultimately done in the opening stages. Rovers simply left themselves with too much to do. Thewlis added a penalty goal late on.

Warrington Wolves: Matt Dufty, Josh Thewlis, Toby King, Rodrick Tai, Matty Ashton, George Williams, Josh Drinkwater, James Harrison, Danny Walker, Paul Vaughan, Matty Nicholson, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Ben Currie. Subs: Joe Philbin, Zane Musgrove, Jordy Crowther, Sam Powell.

Tries: King (7, 27), Ashton (12)
Goals: Thewlis 4/4

Hull KR: Niall Evalds, Joe Burgess, Peta Hiku, Jack Broadbent, Ryan Hall, Tyrone May, Mikey Lewis, Sauaso Sue, Jez Litten, Jai Whitbread, Kelepi Tanginoa, James Batchelor, Dean Hadley. Subs: Matt Parcell, George King, Matty Storton, Jack Brown.

Tries: Broadbent (32), Lewis (51)
Goals: Lewis 0/2