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Super League returned to free-to-air television on Saturday lunchtime as Hull KR welcomed second-placed Catalan Dragons to Craven Park in front of the Channel 4 cameras.

KR entered the game having not lost at home since early March - the question was whether they could maintain that record against last year's Grand Finallists.

They had the perfect start when Ben Crooks outjumped two Catalan defenders to collect a Shaun Keny-Dowall kick on the try line and had to just fall over the line to score by posts. Full-back Lachlan Coote had no difficulty converting that from in front of goal and the hosts led 6-0.

Just 8 minutes into the game, Catalans invited Rovers to score again, when Tom Davies dropped a pass from Sam Tomkins well inside the Dragons half. They were then caught offside in goal-line defence and Coote stepped up to kick an easy penalty goal.

KR now led 8-0 with 10 minutes of the game gone, having totally dominated the opening exchanges.

With the 20-minute mark looming, Rovers' dominance almost saw them score again with exciting broken-field play on the last tackle until the Dragons defence recovered enough to snuff out the danger five metres from the line.

But in unsettled play, both sides were having problems retaining the ball.

The Dragons were first to regain control when NRL Grand Finalist Tyrone May got a back-hand pass out to Tom Davies on the wing, who beat  the tackler to score with a one-handed put-down while in the air.

Tomkins couldn't convert from the sideline, but Catalan were in the game at 8-4.

In the final 10 of the half, both sides chances to improve the scoreline, but again problems with ball retention and control plagued both teams' attacks, cancelling out errors in loose defensive play, while injuries took their toll on Rovers.

The Robins continued to press when the second half got under way, but as they pushed forward in the Dragons' red zone, Mathieu Laguerre intercepted  a pass and raced nearly 90m to level the scoreline in the corner.

Arthur Mourgue stepped up to take over the kicking duties and slotted the ball over the crossbar to put the Catalan team ahead for the first time in game with 45 minutes played.

Both teams had tightenedd-up their ball control in the second half, which saw the Catalans dominate. As the game settled down, Tomkins floated a pass out to Fouad Yaha on the left wing who ran 30m and dived acrobatically to score in the corner.

Mourgue converted from the sidline again now the Dragons led by 8 at 8-16. 

When the Rovers' restart failed to travel 10m, the Catalans won possession from the penalty. A second penalty followed for a high tackle on Mourgue 10m and in front of goal.

The Dragons opted to kick for goal and Mourgue duly added two more points for an 8-18 score.

Then with 10 minutes of the match remaining, Ryan Hall knocked on in the tackle. He disputed that with the ref, conceding a penalty for dissent - which Mourgue inevitably converted to make it a 12-point gap at 8-20.

Errors started to creep into both teams' play as the game started to wind down in the final 10 minutes, but KR kept pressing the Dragons' defence looking for the score that might keep them in with a chance.

The couldn't finish off their attacks with points, though and the Dragons held on without too much trouble to notch up a victory that initially looked like it might belong to Rovers, thanks to 16 unanswered second-half points.

And to add to the Robins' troubles, throughout the course of the game they lost two players who both failed head injury assessments following clashes.

Hull Kingston Rovers: Coote (G, Pen); Ryan, Crooks (T), Kenny-Dowall, Hall; Dagger, Milnes; Maher, Litten, King, Hadley, Johnson, Minchell. Subs: Vete, Storton, Kleinhorst, Halton.

Catalan Dragons: Tomkins; Davies (T), Laguerre (T), May, Yaha (T); Pearce, Mourgue (G, (2 Pen); Napa, McIlorum, Bousquet, Whitley, Julien, Garcia. Subs: Dudson, Goudemand, Dezeria, Kasiano.

Half Time: 8-4

Full Time: 8-20

Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 8-0, 8-4: HT: 8-8, 8-10, 8-114, 8-16, 8-18, 8-20

Referee: Tom Grant

Venue: Sewell Group Craven Park




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Posted by tb on Sat 21st May 2022 11:51 AM | Views : 6733 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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