Chester salutes determined Rovers

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Published: Sunday 1st March 2015 by The News Editor

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Hull KR coach Chris Chester hailed his players’ team spirit after they came from 20-6 down to gain their first win over Wigan for six years.

Substitute Kieran Dixon’s first try for the club – with only his second touch of the ball – eight minutes from the end levelled the scores and Josh Mantellato kicked the conversion to claim a 22-20 victory, Rovers’ first win of the season.

“There is a lot of relief,” Chester said. “We’ve been questioned after the first couple of games but one thing you can’t question is our team spirit.

“We tried to put them off their game. We weren’t going to lie down and we said before the game we’ve got to stick up for our team-mates and we did.”

Hull KR opened the scoring with the first of winger Ken Sio’s two tries but were rocked by a purple patch from their visitors.

Sydney-bound winger Joe Burgess made up for an early blunder by scoring Wigan’s first try and England prop Lee Mossop marked the start of his second spell with the club with a solo try four minutes before half-time.

When the Warriors added further tries through winger Josh Charnley and stand-off George Williams either side of the interval, they looked to have the game sewn up.

However, Rovers skipper Terry Campese sparked his side’s fightback which produced tries for Sio and prop Mitch Allgood before Dixon came up with the clincher.

Campese was playing for the first time in front of his uncle David, the former Wallaby winger who joined in with celebrations in the home dressing room after the match.

“I thought Terry led the team really well,” Chester said. “I spoke to him after the Wakefield game and told him to lead the line more.

“At 20-6, I was still very positive. I felt we were still in with a chance and, once we got that try, it had a snowball effect. I thought we were dominant in the second half.

“We are still a long way off but there’s something to work on.”

Wigan coach Shaun Wane admitted his side’s extra-time defeat by Brisbane in the World Club Series had taken its toll on his side but he was able to draw some satisfaction from their performance.

“It’s tough but, if I got the chance again, I’d jump at it,” said Wane, whose side were on the wrong end of a 13-8 penalty count.

“Coming to a tough place like this, you have to be at your best.

“We were a little bit dumb with the ball but, from the scraps we got, we scored tries. It’s simple – if you keep hold of the ball you score tries. In the final quarter we completed at 22 per cent.

“It’s disappointing but I was very pleased with the effort. They showed some character backing up from last week and we looked smart when we put our plays on.

“We helped them by giving penalties away but I thought with the effort we put in, we should have got something out of the game.”

Published: Sunday 1st March 2015 by The News Editor

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