Derby win for Hull KR

Published: Thursday 2nd April 2015 by The News Editor

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Hull KR piled the pressure on Hull coach Lee Radford as they secured bragging rights in the first cross-city meeting of the season.

The Robins were 20-6 victors at the KC Stadium, leaving their black-and-white adversaries second from bottom after eight rounds with just four points, and with the prospect of missing the mid-season split a very realistic one.

For a club of Hull’s size and ambition that would be a seismic failure, but in the short term Radford – who was loudly serenaded with chants of ‘sacked in the morning’ – must ready his men for a Monday trip to St Helens.

The scars of another Easter loss to their bitterest foes will take some time to heal, though, but there will be limited sympathy on the east of this rugby-mad city with Chris Chester’s side up to fourth in the table.

The scoreline was not the heaviest they have inflicted on Hull but the comfort with which they got the job done had to be seen to be believed, with their only real error being a fumble from Keiron Dixon which led to Hull’s sole score.

It had all the potential to be a memorable contest but Hull simply failed to show, with the enthusiasm of their revved-up fans dampened early on as Rovers drew first blood, Terry Campese celebrating the new deal he signed on Tuesday by spinning over after Dixon’s scintillating break.

Josh Mantellato tagged the goal before he and his team-mates had to embark on a period of heavy defending, although Hull’s poor kicking game meant they were never pushed to their limit.

And after soaking up what Hull had to throw at them Rovers broke through and added a second, Dixon again at the heart of it. This time he was the scorer, spying a gap and going 30 metres to the corner, with Mantellato again on the money.

Desperate Hull defence stopped Darrell Goulding making it three tries, Jack Logan with the tap tackle, and it proved to be an extra valuable intervention as the home side got back into it.

Dixon blotted his copybook by shelling the ball behind his line, allowing Leon Pryce to pounce on the loose ball. Replays suggested Dixon may have grounded the ball on the whitewash before it came loose but the video referee disagreed and, with Jordan Rankin goaling, Hull were within six.

That was soon back to 12, though. Albert Kelly’s high bomb was coughed up by Fetuli Talanoa and sat up perfectly for the waiting Shaun Lunt who did the rest next to the sticks – his third in three games since moving from Huddersfield.

Needing to respond quickly after the break Hull were anaemic, with their kicking unable to put the pressure on Dixon that brought about his first-half error, and as such Rovers controlled the flow of the game, extending their lead to three scores when Mantellato added a 57th-minute penalty for 20-6.

In truth that was all Rovers really needed to do to get the job done. Hull went through a painful, repetitive routine of driving five times and then kicking aimlessly to Dixon who, short of his blip, was the game’s outstanding performer.

The home fans started to file out with well over 10 minutes left and they missed nothing more than a fine Logan tackle denying Kris Welham a fourth Rovers score.

Published: Thursday 2nd April 2015 by The News Editor

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