Hull KR 32 Wigan Warriors 10
MS3 Craven Park
Greg Eden, Omari Caro, Kris Welham, Liam Salter, David Hodgson, Keal Carlile, Michael Dobson, Mickey Paea, Lincoln Withers, Adam Walker, Con Mika, Cory Paterson, Graeme Horne
Replacements: Sam Latus, Chris Heil, George Griffin, Tyla Hepi, Josh Hodgson, Jordan Cox, Evarn, Tuimavave, Aaron Ollett, Matty Beharrell, Sonny Esslemont, Craig Smith
Jack Murphy, Iain Thornley, Jack Hughes, Rhodri Lloyd, Dominic Manfredi, Ryan Hampshire, Sam Powell, Paul Prescott, Logan Tomkins, Dominic Crosby, Chris Tuson, Anthony Gelling, Greg Burke
Rob Lever, Liam Carberry, Gil Dudson, Scott Taylor, James Greenwood, Joe Burgess, Tom Spencer
Caro 2,Withers, Eden, Paea, Salter
Dobson 3, Salter
A lethal kicking game from the experience of Michael Dobson and two Omari Caro tries helped Hull K.R. overcome Wigan 32-10 at a frigid MS3 Craven Park.
Hull K.R. got the better of an early 10-point deficit when Wigan started brightly, but the Warriors struggled for possession throughout, despite Shaun Wane adding the experience of Paul Prescott and Chris Tuson to bolster the pack after last week’s defeat to Leigh.
Holding off a strong start from Rovers, Wigan raced into the lead thanks to some inspirational play from Ryan Hampshire in the fourth minute. The young stand-off spied a gap in the Robins defence from 10 metres out and managed to wrangle through a Greg Eden tackle attempt to stretch out and put his side in front.
Speedy wingman, Dominic Manfredi, then added to the lead and it looked as if it would turn into a good afternoon for Wigan’s young troops as they threatened to dominate.
Jack Murphy made the break with Manfredi supporting the young fullback and taking the pass before shrugging away Michael Dobson and David Hodgson to find the try line.
Rovers hit back on 20 minutes though when a short kick from Dobson hit the post protector, sending Wigan’s Murphy in the wrong direction and allowing Lincoln Withers to pounce on the loose ball and score.
With the Robins only a score behind, they built up pressure when a slick passing move sent Omari Caro on a beeline to score before a group of Warriors defenders scrambled back to force him in touch.
Wigan were forced to cope with further pressure when Manfredi took a bullet-like Dobson kick brilliantly to prevent the ball reaching David Hodgson for what would have been a near-certain try.
The chasing defenders pushed Manfredi back over his own line though and Rovers used the resulting drop-out to full effect. Lincoln Withers picked-out a slight gap which he wasted no time in sending Greg Eden through with a short pass ten minutes before the interval.
With the resulting conversion, Wigan lost the lead for good and the home side began to dominate as Mickey Paea added another four-pointer for them just before half time.
The second half was a constant struggle for Wigan’s defence as Dobson really found his rhythm in his kicking game, ensuring Wigan spent the vast majority of the half in their own quarter of the field.
Hull K.R. had to wait just four minutes after the break to extend their lead when Liam Salter took advantage of a fumbled kick behind the Warriors line to score.
Wigan took 20 minutes to break into the Robins’ half with ball in hand and Sam Powell put a neat kick over the defence to probe for a chance. No chase was there to make use of it though, possibly down to fatigue through defending, and Omari Caro seized the chance to score a breakaway try on the hour.
Caro converted his own score to give his side an 18-point cushion but Wigan still had some fight in them. Both Paul Prescott and Joe Burgess were held-up over the line in the final ten minutes but the tone of the afternoon was affirmed when Salter broke in the dying moments to send Caro in and wrap-up proceedings with his second of the afternoon.