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Warrington Wolves travelled east to take on Hull KR as two of the sides who hope to be in contention for the top six at the end of the season met with a chance to go to the top of the table, at least for twenty-four hours.

Nial Evalds replaced Joe Burgess for the Robins while Sam Burgess’s side saw the returns of George Williams, Connor Wrench and Jordy Crowther.

Hull KR were favourites for the win with the Wolves being given a four-point start on the handicap with both sides knowing that a win would send them second, a big win for either side sending them above St Helens into top spot, but most pundits thought it would be a close game.

The Wolves had the best of the early exchanges, KR soaking up the pressure from the Warrington onslaught. On seven minutes the Primrose and Gold took the lead when George Williams took a pass from the mercurial Matt Dufty to go through a gap to score from ten metres out. Josh Thewlis added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.

On thirteen Matty Ashton grabbed the visitors second try of the night as he chased down a Leon Hayes kick to the corner to mop up a ball which the KR defence had failed to deal with and ground just over the line. Thewlis was wide with his conversion attempt.

On sixteen Tyrone May stole the ball from Matt Dufty as he chased a Jez Litten high kick and leapt to collect the ball as Dufty was far too pedestrian. Litton added the conversion, the margin down to four points.

KR should have been level on twenty-two, but Kelepi Tanginoa spilled the ball to ground with the line a couple of metres away.

A sensational KR try on twenty-four did get them level with Ryan Hall taking a delicious Oliver Gildart pass to avoid the cover tackler and ground in the corner. Litten converted from the left touchline for a 12-10 lead. The home side had rested control of the game after a torrid opening.

On thirty-two, James Batchelor dropped the ball over the line when all he had to do was keep possession as he fell to ground. And five minutes later the Robins paid the price as Toby King took a clever Lachlan Fitzgibbon pass to five over from a couple of metres out.

Thewlis was wide with the conversion attempt but two minutes later Warrington dribbled the ball downfield with Dufty putting in the first kick before Connor Wrench chased down and rounded. Leon Hayes attempted the conversion, but he was wide with his attempt, Warrington taking a six-point lead into the sheds.

A moment of brilliance from Mikey Lewis on forty-nine saw a great clear break but as he passed the ball went to ground once again, another KR chance blown.

After immense pressure, Hull KR got their third try of the night on fifty-seven when Ryan Hall went down the wing but finding his way blocked, he passed inside to Gildart for the centre to cross. Batchelor took over the kicking duties but was wide with his conversion attempt.

KR were back in front on sixty-one thanks to a miss-out pass from Tyrone May which looped over the Warrington defenders and into the hands of Tom Opacic to go in at the corner. Batchelor was short and wide with the conversion, the Robins two points ahead.

It was high octane rugby from KR as they attacked the Warrington line again but once again the ball was dropped with the line beckoning on sixty-six. The passing was lightening fast and mistakes were bound to follow.

With eleven minutes remaining the lead switched back to Warrington as Dufty was third receiver in a move from the back of the scrum as he found a gap to go through the defensive line and ground. Hayes missed the conversion, it was still too close to call.

Neither side was able to cross the whitewash in the closing ten minutes and the Wolves held on for a two-point victory on a see-saw night.

Warrington were under immense pressure for long periods of this game but they put in an immense defensive effort, took their chances when they came and rode their luck when KR repeatedly put the ball to ground in try scoring opportunities. Warrington took the points and move level with St Helens at the top of the table, Hull KR will need other results to go in their favour if they are to end round four inside the to half of the table.

Hull KR: Hiku, Evalds, Opacic (T), Gildart (T), Hall R (T), May (T), Lewis, Hadley, Litten (2G), Whitbread, Tanginoa, Batchelor, Minchella.  Subs: Sue, King, Parcell, Luckley. 18th Man: Storton.

Warrington Wolves: Dufty (T), Thewlis (G), King (T), Wrench (T), Ashton (T), Williams (T), Hayes, Harrison, Walker, Vaughan, Holroyd, Fitzgibbon, Currie. Subs: Philbin, Crowther, Musgrove, Powell. 18th Man: Wood.

Half-Time: 12-18.

Full-Time: 20-22.

Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 0-10, 4-10, 6-10, 10-10, 12-10, 12-14, 12-18 : HT: 16-18, 20-18, 20-22 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Warrington – Square - KR – Warrington – KR - Warrington.

Referee: Aaron Moore.

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 7th Mar 2024 9:47 PM | Views : 3508 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES