Tries from Louis Senior, Sauaso Sue and Kane Linnett, plus two conversions and two penalty goals from Lachlan Coote helped Hull KR seal a victory over last year’s Grand Final runners-up Leeds Rhinos at Sewell Group Craven Park on Friday night
Last Updated: 31/03/23 11:30pm
Jordan Abdull’s kicking masterclass helped lay the foundations for Hull Kingston Rovers to secure a 20-12 triumph over Leeds Rhinos in Friday’s Betfred Super League clash at Sewell Group Craven Park.
Abdull’s in-play kicks in rainy conditions in East Hull were pivotal in the Robins leading 14-0 at half time, with tries coming from Louis Senior and Sauaso Sue, and the hosts moved further ahead just eight seconds after the restart when Kane Linnett crashed over.
Luis Roberts hit back for the Rhinos with their first try soon after Linnett’s finish, but Lachlan Coote’s second penalty of the night made it a three-score game.
James McDonnell did manage a second converted try to give last year’s Grand Final runners-up a glimmer of hope with six minutes remaining, but ultimately they were left with too much to do.
Story of the game
Willie Peters’ side made it back-to-back wins in Super League against a Leeds outfit who failed to adapt to the conditions as well as the Robins, as heavy rain led to many errors.
The opening quarter of the game was very untidy, with both sides making mistakes as they struggled to get a grip on the contest.
The visitors were forced into a goal-line drop-out and, when the short kick bounced into touch with 22 minutes gone, full-back Coote opened the scoring with a penalty in front of the posts.
From the next set Rovers grabbed the opening try as a high kick from half-back Abdull was allowed to bounce and Louis Senior gathered to touch down with a little over 15 minutes of the half remaining, with Coote’s conversion stretching the advantage to 8-0.
Derrell Olpherts was at fault for the try, and when he knocked on from another high Abdull kick Rovers were well on top. Confusion reigned in the visitors’ defence when a grubber kick from Abdull hit a post and, when it bounced free, Sue dropped on to score, with Coote’s extras making it 14-0.
A knock on from Olpherts from another high kick gave the ball back to the home side yet again, but on this occasion they were denied another score.
Abdull kicked to the corner and Senior juggled it back inside but was adjudged to be in touch before he passed to James Batchelor, whose try was chalked off by the video referee.
Leeds needed a strong start to the second half, but, when they let Abdull’s kick-off bounce, Sue claimed possession and was stopped just short of the line.
Scotland international back row Linnett was on hand to force his way over for the home side’s third try to make it 18-0 within two minutes of the interval.
Sue’s knock-on saw Leeds hit back as Roberts dotted down a grubber kick into the corner, Martin’s touchline conversion reducing the arrears to 12 points, but Rovers responded with Coote’s second penalty to put them more than two converted scores ahead with 25 minutes to go.
Ireland international McDonnell claimed the Rhinos’ second try with Martin’s kick making it 20-12 with six minutes remaining, but that was as close as the visitors got.
What they said
Hull KR head coach Willie Peters
“I’m really proud. I thought our half-back [Abdull] was exceptional, the way he got our players around the field.
“His kicking game was spot on, but the thing I’m most pleased about was the way we defended.”
Leeds Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith
“It was one of those days where you needed some bounces to go your way and I didn’t think any did today.
“It wasn’t through lack of effort; we defended our line exceptionally well, aside from a couple of key moments.”
Player of the match Jordan Abdull
“I just kicked the ball well, really. It was never going to be the most attractive game… and one of my main strengths is my kicking game so I knew that could get us the win tonight – and it did.
“I missed the Warrington and Wakefield games, so my focus now is playing consistently and playing week in, week out. I want to get in the best form I can, and I’ve carried that on tonight, but it’s just being consistent.”
Hull Kingston Rovers make the short trip across the city to take on bitter rivals Hull FC on Good Friday (12.30pm). Leeds are at home to Huddersfield Giants two days later (6pm). Both matches are live on Sky Sports.
Source : Sky Sports