Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FRONT PAGE - Dave Craven AT CRAVEN PARK

Hull KR take an­other hes­i­tant step back to­wards Su­per League

AS THEIR fans al­ready know only too well, Hull KR do not do things eas­ily.

They picked up their third win from three Su­per 8s games yes­ter­day to keep well on course for pro­mo­tion back from the Cham­pi­onship.

How­ever, how Tim Sheens’s side made hard work of it all.

They were 27-8 up against Lon­don Bron­cos in the 53rd minute, in com­plete con­trol, only to switch off wor­ry­ingly and be left cling­ing on at the death.

For­tu­nately, for them, Jar­rod Sam­mut opted to at­tempt a con­ver­sion of El­liot Kear’s try which was scored with 68 sec­onds re­main­ing.

By the time the Aus­tralian had painstak­ingly lined up the kick – and duly missed – he was still mak­ing his way back to his own half as the fi­nal hooter sounded.

It was a bizarre de­ci­sion and some of Sam­mut’s team-mates were clearly an­noyed; if he had sim­ply turned down the chance, or at least hur­ried up, they would have had time to still po­ten­tially steal vic­tory.

In­deed, some ner­vous Rovers fans must have been rec­ol­lect­ing last year’s night­mare Mil­lion Pound Game when, shortly be­fore Kear’s try, James Green­wood had the ball stolen off him near his own line and Rhys Wil­liams al­most scored in the cor­ner.

Mark Ioane had al­ready got them wor­ried by crash­ing over in the 75th minute for Sam­mut to make it 35-26 and alarm bells were ring­ing.

All the late drama had cer­tainly taken fans’ minds off Al­bert Kelly, Rovers’ for­mer Aus­tralian half-back who made a con­tro­ver­sial move to city ri­vals Hull FC last win­ter but was spot­ted here sat near the Lon­don sup­port­ers.

At the start of Wem­b­ley week for FC, his bold pres­ence clearly ir­ri­tated the home sup­port­ers who soon started up a chant of “Chuck him out”.

Typ­i­cally, though, given his fa­mously laid-back de­meanour, the 26-year-old did not look both­ered in the slight­est.

In fact, Kelly hap­pily posed for pic­tures with those fans who do not hold any grudges.

On the pitch, Lon­don hooker Andy Ack­ers ex­posed some meek goalline de­fence to dummy over as early as the fifth minute, a sign of what would come much later.

Ini­tially, though, the vis­i­tors did not cause too many other is­sues at all, their in­abil­ity to keep hold of the ball long enough be­ing one of the pri­mary rea­sons.

The hosts, in con­trast, quickly over­came that slug­gish start and with the likes of Lee Je­witt and Danny Addy – de­spite play­ing on with a knee in­fec­tion – plough­ing for­ward, Jamie El­lis kick­ing well and Chris Atkin con­stantly ask­ing ques­tions, they were good value for a 25-8 in­ter­val lead.

Sheens’s side had al­ready twice been held up over the Lon­don goalline in the same set be­fore Addy fi­nally dum­mied over on the last tackle in the 10th minute.

He had no right to score but Lon­don’s de­fence was sur­pris­ingly flimsy at times yes­ter­day.

Sam­mut added a penalty to his ear­lier con­ver­sion but KR gained the lead with Kieren Moss’s 18thminute try and never quite let it slip.

Rob­bie Mul­h­ern made an in­stant im­pact when re­plac­ing the ex­cel­lent Je­witt, the ex-Leeds Rhi­nos prop tak­ing two strong leg-pump­ing car­ries be­fore, with his third, charg­ing over.

Next, An­drew Hef­fer­nan showed his class with a break down the right be­fore send­ing Ryan Shaw in for the first of the winger’s brace and the Robins were 24-8 by the half-hour mark.

They turned the screw with El­lis forc­ing three drop-outs in quick suc­ces­sion even al­low­ing for the scrum-half let­ting one of them bounce into touch, the sort of er­ror that will irk Sheens.

Hef­fer­nan pro­duced a fine de­fen­sive hit on James Cunningham, though, to win back pos­ses­sion and when the third drop-out ar­rived into Chris Atkin’s hands, the stand-off fired it straight back be­tween the posts with a 40m drop-goal as the hooter sounded.

El­lis ex­tended the lead early in the sec­ond pe­riod with a penalty though Lon­don showed they were still dan­ger­ous as Kieran Dixon made one sweep­ing mid­field break.

Cunningham did cross, how­ever, when Moss made a hash of try­ing to clear so Rovers were grate­ful when Mose Ma­soe re­turned for his sec­ond stint to scat­ter de­fend­ers, giv­ing space for Shaun Lunt to scurry clear and sup­ply Shaw with his sec­ond try.

They con­tin­ued to make life hard for them­selves, though, as a frus­trat­ing sec­ond pe­riod en­sued. Shaw, for in­stance, cheaply gave the ball away when look­ing for his hat-trick when there was no need to force a pass.

Lon­don col­lected the pieces and com­bined slickly for Alex Walker to race in from 60m. El­lis slot­ted a penalty at 33-20 which seemed a strange and con­ser­va­tive de­ci­sion. Lon­don then came fir­ing back but ran out of time.

Hull KR: Moss; Shaw, Hef­fer­nan, Blair, Car­ney; Atkin, El­lis; Je­witt, Lawler, Ma­soe, Clark­son, Addy, Ka­vanagh. Sub­sti­tutes: Lunt, Green­wood, Marsh, Mul­h­ern.

Lon­don Bron­cos: Walker;Dixon, Hellewell, Kear, Wil­liams; Sam­mut, Barthau; Spencer, Ack­ers, Ioane, Wilde, Pitts, Evans. Sub­sti­tutes: Cunningham, Davis, Gee, Ro­qica.

Ref­eree: T Grant (Leeds).

VIC­TORY ROAR: Hull KR’s play­ers cel­e­brate on their way to a nar­row vic­tory over Lon­don Bron­cos yes­ter­day. In­set, For­mer Robins star Al­bert Kelly, now of Hull FC, got a mixed re­cep­tion on his re­turn. MAIN PIC­TURE: HULL KR

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