ROBINS RALLY

Hull KR fight back against ex­hausted Castle­ford to claim share of points

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FRONT PAGE - Email: dave.craven@ypn.co.uk Twit­ter: @DCravenYPS­port Dave Craven

WITH NEI­THER coach ap­pear­ing for post-match press du­ties for a con­sid­er­able time af­ter­wards, you could for­give Daryl Powell and Tim Sheens if they had nes­tled to­gether in the same dark­ened room fol­low­ing this epic.

Ev­ery­one cer­tainly needed a rest, not least Castle­ford Tigers who had no fit re­place­ments for much of the sec­ond pe­riod as a resur­gent Hull KR threat­ened to undo all their hard work.

As it stood, the sides shared a point each af­ter Rovers – 24-12 be­hind go­ing into the fi­nal stages – ral­lied against tir­ing hosts who were out on their feet at the end.

Even then, Chris Atkin had two drop-goal at­tempts drag wide for Rovers and Matty Marsh an­other that barely got off the ground.

Sim­i­larly, Castle­ford’s Jake True­man – whose silky left foot had ini­tially caused so much dam­age – saw his shot off-tar­get mean­ing Tigers winger Jy Hitch­cox scored four tries yet still some­how did not end up win­ning.

The Robins, who saw cap­tain Shaun Lunt make a suc­cess­ful re­turn from in­jury and had full­back Adam Quin­lan in in­spi­ra­tional form, needed a vic­tory most given they are down in 11th.

How­ever, Sheens, who re­vealed Danny Tickle only had one boot on when he would have usu­ally lined up a drop goal at­tempt, ad­mit­ted: “Given the way we started, it was a good point for us.

“With the amount of ball and field po­si­tion we gave up, not to to get beat by 60, we were lucky in that re­gard.

“We kept within range in the first half, that was the main thing; with all the ball and field po­si­tion, they could have gone away with it.

“But a point’s as good as a win when away es­pe­cially at a place like this.”

Aus­tralian winger Hitch­cox – who will be re­leased at the end of the sea­son – cer­tainly seemed to have put his side in con­trol.

But, af­ter Calum Turner had missed three con­ver­sion at­tempts and Paul McShane an­other, Rovers still had a chance de­spite be­ing out-played for much of the con­test.

Prop Mose Ma­soe twisted over in the 70th minute af­ter a fine break by Quin­lan and five min­utes later the ram­pant Ju­nior Vaivai crossed af­ter a mix-up be­tween Alex Fos­ter and Greg Minikin de­fend­ing Atkin’s grub­ber.

Jesse Sene-Le­fao and the re­turn­ing Ju­nior Moors were su­perb up front for Castle­ford but the hosts were busted when Sene-Le­fao, Adam Mil­ner, Joe War­dle and Mike McMeeken all de­parted one by one.

Still, they were made to pay for not cap­i­tal­is­ing on their ear­lier dom­i­nance.

Hitch­cox (2) and McMeeken scored tries for a 14-0 lead af­ter 25 min­utes but given the way 19-year-old True­man had tor­mented them with his kick­ing it should have been much more.

In par­tic­u­lar, he gave teenage KR winger Elliot Wal­lis a tor­rid time in only his fourth se­nior ap­pear­ance. In­deed, the young­ster, who ear­lier in the week signed a three-year con­tract, was even­tu­ally switched to the op­po­site flank in the 35th minute.

How­ever, a com­bi­na­tion of poor ex­e­cu­tion and some solid goalline de­fence from the vis­i­tors, meant Castle­ford never truly got away.

Ini­tially, Rovers self-im­ploded with mis­takes like Mau­rice Blair spilling from a scrum 10m from his own line, Quin­lan sail­ing a restart dead and debu­tant Joel Tomkins pe­nalised for dis­sent.

Still, with their first real at­tack of note, they crossed in the clos­ing stages of the first half and it was a fine move, too.

Atkin put James Green­wood into space and Vaivai fin­ished off for Shaw to con­vert. Some­how, then, Rovers were only 14-6 be­hind and that deficit was re­duced fur­ther im­me­di­ately in the sec­ond half.

Shaw’s hang­ing kick-off saw Atkin steam up and take on the full be­fore find­ing Quin­lan who weaved over be­tween the posts for Shaw to im­prove again.

Hitch­cox crossed twice more and teenage full-back Turner added a penalty but re­lent­less Rovers pow­ered back mean­ing Castle­ford stay in fourth.

“It’s mixed emo­tions,” said Powell, who ex­plained Grant Milling­ton pulled out on Satur­day with a back prob­lem, prompt­ing McShane’s early re­turn.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed we didn’t win the game, but we had no subs and had play­ers on there who had to stay on. Minikin has a syn­desmo­sis in­jury and couldn’t keep up with play but we had no one to put on. I didn’t think we were the smartest at times but it was a gutsy ef­fort and in the last five min­utes if you’d have given me a point I’d have taken it as Hull KR had all the as­cen­dancy.

“We’re do­ing it tough at times but got a point and come the mix up at the end of the sea­son that could be im­por­tant.

“We haven’t a recog­nised goal­kicker out there.

“Jy did great but he should have scored five tries not four. He won’t be with us next sea­son but he’s done a phenomenal job for us, he knows that.”

PIC­TURES: RICHARD SELLERS/PA.

IN THE PINK: Hull KR cel­e­brate af­ter Mose Ma­soe scored against Castle­ford Tigers at The Jun­gle yes­ter­day. Inset, Castle­ford’s Jesse Sene-Le­fao limps off in­jured.

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