It was sixth against eleventh as Hull Kingston Rovers played hosts to the Salford Red Devils in a truncated round nine which saw the postponement of two of tonight’s fixtures at Huddersfield and Leeds due to positive COVID tests and required self-isolations.
While the Robins couldn’t leapfrog their near neighbours Hull FC after last nights win over the Castleford Tigers, they could keep up the pressure on the black and white half of the city as both sides chase a play-off place finish.
Salford had the chance of going above Wakefield Trinity if they could secure their second win of the season by a large enough margin, but the bookies thought that unlikely, giving them an eight-point start on the handicap coupon.
Salford started the game like they meant business as they took the game to KR. A fifth minute grubber from Tui Lolohea was chased by Ken Sio who won the race and picked up the ball to ground in the corner. Sio skewed his kick across the face of the uprights.
On seventeen minutes Chris Atkin was sin-binned for stealing the ball in a one-on-one tackle, the referee determining that the tackle had been completed. Two minutes later George Lawler took the pass and spun out of a tackle and grounded under the sticks. Jordan Abdull added the extras for a 6-4 lead.
The twelve men conceded again on twenty-three with Ben Crooks leaping to ground one handed in the corner off an Adam Quinlan long pass. Abdull was uable to add the extras, the lead now six points.
Six minutes out from the break a great kick and chase from Brad Takairangi saw him collect the ball and get it to ground with one hand under pressure from the chasing defenders. Abdull added the conversion, the Robins 16-4 ahead at the interval.
With just a minute on the second half clock Abdull added another two points with a penalty in front of the sticks after a goal-line drop-out went out on the full.
On fifty minutes Adam Quinlin was sin-binned after kicking the ball out of the hands of Sam Luckley as he stretched for the line but KR held strong until his return and just after the hour mark great strength from Shaun Kenny-Dowall took a dummied pass to crash through three defenders and get the ball on the line. Abdull added the conversion for 24-4, the win and points in the bag for the home side.
The flood gates were now open. Matt Parcell was next over the whitewash for the Robins as he took the pass five metres out from the line and turned on the speed to run the angle and score. Abdull added the conversion to bring up the thirty.
Ryan Hall was the sixth KR try scorer of the night when he intercepted a Salford pass and had a clear run to the line from forty metres out. Abdull hit the upright with his conversion attempt.
Kane Linnett rounded off the scoring on the final hooter when he took the ball inside his own half and threw an outrageous dummy before sprinting to the line to score. Rowan Milmes added the conversion as referee Kendall sent Pauli Pauli from the field for a late hit on Abdull as he set up the try.
After suffering the early scare when Sio opened the nights scoring for the visitors, Hull KR soon found their mojo and set about dismantling the Red Devils and accumulating a big score and a comprehensive win. The backs were on fire and could seemingly score at will as the centre of the field was controlled by Jordan Abdull and Matt Parcell. Hull KR look like the real deal in 2021.
Hull KR: Quinlan (SB on 50), Crooks (T), Takairangi (T), Kenny-Dowall (T), Hall (T), Milnes (G), Abdull (5G), Lawler (T), Parcell (T), Maher, Linnett (T), Johnson, Hadley. Subs: Sims, Litten, King, Storton.
Salford Red Devils: Escare, Burgess, Sio (T), Davies, Williams. Lolohea, Atkin (SB on 17), Mossop, Ackers, Wells, Pauli (SO on 80), Taylor. Subs: Burke, Luckley, Patton, Ikahihifo.
Referee: Chris Kendall.
Score Progression: 0-4, (SB), 4-4, 6-4, 10-4, 14-4, 16-4 : HT : (SB), 18-4, 22-4, 24-4, 28-4, 30-4, 34-4, 38-4, 40-4 (SO) : FT.