A thoroughly dominant performance from Hull KR saw off Huddersfield at the Galpharm stadium.
Tries from Kris Welham, Ben Galea Craig Hall and doubles from David Hodgson and Michael Dobson moved Craig Sandercock’s men into 7th place in the league, taking them a point behind tonight’s opponents and Hull FC who occupy 5th and 6th.
Rovers fans taunted their cross-city rivals with chants of ‘are you watching, Hull FC?’ as their side continued on from their second half performance against Warrington last week to take apart the stuttering Giants, who replied through Cudjoe, Crabtree, Patrick and a double from Murphy.
Nathan Brown’s men struggled to maintain a foothold in this game as Michael Dobson pulled the strings for Hull KR. The former Canberra Raiders man scored twice and had a hand in everything positive about Rovers’ performance this evening. His kicking game continuously pinned Giants back in their own half, while he was a constant threat with the ball in hand as he sought to make plays at the Huddersfield line.
It helped, as it always does, that he was playing behind a dominant pack and much credit has to go to the Rovers forwards who largely outmuscled their opposite numbers and set the platform for Dobson and Hall to play on.
David Hodgson opened the scoring for the visitors, making the Giants pay for poor discipline and a knock on within the first three minutes when Rhys Lovegrove and Kris Welham combined down the blind side of a scrum to put the former Huddersfield winger over.
Leroy Cudjoe levelled moments later when he leaped ahead of Hodgson to collect Danny Brough’s cross-field kick to score, the Giants taking advantage of a spilled Constantine Mika ball deep in Rovers’ territory.
After a period of attrition between both sets of forwards, a big Luke Robinson tackle forced the Robins’ to spill the ball on their own try line. From the resulting set of possession, Eorl Crabtree latched on to a Danny Brough short ball to crash over.
Rovers’ hit back immediately when Michael Dobson’s touchdown was given the all clear by the video referee. The Australian scrum half took on the Huddersfield defensive line and threw a dummy before diving over despite desperate attempts to hold him out. He failed in his attempts to convert his own try, leaving the score at 12-10 to the hosts.
The Robins’ thought they had took the lead when Ben Galea burst on to the ball and steamed through the Huddersfield defence. Video referee James Child thought differently and ruled that Greg Eden had stole the ball from the big second rower and awarded a penalty, from which Michael Dobson went for goal, levelling the scores.
They did take the lead soon afterwards when Kris Welham did not give up on a Dobson grubber into the in-goal area. Mistakes by Lee and Cudjoe allowed the Rovers centre to dive on the ball before it hit the dead ball line. Dobson made no mistake with the conversion this time and Rovers re-established a six point lead.
Brave defending from the visitors then maintained the lead, as Welham’s latch ditch tackle knocked the ball out of the hand of Larne Patrick over the try-line and McDonnell did just enough moments later to make sure Cudjoe could not finish off a Brough kick on the stroke of half-time to ensure that the Robins took their 18-12 advantage into the changing rooms.
Rovers started the second half strongly as they feigned to spread the ball wide before Ben Galea again burst onto a short Dobson pass on an angle touched down under the sticks with barely a Huddersfield hand being laid on him. Dobson’s conversion extended the lead to twelve points.
Hull Kr’s advantage was further extended when Jason Chan’s high tackle on Craig Hall was penalised by Thierry Alibert and further punished by the boot of Dobson.
Danny Brough thought he had turned the tide for Huddersfield when he kicked a magnificent 40/20 and earned his side possession in Robins’ territory, but Kris Welham’s clever offload relieved the pressure for the visitors.
A penalty gifted Rovers good field position and they converted when they shifted the ball through the hands of Dobson, Hall and Welham to put David Hodgson over again in the corner. Dobson’s conversion put the Robins 20 points ahead.
Aaron Murphy struck back for the Giants with twenty minutes on the clock, prompting hopes of a revival from the home supporters.
Despite Hull KR conceding three consecutive penalties, Craig Hall halted their momentum when he intercepted Brough’s pass and pushed the Robins forward. From that spell of possession, Dobson again dropped the shoulder to dupe the Fartown defence and crash over the try-line. His conversion took him to 1,000 points for the red and whites.
Murphy crossed for his second of the evening when he and Brough combined to take advantage of a stray pass from dummy half to give the scoreboard a bit more of a respectable look.
Larne Patrick then kicked ahead of Rovers full back Scott McDonnell and scored a further consolation try for the Giants.
They were not to have the final say, however, as Craig Hall hit a gap and danced around Greg Eden to send the travelling army of Rovers fans back to East Hull with a final try to sing about.
Huddersfield: Eden, George, Cudjoe, Lawrence, Murphy, Brough, Lee, Crabtree, Moore, Fa’alogo, Ferguson, Gilmour, Brown
Replacements: Robinson, Faiumu, Patrick, Chan
T: Cudjoe, Crabtree, Murphy 2, Patrick
G: Brough 3
Hull Kingston Rovers: McDonnell, Webster, Welham, Horne, D Hodgson, Hall, Dobson, O’Hara, J Hodgson, Taylor, Mika, Galea, Lovegrove
Replacements: Murrell, Withers, Paea, Netherton
T: D Hodgson 2, Dobson 2, Welham, Galea, Hall
G: Dobson 8
Referee: Thierry Alibert
RLFANS Man of the Match: Michael Dobson (Hull KR)