DAVID HODGSON scored a try with the final play of the game to complete a stunning Hull KR fightback against Hull FC tonight.
In a remarkable finish to the last game of the first day at Magic Weekend, Rovers recovered to win from 30-16 down with just 10 minutes remaining.
However, there was plenty of controversy in Manchester; referee Steve Ganson – infamous for his decisions at Cardiff five years ago – somehow missed Rhys Lovegrove’s blatant forward pass for Michael Dobson’s try to get them in touching distance.
Then, it was the Australian scrum-half who switched play to the left for winger Hodgson to swat aside Brett Seymour and skip past Will Sharp before racing 50m to send Rovers fans delirious.
He had already scored one - this was his ninth in just four games having notched four against Castleford last week – and it meant his gutsy side quickly avenged their Good Friday loss at KC Stadium.
It was an absorbing derby from start to finish and a fitting finale.
Willie Manu was outstanding for Hull FC scoring one and creating another two while Craig Hall was similarly to the fore for Rovers.
Danny Tickle impressed was also impressive, his fourth conversion improving Tony Martin’s try on the hour, seeing him reach 500 goals for the East Yorkshire club.
Hull KR went behind after Dobson was sin-binned for holding down Sharp in the 10th minute, scrum-half Seymour immediately gliding over for Tickle to convert.
However, Rovers managed fine in their talisman’s absence and actually levelled following a brilliant effort from ex-Hull FC centre Hall, who stood up Martin and strode in from 20m.
He converted his own score and, with Dobson now back, the Robins scored again on 22 minutes.
Hall was once more to the fore, accepting Blake Green’s long pass before swiftly passing inside for full-back Shannon McDonnell to expose another unfamiliar hole in their opponents’ defence.
Dobson improved but then Manu took control for the Black and Whites.
First, the big Tongan slipped a lovely ball round the corner to find Martin and he set Tom Briscoe clear for Richard Horne to round off.
Then – in his 150th Hull appearance – he rose majestically above Hall to take Seymour’s high kick, Tickle adding the extras to both.
Hodgson responded on 50 minutes but when Martin and then Jordan Turner crossed it looked like Hull were home.
However, there was more drama to come.
Hull FC: Russell; Sharp, Turner, Martin, Briscoe; Horne, Seymour; Moa, Houghton, Lynch, Manu, Tickle, Pitts. Replacements: O’Carroll, Aspinwall, Westerman, Kent.
Hull KR: McDonnell; Latus, Hall, Welham, D Hodgson; Green, Dobson; Paea, J Hodgson, Taylor, Horne, Galea, Lovegrove. Replacements: O’Hara, Clinton, Murrell, Withers.
Referee: Steve Ganson (St Helens)