Hull KR 18 Wigan 20: Robins denied victory as Matty Smith puts boot in

Albert Kelly.
Albert Kelly.
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Matty Smith’s conversion with 98 seconds remaining sealed Wigan Warriors’ 20-18 win at Hull KR.

Wigan looked dead and buried after Rovers scored 18 unanswered points before Sam Tomkins’s try broke KR’s resilience.

Both sides needed the points for different reasons – Rovers to keep in touch with the top eight while Wigan could not afford to lose ground on the teams at the top of Super League.

Dominic Manfredi opened the scoring in just the fourth minute, using the wet conditions to slide over in the corner, but Smith missed the conversion, as he did nine minutes later when Manfredi repeated his try-scoring feat.

Errors outnumbered points scored as both sides struggled to keep hold of the ball.

It took Rovers time to find any rhythm in attack and they finally registered their first score in the 28th minute. Terry Campese’s kick was allowed to bounce behind Wigan’s try-line where his half-back partner Albert Kelly pounced on the loose ball to score. Ken Sio split the uprights with his conversion to reduce Wigan’s lead to 8-6.

Thomas Minns and Sio exchanged passes before Minns went over near the posts to give Rovers their first lead of the evening. Sio’s conversion made it 12-8.

With a lead to defend, Rovers began to control the game. However, Campese left the game in the second half to the concern of the Rovers supporters.

But their concern turned to joy a minute later when Mitch Allgood found himself running through a big gap to score KR’s third try of the night. Sio maintained his 100 per cent goal-kicking to make it 18-8.

With their chances of winning slipping through their fingers, Wigan stepped up their game.

A blistering break by Lewis Tierney was finished by Anthony Gelling in the right-hand corner. Smith finally found his range with the conversion to make it 
18-14 with 12 minutes remaining.

It would have been all square had it not been for Smith’s two missed conversions, but there was time for Smith and Wigan to redeem themselves.

Rovers failed to stop Tomkins in his tracks to fall over the line. Smith’s kick rescued a game that Wigan looked set to lose.

Hull K R: Marsh, Sio, Minns, Thornley, Dixon, Campese, Kelly, Tilse, Lunt, Walker, Blair, Clarkson, Greenwood. Substitutes: Allgood, Mulhern, Green, Boudebza.

Wigan: S. Tomkins, Charnley, Gelling, Sarginson, Manfredi, Williams, Smith, Crosby, Powell, Flower, Sutton, Isa, J. Tomkins. Substitutes: Mossop, Tautai, Burke, Bretherton.

Referee: B Thaler (RFL).