Hull KR 26 Leeds Rhinos 6 - Milestone moment for Ryan Hall as Robins cruise to victory

HE spent 12 seasons making history for Leeds Rhinos and Ryan Hall achieved another milestone in his first game against them last night.

Leeds Rhinos’ Konrad Hurrell is held by Hull KR duo Dean Hadley and Luis Johnson at Craven Park. Pictures: Bruce Rollinson

The winger scored the first of Hull Kingston Rovers’ five tries in a comprehensive 26-6 hammering of Rhinos at Craven Park.

That set the Robins on course for back-to-back wins for the first time since the summer of 2018 and was a big moment for Hall who became only the second player to reach 200 tries in Super League.

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The veteran winger was a handful for his old club all evening, alongside half-back Jordan Abdull, but it was second-rower Kane Linnett who stole the show with a powerful hat-trick of tries in a performance his coach Tony Smith hailed as “outstanding”.

Luke Briscoe's disallowed try. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Rhinos had no answer to Linnett’s power close to the line and Rovers were in no way flattered by their 20-point winning margin, though Smith was not getting carried away afterwards.

He said: “I thought it was a decent performance, but it wasn’t without faults.

“There were some areas we will look at and we won’t fall in love with ourselves, that’s for sure.

“At times we’ve got off to a decent start this year and let teams back in. We didn’t do that, so I am pleased for the players.”

Ryan Hall. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Smith also praised Hall for his landmark try.

The Rovers coach added: “I know Hally’s not one for records but that was a huge achievement. I thought Ryan Hall was terrific tonight. He was big and powerful and fast

“I think I was around when he scored his first, I’m not sure I will be around when he scores his last.”

Hall’s try came after 12 minutes when Abdull kicked to the left, the bounce deceived Tom Briscoe and his former team-mate gathered to touch down.

The Robins went further in front, through another ex-Leeds man, just five minutes later, Matt Parcell taking Abdull’s pass and forcing his way over, managing to get the ball down after it seemed he would be held up.

Abdull converted that to make it 10-0 and the half-back continued to torture Rhinos on 26 minutes, sliding a grubber kick over the line which Linnett touched down, before the half-back made it 16-0 with the second of his three goals.

Rhinos coach Richard Agar reacted to Rovers’ third try by bringing on Brad Dwyer and the replacement hooker made an immediate impact, winning the ball, then a penalty and getting Leeds on the board by darting over from acting-half, Ash Handley converting to cut the deficit to 10 points at the interval, which flattered the visitors.

The game was won and lost in a spell at the star of the second period.

Leeds came out with more intent and it took a terrific tackle by Luis Johnson to prevent Mikolaj Oledzki getting them further back in the game.

Then Muizz Mustapha – on loan at Hull KR from Leeds –knocked on 20 metres out. It was a great opportunity for Rhinos, made more so by a set restart, but they didn’t get to the last tackle as Handley knocked on.

Within seconds, Rovers had forced a drop out and from that Linnett powered over from close-range off Parcell’s pass.

On the hour Leeds, finally, put a nice handling move together, involving Dwyer, Richie Myer and Konrad Hurrell, but Luke Briscoe knocked on trying to dive over at the corner.

Leeds’s discipline was poor all game and with 13 minutes left Myler was sin-binned for dissent after his pass, which would have sent Dwyer over, was ruled forward. From the penalty Rovers put the game out of Leeds’s reach, when Linnett stormed in from Abdull’s pass to complete his hat-trick.

“Across the board we had so many who were off the pace,” was Agar’s assessment of Leeds’s performance.

“Errors, penalties, six-agains, you are always going to be up against it with such poor execution of fundamentals of the game.

“We had a number of players that ripped in and tried to pull it back but across the board we had so many players who were off the pace.

“I thought we looked like a team that had been thrown together this afternoon.

“We will be looking at that performance, it will be a long hard video on Monday.”

Hull KR: Quinlan, Ryan, Takairangi, Kenny-Dowall, Hall, Milnes, Abdull, Vete, Parcell, King, Linnett, Johnson, Lawler. Substitutes: Hadley, Litten, Storton, Mustapha.

Leeds Rhinos: Handley, T Briscoe, A Sutcliffe, Hurrell, L Briscoe, Myler, Eastmond, Oledzi, Leeming, Prior. Mellor, Martin, Donaldson. Substitutes: Dwyer, Broadbent, Thompson, Vuniyayawa.

Referee: M Griffiths (Widnes).

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