Winger Dave Hodgson scored two of his side’s three tries as the Wolves tasted their first defeat of the season.
Rovers got off to a flying start when Dave Hodgson turned his side’s first penalty of the day into four points. Debut-maker Travis Burns and Michael Dobson were involved at the start of the move before Greg Eden sent the veteran winger over in the left hand corner. Dobson missed the conversion.
The Robins increased their lead to 6-0 in the 17th minute as Dobson made amends for his early conversion miss with a straightforward penalty from 18 metres out and in a central position.
Rovers were awarded another penalty in the same spot a minute later following a ball steal. Instead of going for the two points, Rovers went for the try and the tactic backfired when Josh Hodgson knocked on stretching over the line in an attempt to score.
It could have been costly, as Warrington looked set to score only for Eden to intervene with a try-saving knock-on.
However, the Wolves responded immediately and they levelled in the 24th minute through Stefan Ratchford. He went over from dummy half as Rovers were caught napping, with Brett Hodgson converting to make it 6-6 after 25 minutes.
Rovers were making life hard for themselves and when they conceded possession on the first tackle just inside Warrington’s half the Wolves went hunting for the try.
It duly came from Ratchford’s kick for Ryan Atkins to contest, which he did brilliantly against Rovers debutant Alex Brown. Brett Hodgson converted for a second time and Warrington led 12-6.
Remarkably, for two sides who had amassed 128 first-half points this season, that was all the scoring there was in the first 40 minutes of an absorbing contest.
The sides cancelled each other out in the early stages of the second half, and forward passes and stray passes did not help either side’s chances of playing cohesive rugby.
Warrington eventually cracked after a period of sustained pressure by Rovers. An error by Simon Grix was turned into four points by Cory Paterson, who strolled through on the left edge. Dobson’s conversion went over via the right upright.
With the scores level at 12-12 entering the final quarter, the game was there to be won by either side.
Paterson saved a try with a crucial interception and moments later, in the same set, Dobson landed a 30-metre penalty to give the home side a 14-12 advantage with 17 minutes remaining.
Warrington struggled to create anything and Rovers made them pay with a third and decisive try five minutes from the end of the match.
Dave Hodgson took Paterson’s pass over the line and made the conversion easier for Dobson by grounding the ball closer to the posts.
Dobson’s successful conversion meant Warrington had to score twice – but it was Rovers who crossed in the closing stages, as two debutants combined to seal the win.
Burns sent Brown over in the right-hand corner and Dobson’s conversion sealed a 26-12 win for the home side.
Hull KR: Eden, Brown, Welham, Salter, D. Hodgson, Burns, Dobson, Tuimavave, J. Hodgson, Lovegrove, Ferguson, Paterson, Mika. Substitutes: Carlile, Horne, Griffin, Paea.
Warrington: Hodgson, Riley, Evans, Atkins, Williams, Ratchford, Myler, Wood, Higham, Hill, Grix, Westwood, Cooper. Substitutes: Carvell, McCarthy, Currie, Laithwaite.
Referee: R Hicks (Oldham).