Hull KR 34 Hull FC 10: Joe Burgess at the double as Robins thrash Black and Whites

It was a performance the legendary Hull KR player Phil Lowe would have been proud of, and one that exposed the current vastness of the gulf between these two cross-city rivals.
One-sided: Hull KR's Joe Burgess celebrates his second try against Hull FC. (Picture: Allan McKenzie/ Hull KR's Joe Burgess celebrates his second try against Hull FC. (Picture: Allan McKenzie/
One-sided: Hull KR's Joe Burgess celebrates his second try against Hull FC. (Picture: Allan McKenzie/

Rovers are the dominant team on the banks of the Humber, a status they ruthlessly hammered home in a blistering six-try burst in the first half, much to the crowing of the Robins who packed out Craven Park in the Good Friday sunshine.

Hull, contrastingly, are a team on their knees, two heavy defeats to their bitterest rivals and the season is barely seven weeks old.

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But for a flicker of resistance at the start of the second half when after 120 minutes of trying this season they finally penetrated the Rovers line, the Black and Whites are bruised and withering.

All wrapped up: Hull FC's Ligi Sao is tackled by Hull KR. (Picture: wrapped up: Hull FC's Ligi Sao is tackled by Hull KR. (Picture:
All wrapped up: Hull FC's Ligi Sao is tackled by Hull KR. (Picture:

Those Hull fans who stayed to the end did so more out of blind faith than anything, but they should also be commended for respectfully applauding the life of Lowe who passed away recently and whose life and long career was celebrated before kick-off.

Lowe had KR running through his blood having served them for 16 years and over 400 games, and it wasn’t long before the current Rovers vintage were running through the Hull defence.

The Airlie Birds had conceded 50+ points in each of their last two games but acquitted themselves competitively in the first 12 minutes. Yet once that first try went in, any hopes of a blood-and-thunder derby went with it.

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Tyrone May punched the first hole, offloading to Mikey Lewis on his shoulder who in turn fed Niall Evalds who had the space to run into to cross the line.

KR sensed blood and they were over again three minutes later.

Initially Sauaso Sue was held up by three Black and Whites under the posts before the ball was recycled to the right and Joe Burgess darted across from right wing.

Robins fans were up chanting ‘easy, easy’ by the midpoint of the first half once their third try was scored.

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This one was a peach, Evalds breaking through two tackles from his own half and crossing halfway, where he offloaded to Lewis. The scrum-half was initially stopped but got back on his feet quickly, broke another feeble Hull tackle and dove over the tryline.

That Jez Litten missed his third consecutive conversion already appeared a concern for another day.

The fourth try sparked a bit of fight from Hull, though only after James Batchelor had scored in the corner and the celebrations had begun, the Black and Whites clearly unimpressed with the way events were unfolding.

Peta Hiku had been the creator this time, taking a reverse pass and again breaking through the Airlie Birds rearguard far too easily.

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Dean Hadley would have been next across for Rovers but for a crunching, try-saving tackle from Fa’amanu Brown.

When Brown broke into the Rovers half, the lack of Black and White shirts running off him in support was glaringly obvious.

Hiku, who had made the fourth, exchanged passes down the right with Burgess to score the fifth, Litten finally kicking the conversion to give Rovers a 22-0 lead before half-time, matching the result they achieved across the city at the MKM Stadium on opening night.

There was still time for a sixth before the interval, and a fourth in Hull’s weak left side, Burgess again the recipient.

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It was looking like the only way Hull would get on the board would be an intercept try and they nearly had one at the start of the second half, Lewis Martin so very close to picking off May.

When the Black and Whites score did arrive it was a charge-down from Jaydon Okunbor that he gathered himself and carried in from 30 yards.

Darnell McIntosh showed Litten the way from the kicking tee and Hull finally had something on the board.

It proved the spark Hull needed as moments later they were in again, Cam Scott wrestling his way over in the right corner to cut the deficit to 18 points.

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Hull were showing more resilience defensively as well, holding Dean Hadley as he looked to cross to reassert Rovers’ authority.

But they could not withstand the red storm much longer, Kelepi Tanginoa stepping off the replacements bench to barrel over.

Hull KR: Evalds, Burgess, Hiku, Opacic, Hall, May, Lewis, Sue, Litten, Whitbread, Hadley, Batchelor, Minichella. Replacements: Parcell, Luckley, Storton, Tanginoa.

Hull FC: Hoy, McIntosh, Scott, Sutcliffe, Martin, Smith, F Brown, Ese-ese, Houghton, Ashworth, Okunbor, Sao, Lane. Replacements: Pele, J Brown, Gardiner, Charles.

Referee: L Moore.

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