Hull KR 20 Huddersfield Giants 19: Ben Cockayne penalty keeps Rovers’ top-eight hopes alive

Huddersfield's Ryan Brierley.
Huddersfield's Ryan Brierley.
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Hull KR remain in contention for a Super 8s spot after a come from behind 20-19 win against Huddersfield at the KC Lightstream Stadium.

The Robins recorded only their sixth win of the season following converted tries from Matthew Marsh, Albert Kelly and George Lawler, with Ben Cockayne’s 72nd-minute penalty proving the difference between the teams.

The defeat secures the Giants’ place in the Middle 8s after surrendering a game in which they largely controlled. The visitors led 19-6 with just over half an hour to play before Hull KR finished strongly.

It was the Giants who took the lead in the eighth minute quickly turning defence into attack in a split second. Aaron Murphy gathered Marsh’s high kick and immediately set Ryan Brierley on his way for an 85-metre try converted by Jamie Ellis.

The lead lasted five minutes as Rovers responded well to going behind.

Ben Cockayne’s kick bounced favourably for Shaun Lunt to mount an attack on the Giants’ line. On hand to finish the move off was Marsh, leaving Cockayne a simple conversion to tie the score up at 6-6.

Huddersfield regained their lead in the 19th minute when they were awarded a penalty try after Jake Connor had the ball kicked out of his hands stretching for the try line.

Ellis made it 12-6 with his second conversion of the night.

Huddersfield had found their rhythm and added a third try in the 27th minute.

Danny Brough, shortly after his introduction from the bench, created an opening for Ellis to score.

His conversion from in front of the posts extended Huddersfield’s advantage to 18-6 which they held going in to the half-time break.

A drop goal from Brough was the first score of the second half to leave Rovers needing to score three times.

Kelly’s try from close range reduced the arrears to 19-12 after Cockayne’s conversion split the uprights.

It was the spark Rovers needed. On their next set, Adam Walker drew several Huddersfield defenders in allowing Lawler to take Walker’s offload over the line. Cockayne’s conversion drew the home side to within a point of the Giants.

Rovers were twice gifted opportunities to take the lead on the hour mark but turned down the two points on offer to go for the try.

They were left to rue not taking a kick at goal as Kelly booted the ball out of play.

When they got another penalty further out, they decided to go for the kick at goal and it came off for them as Cockayne turned it into two valuable points to give Rovers a 20-19 lead. The Giants offered little in the final eight minutes to give Rovers the victory.

Hull K R: Cockayne, Sio, Minns, Thornley, Thompson, Marsh, Kelly, Tilse, Lunt, Allgood, Clarkson, Larroyer, Lawler. Substitutes: Boudebza, Dixon, Mulhern, Walker.

Huddersfield: Connor, McGillvary, Cudjoe, S. Wood, Murphy, Brierley, Ellis, Rapira, K. Wood, Ta’ai, Symonds, Lawrence, Hinchcliffe. Substitutes: Brough, Roberts, Mason, Crabtree.

Referee: B Thaler (RFL).