PLENTY of Leeds Rhinos fans still wonder why Jimmy Keinhorst was ever allowed to leave the club but Hull KR supporters certainly are not complaining.
The German international marked his debut for the Robins by scoring a try with just 13 SECONDS remaining to settle a pulsating derby last night.
Rovers looked set for another painful defeat against their fierce rivals after Bureta Faraimo’s 66th minute try against the run of play left them 16-14 down heading into the final stages.
Hull, in fairness, had defended magnificently and they were ready to start celebrating ending an 11-match losing run that dates back to last July.
However, with one last desperate throw of the dice, Tim Sheens’ side rescued it to set their Super League season off to a flying start.
Josh Drinkwater hoisted a high midfield kick that Ben Crooks rose above Jamie Shaul to knock back and Danny Addy - back after missing almost all of 2018 with a knee injury - kept his composure to find Danny McGuire.
McGuire, in turn, found his former Leeds colleague Keinhorst and the 28-year-old showed great finishing quality to just stretch over in the corner despite Faraimo’s desperate tackle.
Rovers had an agonising wait on the video referee decision.
But Sheens revealed: "When he was checking and checking I got up and walked out of the box and went downstairs!
“There was nothing I could do about it so I thought I might as well go down and meet the boys.
“Then I heard the cheering and they came running out of the chairman’s box and said it was a try.
“I’m very happy for the club - we’ve had a lot to contend with during the off-season and we’ll be a lot more coherent as the season goes on."
Hull started in a shaky manner; the hosts surprised them with a short hanging kick-off that saw them win possession back and they were never at ease.
Matty Dawson-Jones dawdled on his own line to almost concede a try and then the former St Helens winger and his full-back Jamie Shaul were left looking at each other as another Josh Drinkwater kick fell out of the sky unclaimed, resulting in a drop-out.
Still, despite all their early problems, Radford’s side suddenly found themselves 12-0 up with two tries inside just three minutes.
Sika Manu got the first, the Tongan second-row muscling over from close range after Danny Washbrook smartly saw half a gap out of dummy-half.
Marc Sneyd slotted the 500th Super League goal of his career and added his 501st in the 18th minute after Dawson-Jones marked his debut with a try.
Chris Atkin, the England Knights half-back picked at full-back with Adam Quinlan sidelined until the summer, could not claim a high kick and, amid the mayhem, Washbrook showed composure to slot in a grubber for the signing from Leigh Centurions to race onto.
The 33-year-old Washbrook was seen as a conservative pick from Radford to fill in at stand-off with Albert Kelly injured and Jake Connor suspended.
He was preferred to the maverick Frenchman Hakim Miloudi and also Carlos Tuimavave, the Kiwi who remained at centre, and in the end it proved a wise decision.
Washbrook provided a calming edge and his side certainly needed it as Rovers roared back into the contest.
Robbie Mulhern went close after Danny McGuire’s grubber ricocheted off a post and - although Hull had chance to go 14-0 when Sneyd missed a relatively simple penalty attempt - they were not deterred.
Shaul dallied once more when dealing with a kick to gift Rovers possession and McGuire’s well-timed pass saw captain Joel Tomkins slide over in the 29th minute.
Sheens’ side scored back-to-back, this time after Mickey Paea gave away a needless penalty after initially slamming James Greenwood with a fine tackle.
From there, Jimmy Keinhorst went close before McGuire’s latest grubber sat up perfectly for Mitch Garbutt, the former Leeds Rhinos prop who excelled making such an impact off the bench on his debut.
Drinkwater added his second conversion and, as Rovers continued with all the momentum, Garbutt and Greenwood causing problems up front, the Australian half-back added a penalty just before the break.
They applied plenty of pressure at the start of the second period but initially had no answer to Hull’s resolute defence.
Radford’s side were tireless with Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton and Dean Hadley putting in some sterling efforts.
At the other end, Keinhorst produced a fine try-saving tackle on Faraimo but it was mainly Rovers who pressed.
Shaul was called upon himself to deny Keinhorst himself but then he eluded the same player to set up Faraimo who bumped off McGuire to score.
Sneyd could not convert from wide out, though, and that, along with his missed penalty, eventually proved crucial
It was Keinhorst and McGuire who had the last laugh, the former Leeds heroes making magic again now for the Robins, who had not won in this fixture at Craven Park since 2014.
Hull boss Radford said: “I can’t fault their effort and I wouldn’t have changed that for the world.
"I'm proud of the performance. We did enough to get a result I think, and if we continue to turn up with that attitude and add a bit of finesse down the other end - which we will when Jake Connor is back - we’ll be okay."
Hull KR: Atkin; Crooks, Keinhorst, Vaivai, Hall; McGuire, Drinkwater; Masoe, Lawler, Mulhern, Tomkins, Linnett, Hauraki. Substitutes: Addy, Garbutt, Greenwood, Lee.
Hull FC: Shaul; Faraimo, Tuimavave, Griffin, Dawson-Jones; Washbrook, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton, Matongo, Manu, Minichiello, Hadley. Substitutes: Litten, Thompson, Paea, Lane.
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield)