Salford Red Devils 16 Hull Kingston Rovers 26: Mikey Lewis scores two tries as Robins repel Salford’s second-half fightback
Tony Smith’s side led 18-0 at the break but they were pegged back by a determined Salford fightback which saw them get within two points of the visitors with a quarter of the game remaining.
Hull KR scored three tries in the first half to take a hold of the game. Their first came after 15 minutes when a short kick by scrum-half Jordan Abdull was spilled by Ryan Brierley and Elliot Minchella was the quickest to react to the loose ball as he scored under the posts, with Abdull adding the conversion.
Nine minutes before half-time, a well-timed short pass from Albert Vete found Matty Storton and he powered over from close range as Abdull once again added the extras.
Salford were reduced to 12 men four minutes before the break as forward Ryan Lannon was sent to the sin-bin for obstruction.
Rovers took full advantage, adding a third try on the stroke of half-time through Lewis, Abdull again converting.
Despite starting the second half with 12 men, Paul Rowley’s men claimed their first points of the night three minutes after the restart as some quick passing along the line gave Ken Sio a try, while Marc Sneyd added the extras.
The try visibly lifted Salford and they scored an unconverted try after 56 minutes.
The home side’s impressive second-half recovery continued with a third score just after the hour mark. A long pass to the wing was picked out by Sneyd, who raced 70 metres before turning the ball inside to winger Joe Burgess, who sprinted home, with Sneyd goalling.
But KR’s only try of the second half by Lewis, improved by Abdull, who also booted a penalty, saw the Robins home.
Speaking about the win, Smith said: “It was a really good first half from us. We played smart and played with patience. We had to make a plan for the conditions and the way we carried it out was not too far off how I envisaged.
“We did that really well in the first half and the points came at the right time.
“We allowed Salford back into the game in the second half. We were a little bit clunky in the second half - not quite as efficient - but there were some lessons to be learned.
“In the first half, we defended our own tryline well which is something we wanted to work on after last week.”
Smith paid special tribute to Lewis after he stepped up with two tries.
He said: “Mikey was always going to play a big part in that game. The conditions suited him. He raised his head and had an influence but there are a few others who need to realise they can do it.
“He has the individual brilliance that can damage teams. He finished off a couple of nice things.”