Morgan’s confidence is repaid by Rovers’ display

HULL KR coach Justin Morgan last night insisted he always knew his squad would overcome their turgid start to last night’s derby encounter.

Lacklustre Rovers trailed 14-0 after just 14 minutes against

Hull FC in Cardiff and seemed set for a sizeable loss against their city rivals.

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However, they mounted a quality recovery, started with the first of Ben Galea’s two tries just after the quarter mark, and rallied to deliver an impressive 34-22 success.

“I was quite comfortable early on,” said Morgan. “We’d only had the ball twice and looked a bit nervous but I thought we’d be okay as soon as the game started to settle.

“If we’d have gone another try behind it might have been different for us but I put it down to the continuity of our squad and the inner belief they have.

“I told them ‘Look, we’ll get ourselves a rhythm soon’ and we did. The players felt the same.”

Rovers handed a debut to Australian stand-off Blake Green, who scored a try to aid the renaissance, but Morgan paid credit to his replacements – Josh Hodgson, Scott Wheeldon, Liam Watts and Ben Cockayne – for their combined impact on the match.

“They came on in the middle part of the game when it was real tough for our guys,” he added.

“It gets written off how hard it is for players to come off the bench and slot straight in but they all did great and I was really pleased with what they did for us out there.

“There was a lot of character from our players as well. Ben Galea got a head knock but shook it off and Dobbo also carried on when he was obviously injured.

“It helps when your key players can do that and I’m very grateful they did.

“We were a little bit scratchy but it’s nice to get two points.”

Hull chief Richard Agar conceded he was dismayed by the manner in which his side “frittered” away their impressive early lead.

“I thought we started really well in a very good fashion but I’m a bit disappointed that when the momentum went against us we didn’t ride it well enough,” he said. “We came up with a couple of pretty poor individual efforts and failed to stem that momentum in the second half of the match.

“We were wayward and when we created a couple of chances we should have gone on to put them away.”

Agar admitted Rovers’ precision in attacking areas was the difference, Dobson continually pulling them apart.

“Hull KR are a very good team when they get down that end,” he said. “They execute that way, we’ve seen it on video and practiced defending those situations so not to come up with the answers is disappointing.

“Tom (Briscoe) has got caught out a couple of times down that right-hand side while there was some poor one-on-one tackles; we need to set the bar higher for ourselves.”