Nothing golden for Hull KR after Maloney’s late strike

IT is on nights like this where you do truly begin to wonder is the Golden Point really worth it all?

Mikey Lewis scores Hull KR's second try. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Not in terms of drama and excitement. Of course, the concept, introduced to Super League in 2019, brings that in spades.

However, if you battle back from 28-4 down to draw level at 28-28, as Hull KR did in a thrilling game against Catalans Dragon on Saturday evening, surely such endeavours merit a point at least? Instead, Tony Smith’s side came away with nothing. Apart from the usual regrets at starting so slowly.

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Catalans had been under such pressure, ever since a darting Mikey Lewis started the Rovers fightback in the 55th minute.

Yet, having seen George King’s 77th-minute converted try finally bring parity, the French club were able to gain their breath before extra-time started.

Within two minutes, Arthur Morgue, the young full-back, who replaced an injured Sam Tomkins late on, delivered a relieving break to set up position and James Maloney, the former New South Wales State of Origin half who turns 35 in June, held his nerve to slot the drop goal. It was heartbreak for Rovers who had sensed producing the unlikeliest of wins after seeing Ryan Hall score a hat-trick on his return to Super League.

The England winger had failed to score in 11 games over two years with the Sydney Roosters yet took just 26 minutes to get back amongst the tries back in his native Yorkshire on the ground where he made his name.

Hall, as he has done ever since gaining his first try for Leeds Rhinos as a 19 year-old, said afterwards how scoring tries is immaterial to him.

It is more important to help his side start their sets well – as he regularly did with his power from backfield – and do the less glamorous parts that help a side glean victory. At 33, some doubted whether the six-time Grand Final winner would be able to recapture his prolific best having joined Rovers in the autumn but he already looks an astute signing.

Catalans saw centre Mathieu Laguerre, 22, shine on debut, scoring one try and helping set up another for Matt Whitley while Foud Yaha (2) and Benjamin Garcia also crossed.

But they got rattled, especially when seeing Julian Bousquet sin-binned and with KR’s Elliot Minchella and Matt Parcell having a massive impacts from the bench. Smith, whose side visit St Helens on Thursday, said: “It’s disappointing not to come away with the win after fighting back so hard. They were out of the blocks quicker than us but we gave ourselves a chance.

“We showed what we can do and for that reason I’m pleased.

“We have just got to learn our lessons; if you don’t start with the high energy we found in the second half you get hurt.”

Catalans Dragons: S Tomkins; Davies, Laguerre, Whare, Yaha; Maloney, Drinkwater; Goudemand, Da Coasta, Bousquet, Whitley, McMeeken, Garcia. Substitutes: Morgue, Seguier, Baiteiri, Kasiano.

Hull KR: Quinlan; Crooks, Minikin, Kenny-Dowall, Hall; Lewis, Abdull; Sims, Litten, King, Linnett, Hadley, Lawler. Substitutes: Vete, Parcell, Minchella, Storton.

Referee: J Child (Dewsbury).

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