Warrington Wolves 50 Hull KR 26: Greg Inglis scores on Super League debut

After two years out of the sport, Greg Inglis made a try-scoring debut for Warrington Wolves but Hull KR threatened to ruin the Australian superstar’s long-awaited return.

Warrington Wolves' Greg Inglis stretches over to score on his debut against Hull KR. (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

Rovers, with scrum-half Jordan Adbull and Shaun Kenny-Dowall in excellent form, led 18-12 at half-time and were also level just before the hour mark at Halliwell Jones Stadium.

However, after Daryl Clark sniped over, Warrington pulled away with four tries in the final quarter to end Tony Smith’s side’s hopes of a third successive win.

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Inglis, the legendary Australia centre whose arrival has caused such a stir in Super League, had a largely ominous first half but typically came up with some crucial plays when his side needed it most.

Warrington have bide their time before pitching the 34-year-old into action, making sure the former Queensland State of Origin star had his fitness levels right having initially retired in April 2019.

Lining up at left centre, Inglis switched to full-back after Matty Ashton limped off at the start of the second period, and - as well as his try - came up with one strong surge to set up position for Daryl Clark’s score.

He showed all his customary strength to barge over defenders to get his own try, his first score since crossing for South Sydney v Melbourne Storm in September 2018.

Rovers were in good nick at the break after Abdull had expertly pulled the strings from half-back.

Hull KR captain Shaun Kenny-Dowall celebrates his try. (ALEX WHITEHEAD/SWPIX)

Any theory his side would target Inglis in defence to attempt to tire him out were quickly dispelled; the visitors continually raided down the opposite edge - Warrington’s right - and with plenty of success.

Kenny-Dowall was particularly potent at left centre for Rovers, picking good lines off Abdull and also regularly claiming his scrum-half’s lofted chips.

It was Kenny-Dowall who opened the scoring after his side had forced an early goalline drop-out, showing real strength to somehow get over from close range when there appeared no danger whatsoever in the fourth minute.,

Adbull impressively slotted the first of his five goals from the touchline but, when George Lawler’s force offload went to ground on his own 20, Warrington swiftly responded, Toby King managing to get on the outside of Ryan Hall.

Stefan Ratchford kicked the first of his seven goals and added his second when Adam Quinlan failed to deal with Gareth Widdop’s grubber, Ben Currie mopping up for the first of his two tries.

Rovers, though, remained thoroughly competitive, prop George King impressing against his former club, Brad Takairangi showing great footwork at times and George Lawler getting through his usual workload up front.

And Abdull, of course, was in the mood, his cut-out pass on the last tackle seeing Kenny-Dowall produced a lovely swift delivery for Ryan Hall to cross for KR’s second try of the afternoon.

In the next set, Takairangi wonderfully beat Inglis on the inside to put Ethan Ryan away but the Rovers winger lost control of the ball to wasted a good position.

Still, Ryan did then make a great decision to come in off his flank and hit Inglis with a shuddering shot which saw the Australian cough up possession, too.

When Warrington strayed offside, Abdull’s penalty put his side 14-12 ahead and he extended that with a fine try of his own just before the break, selling an outrageous dummy down the shortside in the 36th minute.

Rovers needed to score in the second period but Currie added his second try after 43 minutes, a bit too easily going through Rowan Milnes and Ryan.

Ratchford hit an upright with his conversion attempt so it remained at 18-18.

Then came Inglis’ score but Hall responded after Abdull ran on the last tackle and Kenny-Dowall came up with another assist to leave it at 22-22

Clark soon hit back, though, and when Jake Mamo intercepted Quinlan’s pass to go in for another, Ratchford made it 34-22.

Josh Charnley added another but KR hit back again when Kenny-Dowall rose high to challenge for another Abdull kick, Kane Linnett touching down.

Louis Johnson was yellow-carded after a professional foul following Toby King’s break and that saw Warrington add some more gloss with tries from Danny Walker and - after the hooter - Charnely getting his second.

Warrington Wolves: Ashton; Mamo, T King, Inglis, Charnley; Ratchford, Widdop; Hill, D Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Davis. Substitutes: Philbin, J Clark, Walker, Akauola.

Hull KR: Quinlan; Ryan, Takairangi, Kenny-Dowall, Hall; Milnes, Abdull; Lawler, Parcell, G King, Linnett, Johnson, Hadley. Substitutes: Sims, Litten, Storton, Mustapha.

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas (Leigh)

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