Hull Kingston Rovers welcomed Daryl Powell’s Castleford Tigers side to Craven Park on Thursday night, with both teams hoping to lift the Roger Millward Trophy at the end of the night.
On an extremely cold evening in East Yorkshire, it was the home side who took the lead as Super League’s current top try scorer picked up the first try.
On the back of a penalty, the Robins worked their way up the field and a high kick from Joe Keyes was plucked out the air by Ben Crooks ahead of Peter Mata’utia to score.
A 40/20 from Jez Litten put Rovers on the front foot once more and they crossed the line through Will Dagger, however the full-back knocked on as he gathered the ball and the try was disallowed.
The Tigers thought they’d hit back on 23 minutes but as Mike McMeeken crashed over, he dropped the ball to allow Hull off the hook.
Just five minutes later, the Castleford second-row was over the line once more but was held up by three Rovers defenders.
After hammering the Robins, Paul McShane exposed the home-side after running out from dummy-half, the hooker released Danny Richardson, who was smart and gave the ball out to Michael Shenton who scored in the corner.
Despite the Tigers looking to take control of the game, the Robins picked up a penalty in front of the posts just before half-time to take a lead at the break.
HALF-TIME: Hull KR 8-6 Castleford Tigers
Castleford turned on a little bit of style at the start of the second period and nearly crossed to take the lead. However, Ryan Brierley ran Grant Millington off the ball to concede a penalty.
Danny Richardson duly converted to level the scores but Brierley spent the next 10 minutes in the sin-bin.
Tigers took full advantage of the extra man as they crossed through James Clare, however, Shenton was deemed to have knocked on in the build-up.
The visitors finally made the numerical advantage count as Richardson ducked, dipped and dived over the line to score his first try in Castleford colours. He converted his own try for 6-14.
James Clare was the next to cross the line, as a scrambled Hull KR defence couldn’t deal with the Tigers and a looping pass from Jake Trueman was gathered by the winger, who acrobatically in the corner.
Clare managed to break down the left edge once more and while being dragged down, Will Dagger clattered the Tigers man with a shoulder charge to concede a penalty.
Further ill-discipline from the home side allowed Richardson to kick for two more points and the Tigers pushed their lead to 14 points.
The Robins were trying so hard to get themselves and remained defiant as they kept Cas to the 14-point lead.
Paul McShane made sure that the visitors had the chance to finish the game off as he kicked a wonderful 40/20 to leave the Tigers just 15 metres out.
They Tigers crossed twice in the set of six that followed but both Nathan Massey and Adam Milner were held up.
A fresh set of six followed and McMeeken found himself with plenty of room on the right hand edge to grab a well deserved try after fluffing two chances earlier in the game.
With five minutes to go, the Rovers were down by 20 points with the Tigers still coming towards the try-line, however a poor pass from Jordan Rankin to Derrell Olpherts let the Robins off the hook.
Paul McShane broke down the middle of the pitch as the full-time whistle blew but he mistimes his pass to Richardson and that was the game.
FULL-TIME: Hull KR 8-22 Castleford Tigers
MAN OF THE MATCH: Danny Richardson
He picked up his first try in Castleford colours as well as 12 points from the boot. He managed to control the game alongside Paul McShane and Jake Trueman in the halves as another second-half performance kept their opponents to nil. His kicking off the tee was once again 100% and against more difficult sides that will need to continue.
Hull Kingston Rovers
Dagger, Minikin, Kenny-Dowall, Linnett, Crooks, Keyes, Brierley, Murray, Litten, Maher, Gee, Storton, Hadley.
Interchanges: Garbutt, Trout, Harrison, Minchella
Goals: Brierley (2/2)
Rankin, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Clare, Trueman, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Griffin, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey
Interchanges: Millington, Milner, Blair, Smith
Tries: Shenton, Richardson, Clare, McMeeken
Goals: Richardson (6/6)
Referee: C. Kendall
Touch Judges: J. Childs, J. Vella
Video Referee: R. Hicks
Image Source: Betfred