By PA Sport
Last Updated: 25/05/18 11:44pm
Hull KR moved off the bottom of the Betfred Super League table in stunning fashion with a 24-8 victory over Wigan.
The Warriors produced their best performance of the season to ease past Warrington at Magic Weekend but they could not match Rovers’ intensity as their eight-game winning run ended at KCOM Craven Park.
The victory represented the home side’s biggest scalp since their return to the top flight.
There was no sign of the drama to come as Wigan opened up an 8-0 lead courtesy of Joel Tomkins’ try and two goals from brother Sam.
But Rovers shifted the momentum to take control through tries from Junior Vaivai, Adam Quinlan and Chris Atkin.
And it was Vaivai who finished the Warriors off to complete Hull KR’s first win in five league games.
Wigan were made to work hard for their Challenge Cup victory at Craven Park a fortnight ago and the first half of Friday night’s league fixture followed a similar pattern.
The Warriors were highly fancied to claim a routine win and they made the ideal start as Joel Tomkins took advantage of an error by James Donaldson from George Williams’ grubber kick to touch down under the posts.
Tim Sheens describes tonight as the team’s best performance of the season and says Justin Carney played the entire second half with a broken hand. He’ll be assessed before knowing timeframes on recovery. #ComeOnRovers pic.twitter.com/AS17AgMBYx
— Hull Kingston Rovers (@hullkrofficial) May 25, 2018
Rovers had their moments early on, with young winger Elliot Wallis only denied his first senior try by an excellent last-ditch tackle.
But Wigan moved further ahead when, after kicking a 40/20 to move his side up field, Sam Tomkins slotted over a simple kick from in front of the sticks following a penalty for interference.
Rovers were forced to dig deep on their own line in the face of incessant Wigan pressure and then got back in the game against the run of play.
With not much on, hooker Tommy Lee spotted some space in behind the Warriors defence and slid in a kick that Vaivai raced on to and touched down ahead of Tom Davies.
Danny Tickle – sent off in the cup clash – added the extras from out wide to make it 8-6 and the momentum continued to swing Hull KR’s way as the home fans lifted with their side.
Sensing they were on top, Rovers turned down an easy two points from a penalty and their gamble paid off as a lovely offload from Will Dagger put Quinlan over.
Wigan had an opportunity to go into the break level but Rovers held firm after the visitors ran a penalty to turn around with a 10-8 lead.
Wolves impress with second-half blitz
Warrington came from 12-0 down at half-time to sweep aside an injury-decimated Hull FC in the Betfred Super League.
The Warriors were able to shake off the Robins in the second half of the recent cup tie, but there was no repeat as the hosts maintained their intensity after the restart.
Rovers piled pressure on the Wigan line and the Warriors cracked when Atkin dummied his way over close to the posts.
Tickle knocked over the conversion to stretch Hull KR’s advantage to eight points and leave Wigan with work to do.
The visitors thought they were back in it as John Bateman reached out for the line, only for the England international to lose control of the ball.
Wigan’s comeback hopes suffered a blow when fellow centre Liam Forsyth limped off with a leg injury and they were hanging by a thread after Joel Tomkins was sin-binned for dissent with 11 minutes to go.
Tickle kicked the penalty to make it 18-8 and he rounded off a stunning victory after Vaivai sprinted 40 metres from James Greenwood’s offload following a Wigan error.
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