Jimmy Keinhorst’s dramatic late try seals derby joy
Centre Jimmy Keinhorst squeezed over the line with six seconds left on the clock to secure the most dramatic of derby wins for the Robins this evening.
Rovers caught the Black and Whites cold from the off, with a hanging Craig Hall kick-off allowing Danny McGuire to recover possession and set up an immediate attack, but a Robbie Mulhern fumble let the visitors off the hook.
Rovers went close to the opening score in their next attack, when a Josh Drinkwater grubber just evaded the chasing Junior Vaivai. Instead it was Hull who posted the first points of a freezing cold night when Sika Manu powered his way over after Weller Hauraki’s error had given the visitors good field position.
Then two minutes later Marc Sneyd’s bomb went loose after Chris Atkin couldn’t reel the ball in under pressure from Carlos Tuimavave. Danny Washbrook re-gathered possession for the Black and Whites and trickled a kick towards the corner where Matty Dawson-Jones simply had to dot down for the score.
Sneyd added both conversions before hooking a 37-metre penalty goal wide of the mark just short of the half-hour mark. That signalled a change in the momentum of the game, and suddenly the Robins were on the front foot.
McGuire’s clever chip drew an error from Jamie Shaul under the pressure of an onrushing Atkin, and in the next set McGuire took the ball deep into the line and sent a rampaging Joel Tomkins steaming for the line. Hull’s defence dragged him down, but the skipper’s momentum saw him slide over on the greasy surface.
Josh Drinkwater slotted over the conversion, and three minutes later he was lining up his second kick as the Red and Whites went back-to-back.
Jimmy Keinhorst went close on the right before McGuire threaded a lovely kick into the in-goal area for the waiting Mitch Garbutt to pounce on.
Drinkwater made no mistake with the conversion, and after consecutive penalties carried them down the field, Drinkwater slotted over a simple penalty to edge Rovers into a slender advantage at the break.
There had been little between the sides in the opening 40 minutes, and early in the second half the fine margins went against the Robins again as Vaivai was just beaten to another McGuire grubber by Sneyd.
Slowly the momentum was beginning to swing back in the Black and Whites’ favour, aided by an error by Atkin. However Rovers’ defence bailed him out, with Keinhorst forcing an error from Jamie Shaul to relieve the building Hull pressure.
Shaul combined with Bureta Faraimo to make a try-saving tackle to deny Keinhorst a few minutes later, but the weight of field position was favouring the visitors and they finally capitalised with 13 minutes to play when quick hands down their left from Sneyd sent Faraimo rampaging over.
Sneyd missed the conversion to leave Hull’s lead at just two points, and an error from the Hull winger almost let the Robins straight back in when he fumbled a Drinkwater bomb, and in the resulting set Tommy Lee almost burrowed over.
The Black and Whites were spending more and more time in Rovers’ quarter, but a resolute defensive effort repelled them time and again as the visitors looked for a clinching score, with Crooks making an outstanding one-on-one stop to deny Josh Griffin with time ticking down.
With just a couple of minutes left on the watch, the Robins needed to go 100 metres to win the game. Some big carries through the middle got them into Hull territory where Drinkwater launched one final bomb. Crooks managed to palm it back into the hands of Danny Addy, who linked up with McGuire and Keinhorst sent KCOM Craven Park into raptures with a fantastic finish at the corner.
Video referee Robert Hicks confirmed the score and the Red and Whites started 2019 with a dramatic, but well-deserved win.
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