MATCH REPORT: Blistering Rovers blow away Salford

Category: On The Pitch

MATCH REPORT: Blistering Rovers blow away Salford



In Short

A whirlwind of first half points saw the Robins cruise to an emphatic victory over Salford at KCOM Craven Park.

Danny McGuire helped himself to the first of a hat-trick of touchdowns in a six-try first 40 minutes that also saw Ryan Shaw, Adam Quinlan, Will Oakes, James Greenwood and Joel Tomkins go over in a flurry of points.

Salford steadied the ship with the first of a double from Junior Sa’u just after half-time. But McGuire’s second and third scores sandwiched Oakes’ second try as Rovers cracked the 50-point mark, before Sa’u and Jake Bibby went over for late consolations for the visitors.


Match report

The Red and Whites were on the back foot in the opening exchanges, as the Red Devils raced out of the blocks with some physical defence that earned them good early field position and the opening points of the day when Greg Johnson powered over from dummy-half eight minutes in.

Ed Chamberlain converted but the Robins responded swiftly, going close after quick hands down the right put Ryan Shaw down the sideline, but the winger put a foot out of play before flicking the ball infield for Joel Tomkins to cross.

There was no denying Rovers soon after though, as slick hands down the right from Chris Atkin and Danny McGuire was complimented by a fantastic catch and pass under pressure from Adam Quinlan, who cut out Maurice Blair and sent Shaw strolling over at the corner.

Salford looked to hit back quickly, but when Robert Lui palmed Jake Shorrocks cross-kick back, Quinlan read the play to perfection, nipping in to snap up the ball and race 80 metres to touch down under the posts.

Danny Tickle converted as Shaw departed with a leg injury, forcing a reshuffle in Rovers’ backline that paired Joel Tomkins and Blair as a centre-wing partnership. With the right edge becoming acquainted with their new positions, the Robins attacked down the left where sparkling hands from Atkin and Quinlan zipped the ball behind James Greenwood to put Junior Vaivai in the clear, and he sent Will Oakes scorching down the sideline to score from 40 metres out.

Good defence from Tomkins and Blair smothered Sa’u close to the line as the visitors looked to stem the tide of points, but after Atkin departed for a head-assessment following a late hit by Tyrone McCarthy, the Robins cut loose.

James Greenwood pounced on a McGuire grubber for Rovers’ fourth try, and from the restart big carries from Rob Mulhern and Mose Masoe laid the platform for James Donaldson to tear into the backfield and win a penalty for interference. Then in the next set, a McGuire kick deflected off a Salford boot. Greenwood flicked the ball back and McGuire was on-hand to pick up and dive over at the corner.

Tickle kept his perfect kicking record intact with a drilled touchline conversion, and in the final minute of the half, more excellent handling from the Robins saw their patched-up right edge carve the Red Devils open as McGuire and Quinlan released Blair down the flank. He drew Chamberlain and found Joel Tomkins backing-up to touch down.

Tickle’s fifth goal of the half gave Rovers an emphatic 30-point half-time advantage, but that was cut when Junior Sa’u crossed five minutes after the restart following a Lui cross-kick.

The Robins quickly re-established their dominance when a counterattack from deep saw Nick Scruton denied what would have been a memorable long-range try, but a couple of minutes later McGuire dotted down Lunt’s smart grubber for his second score.

A lovely short-side play between Atkin and Quinlan sent Oakes diving in at the corner for his second five minutes later, before McGuire completed his hat-trick with a trademark show-and-go close to the line to bring up the 50-point marker.

With the game emphatically won by three-quarter time, the Robins became rather scrappy and the Red Devils took advantage to register consolation efforts from Sa’u and Jake Bibby which took some of the gloss off a comfortable and professional Rovers victory.



“Again we were disappointed with the back-end of the game, much like last week,” Sheens said.

“I’m not taking anything away from them, but we just gave too many silly penalties away and a couple of loose balls. We cleaned up on our goal-line for a bit, and eventually they got us but they had to go hard into the right-hand corner and find an over-the-top pass to get us, so I was pretty disappointed with that control in the latter part of the second half.

“It’s something we’ve got to fix, because when you play against better sides in upcoming months and you could be in a bit of trouble if you don’t sort that out.

“It’s points in three consecutive games and it was June 2015 or something since we last recorded back-to-back wins, but we’re just focusing on winning games and hopefully by the end of the season we’ll either sneak into the Super 8s, or if not, we’ll be winning games and secure ninth or tenth position to secure an extra home game.

“They were busted just the same as we were, so it was all over the place for both teams and the conditions were a factor too as the boys were really struggling in that first half. We certainly handled that a little better and [Danny] Tickle did a great job with the goal-kicking.

“He won that first half for us, kicking every goal which took us to a 36-6 half-time lead and it’s a huge difference. It would have been easy for him to miss some of those ones off the sideline, but he just hits them like I used to hit my three-iron and it made a real difference – not just to the scoreline, but to the psychological aspect of the game as it unfolded.

“[Ryan] Shaw’s got a lateral knee ligament. He’ll go for scans tomorrow, but it’s typically the better of the knee ligament injuries you can get. He’s walking around on it okay, but it’s sore so he won’t be playing next week. Hopefully, unless they find something else when he gets the scan, it’ll only be a week or two out but we’ll wait and see.”


Team News

Chris Clarkson missed out with a chest infection so Ben Kavanagh started at loose-forward, with James Donaldson winning a recall on the bench. Will Oakes made his first Super League appearance of the season in place of Liam Salter on the wing, with Junior Vaivai lining up inside him.


Hull KR: 1. Adam Quinlan; 5. Ryan Shaw, 11. Maurice Blair, 2. Junior Vaivai, 27. Will Oakes; 7. Danny McGuire, 24. Chris Atkin; 8. Nick Scruton, 19. Tommy Lee, 34. Danny Tickle; 12. James Greenwood, 39. Joel Tomkins, 13. Ben Kavanagh.

Subs: 9. Shaun Lunt, 10. Mose Masoe, 15. James Donaldson, 21. Rob Mulhern.

Tries: McGuire (36, 51, 58), Oakes (27, 56), Shaw (17), Quinlan (23), Greenwood (33), Tomkins (39)

Goals: Tickle 7/8, Shaw 1/1

Salford: 29. Ed Chamberlain; 2. Greg Johnson, 24. Jake Bibby, 4. Junior Sa’u, 22. Derrell Olpherts; 6. Robert Lui, 28. Jake Shorrocks; 14. Lama Tasi, 19. Josh Wood, 23. Lee Mossop; 15. Ryan Lannon, 17. Tyrone McCarthy, 13. Mark Flanagan.

Subs: 9. Logan Tomkins, 30. Greg Burke, 26. Daniel Murray, 11. Josh Jones.

Tries: Sa’u (45, 61), Johnson (8), Bibby (78)

Goals: Chamberlain 3/4

Referee: Gareth Hewer             Attendance: 7,698


Man of The Match

Danny McGuire’s composure, game-management and execution of some lovely set plays was complimented by a well-deserved hat-trick of tries, although there was no shortage of contenders in an excellent team display.


What’s Next?

The Robins look for three consecutive Super League victories as they make the trip to the Select Security Stadium to take on the Widnes Vikings in Round 21 of Super League XXIII on Saturday 14th July (kick-off 3pm).

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