Match Report – Huddersfield Giants
Jordan Abdull slotted over a late drop goal to give Hull KR a dramatic 25-24 win over Huddersfield Giants in another chaotic contest at Craven Park.
The recalled Ben Crooks set the tone with Super League’s fastest-ever try just seven seconds in and Rovers had to dig deep in the closing stages after a second-half fightback by the Giants.
KR reporter James O’Brien delivers the verdict.
Seven days on from their epic Challenge Cup tie against Castleford Tigers, the Robins were at it again.
If the first few weeks are anything to go by, it is going to be another one of those seasons for Rovers.
For the third time in four matches, there was only one point in it when the referee brought an end to an enthralling contest.
Crucially from a KR perspective, they were the ones celebrating at full-time after ending a long losing run.
October 13, 2020 was the last time Rovers won a match and that was evident as they conspired to throw away another big lead, not helped by injuries to Korbin Sims and Crooks.
But Tony Smith’s men dug deep in the closing stages to edge a close game, which will do wonders for belief and allow east Hull to let out a collective sigh of relief.
KR’s habit of starting games slowly was a major talking point in the early weeks of the campaign but they have put that to bed emphatically in the past seven days.
After Castleford struggled to live with the Robins early on last week, Huddersfield hadn’t touched the ball before Crooks pounced to score straight from the kick-off on Friday night.
Abdull’s kick took a wicked bounce and Crooks was alert to touch down on his return to the side in place of Greg Minikin.
It was a remarkable record-breaking start to the match and Rovers remained on the front foot in the opening exchanges with the Giants seemingly still on the bus.
Abdull slotted over a straightforward penalty to go with his touchline conversion to make it 8-0 after as many minutes but KR suffered a blow when Sims failed a HIA for the second time in three games following a big hit on Kenny Edwards.
The game turned scrappy as Huddersfield tried to get a foothold with both sides making a glut of errors.
It was there to be taken by the scruff of the neck and Rovers did exactly that with two tries in two minutes.
First Mikey Lewis slid in a neat kick for Crooks to claim his second before scoring himself on the back of a break by Abdull which was created by the footwork of George King near halfway.
Abdull converted Lewis’ try from in front to give KR a commanding 18-0 lead but the finishing line was still some way in the distance after the recent Challenge Cup drama.
Fans would have been sweating at half-time after Jermaine McGillvary touched down out wide six minutes from the break.
That came on the back of a soft defensive set by the Robins but they came out firing after the restart in sharp contrast to last week’s effort.
It looked as if Rovers had been rewarded when Kane Linnett scored after Lee Gaskell failed to deal with Abdull’s high kick but the video referee appeared to fall for a theatrical dive by the full-back.
Worse was to come as Gaskell went straight down the other end to put Darnell McIntosh over with a kick in behind after good play by Edwards.
Gaskell had only come on at half-time but he was having a big say, with the Giants targeting KR’s right edge following the loss of Crooks to injury.
Jake Wardle was next to touch down out wide after proving too strong and Huddersfield were in front for the first time when Chris McQueen scored at the second attempt in contentious circumstances, with the video referee ruling he had not knocked on.
It was a huge test of character for Rovers but they got the slice of fortune they desperately needed when McGillvary made a meal of Abdull’s high kick and Linnett was on hand to touch down.
But that wasn’t the end of the drama, far from it.
McIntosh scored with seven minutes to go from Wardle’s offload but crucially Sezer missed the conversion from out wide.
Huddersfield were the favourites to go on and win it at that point with KR rocking.
But Smith’s side are made of strong stuff despite their long losing run and they kept cool heads to edge back ahead with three to go through Abdull’s drop goal.
There were flashbacks to last week as the Giants threw caution to the wind in the dying seconds but a huge play by Ethan Ryan to claim a kick in behind secured a much-needed win for KR.
Hull KR: Adam Quinlan, Ethan Ryan, Ben Crooks, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Ryan Hall, Jordan Abdull, Mikey Lewis, Korbin Sims, Matt Parcell, George King, Kane Linnett, Luis Johnson, George Lawler.
Bench: Albert Vete, Dean Hadley, Jez Litten, Muizz Mustapha.
Huddersfield: Darnell McIntosh, Jermaine McGillvary, Jake Wardle, Leroy Cudjoe, Sam Wood, Jack Cogger, Aidan Sezer, Luke Yates, James Cunningham, Michael Lawrence, Chris McQueen, Kenny Edwards, Josh Jones.
Bench: Matty English, Lee Gaskell, Adam O’Brien, Jack Ashworth.Back To Latest News +