Match Report – Rovers Knocked Out Of The Cup

Category: On The Pitch

Match Report – Rovers Knocked Out Of The Cup

Hull KR are out of the Challenge Cup after suffering a 48-18 defeat to Leeds Rhinos.

There was no way back for the Robins after a disastrous first half which brought five Leeds tries.

KR reporter James O’Brien delivers the verdict from the Totally Wicked Stadium.


For the first time in a long time there was something riding on the game and Rovers failed to deliver when it mattered.

KR lost the energy battle from the first whistle as they ran out of steam amid a gruelling schedule which has seen them play Super League’s top sides week after week.

It was a flashback to the game at Headingley back in February, with Leeds taking control early on and putting the Robins to the sword in ruthless fashion.

Rovers were 30-0 behind at half-time and a double from Jamie Ellis either side of Jez Litten’s try would have done little to lift the mood of the supporters watching at home.

Tony Smith’s side have raised the bar in recent weeks and there was expectation among the fans heading into the quarter-final.

But their bubble burst inside the first quarter as Leeds caught KR cold.

Ava Seumanufagai crashed over for the opening try on the back of an error by Ethan Ryan close to his own line and the Rhinos benefited from two defensive lapses by Ellis for Ash Handley’s try.

Another break through the middle minutes later left Rovers scrambling and Tom Briscoe took advantage by cutting back inside to touch down out wide.

KR’s nightmare start continued as soft defence allowed Harry Newman to dance his way over.

Rhyse Martin nailed his fourth conversion of the night to make it 24-0 after 21 minutes and there was no way back for the Robins.

Rovers showed very little at the other end, Shaun Kenny-Dowall going closest after doing well to take Ellis’ high kick.

Kruise Leeming rounded off a dismal half for KR – which included a biting allegation against Ellis – by scoring from dummy-half after being given the freedom to do a 360-degree turn.

McFly’s ‘Happiness’ blared out after Martin made it 30-0 but there were only glum expressions on the faces of the Rovers players as they jogged off at half-time.

The Robins had an early chance to post points after the restart when Seumanufagai was sin-binned for a challenge that forced Matty Gee off.

There didn’t appear to be much on when Ellis got the ball but he showed good vision and skill to kick through and finish himself.

A miraculous comeback never looked on the cards, though, and normal service resumed when Leeming backed up Richie Myler’s break to score his second try.

Luke Briscoe helped himself to a four-pointer after scooping up a loose pass but Rovers kept going and were rewarded with two late tries, Litten scrambling over before Ellis reached out to score his second.

But the last word belonged to Martin as he bumped off two tired tackles to score, with his eighth conversion from eight attempts rounding off a miserable night for KR.

Key moment

Rovers were never really in the game, with Leeds taking control from the moment Ryan was adjudged to have knocked on metres from his own line.

The bigger picture

Rovers have nothing to play for now but they will be determined to finish strongly in Super League. The positive is they are getting all the hard games out of the way, with next week’s clash with Leeds their sixth in a row against a top-four side.

Hull KR: Will Dagger, Ethan Ryan, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Kane Linnett, Greg Minikin, Jamie Ellis, Mikey Lewis, Weller Hauraki, Matt Parcell, George Lawler, Matty Storton, Dean Hadley, Robbie Mulhern.

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