On This Day – 26.05

Category: Heritage

On This Day – 26.05

On this day ….. 26 May


Twenty years ago, on 26 May in 2000, future St Helens and Great Britain legend Jon Wilkin made his Rovers debut as a substitute in a 10-8 Northern Ford Premiership defeat at Sheffield.


In 2002, Rovers lost 32-6 to Huddersfield at Post Office Road, Featherstone, in their first appearance in a National Cup Final. The game was as good as over at half-time, when the Giants had an 18-0 lead. Rob Everitt’s second half try, converted by Chris Charles, was no more than consolation for the Robins.


Eight years ago today was a memorable day for Rovers fans at the first Magic Weekend to be held at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. It was an end-to-end game, full of controversy, that was capped by a stunning Rovers fight-back.

The Robins went behind after Michael Dobson had been sin-binned, but hit back quickly, first with a converted try from Craig Hall, and then Shannon McDonnell went over for the now-returned Dobson to convert; putting Rovers 12-6 ahead. The Black & Whites hit back with two quick-fire tries to lead 18-12 at the break.

The first try of the second half was clearly going to be important, and when O’Hara was held up on the line and Sam Latus got over but was unable to ground the ball, it looked like Rovers luck was out. But Dobson and Blake Green then combined to put David Hodgson over in the corner to narrow the gap to two points. The Airlie Birds then came back again with converted tries by Manu and Turner. With FC leading 30-16 and 15 minutes to go, Rovers 100% record in Magic Weekend derbies looked in danger. But Hall got Latus over at the corner and Dobson took a return pass from Rhys Lovegrove to score another, and with just eight minutes left Rovers trailed by just two points. Then, with just one minute remaining, ten yards into his own half, McDonnell flicked Dobson’s pass wide to Kris Welham, and the centre’s quick pass gave his winger just the faintest gap. Hodgson’s sixty-yard effort has now passed into Rovers folklore. It was a brilliant run, and an unforgettable moment for all the Rovers fans who witnessed it.

The Rovers team that day was – Shannon McDonnell; Sam Latus, Craig Hall, Kris Welham, David Hodgson; Blake Green, Michael Dobson; Micky Paea, Josh Hodgson, Scott Taylor, Graeme Horne, Ben Galea, Rhys Lovegrove.  Bench: Scott Murrell, Lincoln Withers, Ryan O’Hara, Joel Clinton.

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