Betfred Super League Round 23


Hull KR earned their first win in four attempts against the Leopards this season, running in nine tries  to re-ignite their play-off hopes.

The Leopards conceded 50pts for the first time this year and are now fourth in Betfred Super League, four points behind Wigan and St Helens, six behind leaders Catalans with four rounds remaining.

They have a four-point cushion ahead of Warrington, Hull KR and Salford who are all tied on 24pts.

Rovers were dominant in the first half, scoring five tries through skipper Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Elliot Minchella, Ryan Hall, Louis Senior and Mikey Lewis, Brad Schneider kicking five goals.

Lewis and Hall each added their second tries after the interval with Kane Linnett and Jez Litten also on the scoresheet, Schneider taking his goals tally to eight from 11 attempts.

Starved of possession and territory in the first half, the Leopards had more of the ball in the second and replied with tries by Josh Charnley and Edwin Ipape, Zak Hardaker adding one conversion.

Charney’s try was his first for six games but his 23rd of a memorable personal campaign.

In contrast to the nail-biting Betfred Challenge Cup Final a fortnight ago, decided by Lachlan Lam’s golden point extra-time drop goal and containing only four tries, two to each side, this was a one-sided, free-flowing encounter in which the Leopards’ cup heroics seemed finally to have caught up with them.

Rovers dominated from the start and after Kenny-Dowall opened the scoring, Minchella powered over from close range and Hall went in at the corner from Lewis’s assist. Senior crossed for the fourth try on the right and the outstanding Lewis’s individual effort brought the first half to a close.

Lewis added to the Leopards’ misery with his second try soon after the resumption as Rovers clinically fed off mistakes from the Leopards. Hall bulldozed his way over for his second try and then supplied the assist for Linnet to score. Litten brought up the half-century with Rovers’ ninth try of the evening.

Charnley had crossed in the left corner for the Leopards’ only response before Ipape completed the scoring late on.

Tom Briscoe earned the distinction of playing his 400th senior game in the city where his professional career began 15 years ago with Hull FC. But he, like his colleagues, will want to rapidly forget the evening as the Leopards now look forward to the visit of Huddersfield Giants next Friday (8pm) as they bring down the regular season with three home games in the last four rounds.

Hull KR: Walker; Senior, Opacic, Kenny-Dowall (capt), Hall; Lewis, Schneider; Kennedy, Parcell, King, Batchelor, Linnett, Minchella. Bench:  Litten, Storton, Hadley, Luckley.

Tries: Kenny-Dowall, Minchella, Hall 2, Senior, Lewis 2, Linnett, Litten; Goals: Schnieder 8/ 11

Leopards O’Brien; Briscoe, Hardaker, Gildart, Charnley; Reynolds, Lam; Nakubuwai, Ipape, Mulhern, O’Donnell, Hughes, Asiata (capt). Bench: Amone, Davis, Mellor, Wardle.

Tries: Charnley, Ipape; Goal: Hardaker 1/2

Referee: Jack Smith. Half-time: 30-0.

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