Written by Daniel Church
A very close first half ending 10-10 set up Hull KR for the possible upset. Catalans however showed their class, managing to see the game out 18-10
Keeping up a near-perfect start, Catalans went ahead early on courtesy of a Tomkins penalty kick. Followed up 10 minutes later by a try from Yaha, again Tomkins converting. Hull KR however worked hard, especially after Pearce was sin-binned in the 23rd for Catalans after a poor tackle, Hull attacked the Catalan defence, and a slick move from Sean Kenny Dowall and Dagger put Hall over in the corner in the 24th minute. Abdull hitting the post, not adding the extra two.
An error off kick-off, going out on the full allowed Hull to again show their bite, peppering the Dragons defence coming close minutes after scoring their first try, with Tomkins spilling the ball.
A high tackle from Sims saw the Dragons opt for two, Tomkins keeping his 100% record in front of the sticks. After getting the ball back a well-worked set was ended as Ryan Hall intercepted a pass, breaking the line but coming up short on the Dragons 20-metre line. It didn’t matter though, as Sean Kenny Dowall took the ball and got over the line, and this time Abdull converted in the 36th minute. Half time, 10-10.
Hull started the second half strong, running with the ball extremely well, testing the Dragon’s defence. However, the Dragons did get the better run of play, thinking they were in only to be pulled back for a forward pass.
Hull the better team after the first 10, defending very well, and running strong at the Catalans defence however, a penalty attempt from Catalans missed, ricocheting off the posts only to fall at the hands of Chan, who dove on the loose ball, no post this time from the Tomkins extras.
A mediocre second half for both teams attack wise, but Hull and Catalans have both been outstanding defensively. Discipline has been an issue for Hull KR throughout the game, giving away silly penalties in kickable areas, possibly even winning the game for Catalans.
Both teams running well, but another disciplinary issue from Hull allowed Tomkins to put the ball over the posts to put them two scores ahead going into the last 10. Hull did go over in the 78th, but the decision went upstairs resulting in no try, to the dismay of the travelling Hull supporters.
The hooter sounded signalling the end of play, a disappointing result for Hull KR, who looked to be in the game for the full 80 minutes. However, Catalans drilled professionality showed as Hull gave away many penalties resulting in 2-point converted attempts from the dragons.
Catalans Dragons 18
Hull KR 10
Catalans Dragons: Sam Tomkins, Tom Davies, Dean Whare, Samisoni Langi, Fouad Yaha, Mitchell Pearce, Josh Drinkwater, Dylan Napa, Micky McIlorum, Mike McMeeken, Matt Whitley, Benjamin Jullien, Ben Garcia.
Interchanges: Mickael Goudemand, Tyrone May, Joe Chan, Sam Kasiano.
Tries: Yaha (’16), Chan (’64)
Goals: Tomkins (5/5)
Hull KR: Will Dagger, Sam Wood, Jimmy Keinhorst, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Ryan Hall, Jordan Abdull, Mikey Lewis, Tom Garratt, Jez Litten, George King, Frankie Halton, Matty Storton, Elliot Minchella.
Interchanges: Korbin Sims, Greg Richards, Ethan Ryan, Albert Vete.
Tries: Hall (’24), Kenny-Dowall (’36) Goals: Abdull (1/2)