Hull KR narrowly went down to Hull FC in one of the most exciting Hull derbies in recent memory this afternoon.
The tit for tat nature was apparent throughout as both sides tried to win the arm wrestle over their bitter rivals, but it was the Black and Whites that finally mustered up enough energy to get over the line.
Debutant Jack Walker was in inspiring form for Hull, whilst Ellis Longstaff and Josh Simm also notched some great touches on their first games in a Black and Whites shirt.
Hull KR, meanwhile, were left ruing a number of missed opportunities as well as a number of conversions from fullback Lachlan Coote who made just two of his six attempts.
Interim coach Danny McGuire – who had been appointed as the main man following Tony Smith’s sacking earlier in the week – was happy with his side’s efforts.
“I thought we competed really well and a lot better than the last couple of month,” McGuire said.
“I thought we tried really hard and I asked the lads for energy and effort and I thought they showed that.
“We had two patches where FC were the stronger team and they took advantage, but they did the badge proud but we will regroup and go again.”
One of the main talking points was a controversial no try awarded by video referee Robert Hicks who claimed that Elliot Minchella knocked on on his way to the line.
And, McGuire believed that it was a try.
“You get some that go for you and some that go against and unfortunately it didn’t go our way.
“It normally evens out over the season, but with the referee giving it a try I probably got overexcited.”
For opposing head coach, Brett Hodgson, he believes his side were ‘lucky’ to get away with the ‘no try’ decision but was overjoyed with how determined his players were.
“The resilience when we went down when Brad Fash went off, the ability to keep staying in it was really pleasing and we got a bit lucky when they went under the sticks near the line,” Hodgson said.
“That was tough to watch, but I’m really proud of the efforts. There is a lot of adversity at the moment.”
Hodgson singled out a number of his debutants, but in particular fullback Jack Walker.
“I thought Matty Laidlaw had a great set in the middle part of the game, Jack (Walker) was outstanding and he probably stood out.
“Ellis (Longstaff) was good and got his tries.”