Hull KR 8-20 Catalans Dragons: Highlights, player ratings and talking points

It wasn’t a brilliant performance from Steve McNamara’s men, but winning when not at your best is a sign of a top team and that’s what the Dragons did tonight to cement their spot in second in the table.

Highlights:

Rowan Milnes steps up
With so many spine players out injured including Jordan Abdull, Mikey Lewis and Matt Parcell, Rowan Milnes always needed to step up and it didn’t take long for him to put his print on the game as his lovely and well weighted kick paved the way for the impressive Ben Crooks to open the scoring.

Diving Davies
Tom Davies had an uncharacteristically sloppy first quarter of the game with one or two errors. However, he soon made amends with a delightful acrobatic finish in the corner to get the Dragons back in the game. Credit Tyrone May too, his offload was sublime as he conjured up the chance.

End to end first half
It was remarkable that only 12 points were scored in the first half. Both defences, especially around the ruck, were rather loose culminating in a number of half breaks and delightful chances. However, a few lovely pieces of desperate defence as well as some uncharacteristic errors saw these chances squandered. This led to an end-to-end and frenetic first half helped along by some great off the cuff rugby especially from the Robins.

Game turning intercept
Matthieu Laguerre helped turn the game with a 100 metre intercept try. It was his sixth try of the season and his fifth try in five games as he the lanky, gangly centre shows he has superb potential for the Dragons. He also showed great pace to race the length after picking off Will Dagger’s loose pass at the start of the second half to give the Dragons the lead for the first time after a disappointing first 40.

Fouad Yaha tries to top Tom
Tom Davies was arguably the league’s best winger over 2020 and 2021, but Fouad Yaha is remarkably topping his efforts in 2022 and went about topping Davies’ first half finish with a remarkable acrobatic try at a decisive point in the game having shown good pace to get to the corner in the first place.

Talking Points:

Sloppy Dragons
Many expected last year’s Grand Finalists to roll over the top of the side they defeated in the 2021 Super League semi-finals especially considering Hull KR’s recent struggles. However, some uncharacteristic errors and a lack of discipline in the first half gave the Robins the ascendency which gave Hull KR a much needed injection of confidence after a tough run recently. It made what could have been a routine win against a struggling side much tougher at least for the first 40 minutes. They got away with it today, but they can ill-afford maintaining this trend.

Hull KR or Hull ER?
Craven Park is becoming more like an Emergency Room. The Robins went into the game knowing full well that Jordan Abdull and Brad Takairangi may not feature again this season and also without Matt Parcell. But in today’s game, things only got worse. Matty Storton, Will Dagger and Dean Hadley all went off for Head Injury Assessments with only one passing it, Jez Litten spent most of the game limping as Frankie Halton’s head spewed blood. This strained their playing squad today and will make attacking even harder for a Robins side not scoring the points recently that you’d expect from them due to the localisation of injuries in the spine.

Alternative Robins
With only one natural halfback and one natural nine in their 17 today, things were always going to be extra tough for Hull KR especially after their recent struggles in terms of points scoring scoring 4 points in the last 240 minutes of rugby before today. However, we saw that signature off the cuff rugby emerge from Tony Smith’s team which made for some great watching. Nonetheless, they will be looking forward to having Mikey Lewis back to spice up their attack again.

Strong finishing Dragons
For the second game in a row, Catalans have started slow but finished strong to cement their position at the right end of the table. After trailing 8-0 they scored 20 unanswered points to claim a vital win in Hull. Such an attribute will always help a side chasing silverware as it enables them to win games they’ve not been at their best in.

Player Ratings:

Hull KR
1 Lachlan Coote – 8
23 Ethan Ryan – 6
2 Ben Crooks – 8
4 Shaun Kenny-Dowall – 7
5 Ryan Hall – 7
19 Will Dagger – 6
21 Rowan Milnes – 8
22 Will Maher – 6
14 Jez Litten – 7
10 George King – 6
11 Dean Hadley – 6
15 Luis Johnson – 6
17 Elliot Minchella – 7
Substitutes
8 Albert Vete – 7
13 Matty Storton – 6
18 Jimmy Keinhorst – 6
27 Frankie Halton – 7

Catalans Dragons
29 Sam Tomkins – 7
2 Tom Davies – 7
18 Matthieu Laguerre – 8
20 Tyrone May – 7
5 Fouad Yaha – 8
6 Mitchell Pearce – 8
1 Arthur Mourgue – 7
22 Dylan Napa – 7
9 Michael McIlorum – 7
10 Jullian Bousquet – 7
11 Matt Whitley – 7
15 Benjamin Jullien – 7
13 Ben Garcia – 7
Substitutes
8 Gil Dudson – 7
17 Mickael Goudemand – 7
23 Jordan Dezaria – 7
28 Sam Kasiano – 7

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