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Hull KR edge out London to continue perfect Qualifiers record

Hull Kingston Rovers made it back-to-back wins in their quest to regain their Super League status after a 35-30 victory at home against the London Broncos. Two tries in the last four minutes made for a scary ending for the home side, however they did enough after bossing the game in the large part to hold on for the win.

London got off to a cracking start, with good defence on their own line and an opportunistic effort at the other end of the field leading to the opening try after only 4 minutes. Andy Ackers saw a gap in the Rovers defensive line and took the opportunity well, darting over from close range.

This lead was relinquished four minutes later through a carbon copy of the first London try, this time through Rovers Danny Addy. A huge Mose Masoe drive drew in 5 defenders, and with the London line at sixes and sevens, Addy was able to dive over.

The close nature of the game and the importance of the victory was clear to see, with both sides determined not to give each other any chances. London’s decision to slot over a penalty goal after Masoe held down in the tackle demonstrated this, restoring London’s lead.

Once again, Rovers came from behind to claw London back, with a well worked move that sent Kieren Moss over in the corner on 16 minutes. A strong run from Lee Jewitt saw KR break through the London line, with Jamie Ellis putting in a perfect pass out wide for Moss to round the full back and score. A difficult touchline conversion was landed for Rovers, giving them a 12-8 lead for the first time in the game.

The overall quality of the KR team was starting to show more and more as the game went on, with the score reflecting this after substitute Robbie Mulhern was able to collect a short ball and crash over next to the sticks. A third successful Jamie Ellis conversion pushed Rovers into a dominant 18-8 lead with 12 minutes remaining before the end of the half.

After a positive start, London looked jaded and unable to compete with their Rovers counterparts. A KR Scrum led to a short side move, with Heffernan tearing a hole through the Broncos defenders. Heffernan found Shaw in support who was able to waltz over leaving the London defenders in his wake.

A Chris Atkin drop goal on the hooter rubbed salt in the London wound, capping off a solid half and commanding lead for KR as both teams returned to the sheds.

The second half started with a quick fire penalty for Rovers in front of the visiting posts, with Ellis slotting over a second penalty goal, extending their lead to 27 points to 8.

Despite a big deficit in the points, London refused to give in and scored a great try through James Cunningham. A neat chip over the top was missed by Kieren Moss, allowing Cunningham to collect his own kick and touch down. Sammut’s conversion brought the scores to 27-14 with 25 minutes remaining.

The Broncos found themselves unable to keep KR at bay once again however, with Ryan Shaw finishing off a lovely break through the middle by the influential Shaun Lunt. Shaw’s second of the game and Hull KR’s 5th gave Rovers a seemingly unassailable 33-14 advantage 20 minutes before full time.

Rovers couldn’t shake off the Broncos challenge however, with a slack Shaw pass being intercepted by Ben Hellewell.  The centre found his full back by his side, with Alex Walker in support to race away and post a try.

London seemed to be enjoying a purple patch late in the game, with Jay Pitts diving on a loose ball for another Broncos score, or so they thought before the referee chalked it away as the kick deflected off a London player and not a Rovers one.

Hull KR sensed the growing danger of London, causing them to again go for a two point penalty goal after the Broncos players were adjudged to be offside. Ellis put the kick through the uprights, bringing the scores to 35-20 with 11 minutes left on the clock.

In the closing stages, Mark Ioane and Elliot Kear were able to grab late consolation tries to take the gloss off the KR win, but ultimately the Broncos didn’t have enough in the locker to put down the Rovers charge to retain their place in Super League.

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