“Robbed” – Wilkin reacts as Rowley blasts Kendall in spiky mid-game interview

Hull KR lead Salford 12-10 at half-time in the first game of the 2023 Magic Weekend in Newcastle, but much of the talk at the break was around a controversial call in the opening 10 minutes.

After a period of sustained pressure, Kallum Watkins seemingly put the Red Devils ahead as he spun out the tackle to ground the ball – only for Chris Kendall to say he had called held on the tackle.

The decision left many bemused with Sky Sports pundit Jon Wilkin stating that Salford had been ‘robbed of a try’, with Hull KR then going on to score minutes later.

Wilkin said: “Salford had a lot pressure in that opening period and let’s be honest, they were robbed of a try here. Watkins clearly spins and grounds the ball. There was nothing wrong with that, it should have been a try.”

Though there was plenty for action in the first 40 minutes, Salford head coach Paul Rowley certainly didn’t let the mistake pass him by as he spoke to Sky Sports commentator Mark Wilson just before half-time.

When asked about the first half and his team’s display, with Wilson claiming Salford had made ‘too many errors’ Rowley fired back stating: “We’re disappointed about some things but I think it’s more to do with some resilient defence from Hull KR.

“I think they’ve saved a few tries there, three or four, so give them credit rather than concentrate on the negative.

“But we’ve also scored a try and it weren’t allowed, which is disappointing. We have had some tough calls to be honest, which we usually do.”

Wilson then stated that the try was not awarded because referee Kendall had called held before the ball was grounded by Watkins, which led to Rowley giving another spikey response.

“Yeah, of course he did. But we heard that he thought the ball-carrying arm had hit the floor.

“The fact remains we’ve had some poor calls. It’s a good game though. It’s a good arm-wrestle and like I said, credit to Hull KR, they’ve scrambled really well, that’s what I’ll say.

“Hull KR have scrambled really well. There’s not a lot wrong with what we’re doing.”