Wigan Warriors’ hopes of reaching Wembley were ended in a great Challenge Cup semi-final against Hull KR at Leeds Rhinos’ Headingley Stadium.
The game went right to the death between two teams who have served classic after classic in 2023.
In the end the match was decided in golden point extra time when Brad Schneider nailed a drop goal from 30 metres out to send Hull KR to the final against Leigh Leopards.
Decided literally then but many may argue that the game was decided long before that with the telling moment when Joe Shorrocks got sent off for contact with the head of Mikey Lewis in a high tackle.
Many have been dismayed by the decision.
This includes Castleford Tigers prop Liam Moore who went on social media to label it as a “shocking decision.”
Shocking decision 🥴
— Liam Watts (@WATTSY7890) July 23, 2023
The game has been a pulsating affair in the wet. The Robins could have been forgiven for feeling hard done by when Ryan Hall pulled out of the side late before kick-off but they stood up to early pressure before a delightful scrum move saw Louis Senior slide in at the corner.
Hall’s injury saw Mikey Lewis moved to fullback and Ethan Ryan moved to the wing. Lewis showed his worth with amazing footwork to confuse the Wigan chasers when they looked to trap him in goal.
Hull KR had the better of the first half but they were behind when Jai Field was given enough space to weave through and score in the corner.
Up against it at this point in the game, Shaun Kenny-Dowall turned the game when he intercepted but sadly he couldn’t go the distance but the Robins were now building pressure.
After absorbing a spell of pressure themselves, Wigan went down field and nailed a penalty to make it 8-4.
As aforementioned, the Warriors have now added to their lead after a second penalty from Harry Smith, his third goal of the game to give them a 10-4 lead which was cancelled out by an Ethan Ryan try.
A deserved win for Hull KR and a special performance from the Robins in a brilliant semi-final, there is no getting away from the red card as the game’s big moment in the contest.