Hull Kingston Rovers 12-18 Huddersfield Giants: Jermaine McGillvary clinches win for visitors
By Sky Sports Rugby League
Last Updated: 19/07/19 10:54pm
Jermaine McGillvary's try two minutes from time sealed a vital 18-12 win for Huddersfield Giants away to relegation rivals Hull Kingston Rovers in Friday's Super League game.
Kane Linnett broke the deadlock with a converted try after seven minutes, but Huddersfield were back on level terms five minutes later when Matty English dotted down and Darnell McIntosh converted.
The sides went into the break level at 6-6 and a try from Alex Mellor, plus two McIntosh penalties, put the Giants in front early in the second half.
Rovers hit back through Craig Hall, but McGillvary's 15th try of the season sealed the win for Huddersfield as they held on in a tense finish.
The win lifts Huddersfield four points above bottom club London Broncos and two clear of their hosts in a congested danger zone, with six rounds left of the regular season.
After claiming victories over Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos, Hull KR coach Tony Smith was aiming to complete a hat-trick of wins over his former clubs, but he was dealt a double blow on the eve of the match with the loss of two loan players.
Warrington's decision to recall forwards Luis Johnson and Harvey Livett meant enforced changes to the team which won at Headingley last week.
Robbie Mulhern replaced Johnson in the front row and Owen Harrison took over Livett's place on the bench, while utility forward Danny Addy was a replacement for injured hooker Matt Parcell.
The home side made use of a couple of back-to-back penalties in the opening stages to set up the position for half-back Josh Drinkwater to slide a grubber kick through the defence which centre Kane Linnett chased down to score the first try.
Hall added the conversion to make it 6-0, but Smith was forced to reshuffle his side when Linnett went off injured shortly afterwards, with skipper Joel Tomkins moving from the pack to the three-quarter line.
Huddersfield were slow starting, but they drew level in similar fashion on 11 minutes, prop English touching down Adam O'Brien's kick to the line, and Darnell McIntosh's goal levelled the scores.
From that point on, the Giants dominated the rest of the first half, half-backs Tom Holmes and Lee Gaskell causing all sorts of problems for the Robins defence, but without managing to turn the pressure into points.
The best chance fell to full-back McIntosh after Holmes put second-rower Ukuma Ta'ai through into a gap but he dropped the final pass and Huddersfield had to settle for 6-6 at the break.
Hull KR thought they had regained the lead four minutes into the second half when full-back Adam Quinlan put in an attacking kick and stole the ball from McIntosh, but referee Ben Thaler ruled a knock-on before Hall touched down.
Just two minutes later Huddersfield hit the front for the first time when second-rower Mellor took Gaskell's pass to force his way over for their second try.
McIntosh was wide with the conversion attempt but kicked a penalty on 50 minutes to make it 12-6 after substitute Owen Harrison was punished for punching.
When Harrison was penalised again on the hour, this time for a high tackle on Kruise Leeming, McIntosh was on target once more to put his team two scores in front which proved crucial in the end.
Hall went over for Hull KR's second try after accepting Danny McGuire's cut-put pass, but McGillvary had the final say when he won the race to Gaskell's precision kick to the corner, with the Giants surviving late pressure from the hosts in the dying seconds.
Man of the match Lee Gaskell praised Huddersfield Giants' team spirit as they held on to take victory away to Hull KR.
Huddersfield Giants head coach Simon Woolford wants to see more of the same from his side in the remaining six games of the Super League regular season.
Hull KR head coach Tony Smith hailed the effort of his side, but was frustrated by their failure to capitalise when they had the ball in hand.