Hull KR 22-28 Warrington: Blake Austin shines as Wolves hold off Robins in Challenge Cup
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 31/05/19 10:41pm
Warrington withstood a Hull KR fightback as they booked their place in the Coral Challenge Cup semi-finals with a hard-fought 28-22 win at KCOM Craven Park.
Warrington outscored Rovers by five tries to four, but played with just 11 men in the first half after Tom Lineham and Dec Patton were both shown yellow cards.
The home side failed to score while they held the numerical advantage and ultimately paid the price.
Warrington's tries came from Jake Mamo, Blake Austin, Lineham, Ben Murdoch-Masila and Ben Currie with Patton kicking four conversions.
Josh Drinkwater crossed twice with Rovers' other tries coming from Ben Crooks and Craig Hall, with Ryan Shaw kicking three conversions.
A fine early chase to Drinkwater's low kick meant a goal line drop-out for the visitors and Mose Masoe returned the ball with interest, but the attack broke down when the prop knocked on.
Hall was pushed over his own line to force the home side to kick - and from the next set - Warrington took the lead as Mamo touched down 10 minutes in following Patton's short pass.
Warrington winger Lineham was sin-binned after leaving Jimmy Keinhorst needing treatment with a high tackle and then George Lawler was held up to deny the home side a try.
Warrington kept out attack after attack, but Patton became their second player to see yellow when he tackled from an offside position.
Despite their two-man advantage, Rovers conceded possession when Danny McGuire passed into touch, relieving the pressure on the visitors.
A knock-on denied Rovers a try after Hall had set up Danny Addy - as the home side again struggled to break down the resolute visitors.
Warrington were back to full strength when Bryson Goodwin slipped the ball inside to Austin and he stretched the visitors' lead just before the half-time hooter.
With Patton back on the field, his second conversion saw Warrington 12-0 ahead at the break.
A knock-on by Masoe from the first set of the second half gave possession to Warrington and Lineham forced his way over in the corner for their third try and a 16-0 lead.
The home side again looked bereft of ideas and often sent passes to ground as they wasted position more than once as they tried in vain to get back into the game.
Warrington showed them how it was done with a fourth try as Murdoch-Masila slid over with 53 minutes gone.
Rovers were finally on the scoreboard two minutes later as Crooks stole the ball in a one-on-one before running 60 metres to touch down.
Rovers continued the fightback when McGuire's pass on the final tackle fed Hall inside and he set up the supporting Drinkwater who slid over, with Shaw's conversion making it 22-10 with a little over 15 minutes left.
Patton missed a kickable penalty, but as successive Rovers attacks broke down on more dogged Warrington defence, it was the visitors who held the advantage heading towards the final 10 minutes.
When Warrington gifted Rovers possession with 10 minutes to go, Drinkwater was first to a grubber kick and Shaw's conversion brought it to within one score at 22-16.
Currie's try after Warrington claimed a high kick and Patton's conversion stretched the visitors' lead to 28-16, but Hall hit back to swing the momentum back the other way with two minutes to go.
Shaw's kick brought the home side back to within six points but that was as close as they got and Warrington were through to the semi-finals.