Hull KR 18-19 Wigan Warriors: Sam Powell's drop-goal snatches win
Last Updated: 09/06/19 7:52pm
Sam Powell kicked a huge, late drop-goal to deny Tony Smith a win in his first match since replacing Tim Sheens as Hull KR boss and seal a 19-18 win for Wigan Warriors.
The teams were level until Powell launched a massive kick from 45 metres with two minutes remaining to prevent golden point extra-time and seal a 19-18 victory for the champions.
Wigan's dramatic success took them above Huddersfield into eighth place in the Betfred Super League table on points difference.
Rovers, who missed their own drop-goal attempt through Josh Drinkwater three seconds from time, remain second-bottom despite London Broncos' upsetting leaders St Helens in equally dramatic fashion.
Smith has been out of the sport since taking charge of Warrington's final game of 2017 - against the team he is charged with keeping in the league.
Rovers trailed 14-6 at half-time but led 18-14 14 minutes into the second half thanks to tries from makeshift half-back Will Dagger and Wigan-born substitute Ryan Lannon.
Rovers' chances of giving Smith a winning start were not helped by conceding two tries at the end of a lively first period.
Centre Dan Sarginson and winger Joe Burgess crossed the home line in the final three minutes. But with full-back Zak Hardaker deferring kicking duties, George Williams failed to convert both tries.
England half-back Williams did claim the first of the Warriors' tries after 11 minutes, levelled eight minutes later by Jimmy Keinhorst's 90-metre interception of Liam Farrell's pass.
Farrell was back in the side for the first time since Wigan's World Club Challenge defeat to Sydney Roosters in February.
Although they welcomed back one player, Wigan lost Ben Flower to an early first-half knock, while Hardaker did not return for the start of the second.
Rovers did not escape the loss of key men and the game was stopped in the second half to allow Kane Linnett lengthy treatment after being knocked cold as he rushed out of the line to try to tackle Sarginson.
The 30-year-old, Australian-born Scottish international was eventually carried off to be replaced by George Lawler.
By then Rovers had overturned their opening period deficit with the tries from Dagger - deputising for the injured Danny McGuire - and Lannon.
Ryan Shaw improved both to leave Wigan facing an 11th Super League defeat of the year - but Adrian Lam's side equalised with 15 minutes remaining when Williams and Willie Isa combined and Liam Marshall finished in the corner for an unconverted try.
Lawler for Hull KR, and Wigan's Marshall had tries disallowed for a knock-on and forward pass respectively before Powell sent his drop-goal soaring through the posts to complete the win.