Super League: Hull Kingston Rovers' rise continues with win over Wigan Warriors
Tries from Albert Vete, Rowan Milnes, Ethan Ryan, Kane Linnett and Jez Litten helped Rovers clinch victory over the Warriors; Wigan had clawed their way back from being 16 points down midway through the first half to trail 16-14 at half-time
Last Updated: 13/08/21 11:20pm
Hull Kingston Rovers completed the double over Wigan Warriors for the first time in Super League as they kept their push for a play-off place alive with a 26-14 triumph at Hull College Craven Park.
Tries from Albert Vete, Rowan Milnes and Ethan Ryan put Rovers 16-0 up with barely 20 minutes gone, but Liam Marshall's double and one from fellow winger Jake Bibby helped Wigan claw the deficit back to just two points at half-time.
However, back-to-back tries from Kane Linnett and Jez Litten midway through the second half proved enough to put the seal on the win for Rovers as they followed up their victory away to the Warriors six weeks ago.
The win owed much to the determination of captain Shaun Kenny-Dowall, who suffered a first-half leg injury but returned after the break to ensure his side never surrendered a lead they had taken within five minutes of the start.
A strong second-half performance by Rovers prevented the Warriors from scoring and gave further evidence of the home side's top-six credentials.
Shortly before kick-off it was announced that Neil Hudgell had taken the club off sale and would continue his 15-year tenure as Rovers owner and the team responded with a fine win.
Rovers grabbed the lead with five minutes gone as Tonga international prop Vete crashed over from close range after Bibby had given up possession with a mistake at the play the ball. A Ben Crooks kick made it 6-0.
Rovers added a second try through Milnes 11 minutes in after good work down the right by wing Ryan and Crooks made it 12-0 with his second successful kick.
Vete was held up on the line and then Brad Takairangi was injured as he was stopped just short as Rovers tried to press their advantage, Ryan getting in on the act when he caught a kick from Milnes before spinning away from a tackler and going over in the corner midway through the half.
Wigan pulled a try back through Bibby in the right corner after 23 minutes, but a missed Harry Smith conversion meant it was 16-4.
Marshall scored Wigan's second try after Crooks had spilled a Jackson Hastings kick and Smith's conversion brought the visitors back to 16-10 behind just after the half hour.
Wigan claimed a third try just before the break as Marshall dived to squeeze in on the left for his second score to make it 16-14 at half-time.
Mistakes from both sides made for a scrappy start to the second half, but Rovers were unable to punish successive offsides which took them to the Wigan line as player-of-the-match Takairaingi's grubber kick was too strong.
A Wigan high tackle again relieved the pressure on the home side and a Kenny-Dowall break set up the field position for the all-important first score of the second half.
Ryan Hall's cross-field run and pass put in second row Linnett and he fought off two tacklers to touch down, but Crooks' kick hit the upright as Rovers led 20-14 after 57 minutes.
Rovers pounced again a minute later and this time it was Litten who profited from a Matty Storton run from defence, Crooks making the kick to stretch the lead to 12 points.
Hastings was denied a try with five minutes left because of a knock-on in the build-up and Rovers were able to see out a comfortable win despite a late yellow card for Takairangi.
Liam Farrell was shown a yellow card in the dying seconds for throwing an elbow too, with Matt Parcell also ordered off by referee Liam Moore for his part in the same incident.