Salford 18-32 Hull KR: Robins produce stunning second-half comeback
Last Updated: 13/05/19 7:22pm
Hull KR produced a stirring second-half comeback to beat Salford 32-18 and secure their place in the quarter-finals of the Coral Challenge Cup.
The Robins deservedly trailed 16-6 early in the second half but they sparked into life, scoring three converted tries in 12 minutes to lead 24-18 as the home side crumbled.
Quickfire tries from Josh Drinkwater, Junior Vaivai and Danny Addy - all converted by Ryan Shaw - turned the tie on its head after Salford had looked in complete control.
Tim Sheens' team had lost four games in a row before arriving in Salford but they made a bright start, scoring in the seventh minute. Kane Linnett pounced on a short grubber kick from Danny McGuire and Shaw added the conversion to give the Robins a 6-0 lead.
But Salford, who have been in fine form with four wins from their last five in all competitions, replied with two tries in six minutes.
Jackson Hastings' well-timed pass sent Krisnan Inu over for a try before Robert Lui came up with an assist for Niall Evalds who bounced off Shaw to touch down. Inu missed both conversions but Salford led 8-6.
The Red Devils continued to enjoy the better of things and almost scored a third try on the back of a 40-20 kick by hooker Joey Lussick.
Six minutes before half-time, Salford caught Hull KR out with a slick 50-metre counter-attack down the left flank involving Sio and Hastings, leaving former Robins favourite Kris Welham the opportunity to score from 10 metres. Inu's first goal from three attempts gave Salford a 14-6 half-time lead.
HALF-TIME!@SalfordDevils 14 - 6 @hullkrofficial.— Salford Red Devils (@SalfordDevils) May 11, 2019
Despite an early try from Kane Linnett to open the scoring, Salford hold advantage at half-time with tries from Krisnan Inu, Niall Evalds and Kris Welham!#CCSalHKR #TogetherStronger pic.twitter.com/6gKUluTaTa
An Inu penalty after Hull KR were pulled up for obstruction left the visitors facing a 10-point deficit but it was to prove short-lived.
Robins scrum-half Drinkwater, who had gone close to scoring moments earlier, dropped his shoulder and his change of direction caught out the Salford defence, allowing him to score by the posts and Shaw tagged on the extras.
An Inu penalty extended Salford's lead but the scores were level in the 58th minute. A kick to the corner from Craig Hall sat up perfectly for the on-rushing Vaivai to score and Shaw converted brilliantly from the touchline.
The comeback was complete five minutes later when Addy barged his way over the line from dummy half and Shaw's conversion gave the Robins a 24-18 lead.
A Shaw penalty for obstruction seven minutes from the end meant Salford had to score twice and they appeared resigned to their fate, unable to create any more scoring opportunities in the final minutes.
With time almost up, Weller Hauraki confirmed the Robins' victory with a try against his old club which Shaw again converted.