King and Ashton inspire Wolves win over Hull KR


WARRINGTON Wolves earned a second win of the season against in-form Hull KR to go top of the Super League table, for 24 hours at least.

Two of the six teams tied on 14 points at the top of Super League ahead of the game, a blistering start from Sam Burgess’ side was enough to earn a 20-8 victory.

The left-wing combination of Toby King and Matty Ashton was electric in the first half and Hull KR had no answer, trailing 18-4 at half time.

It was a much tighter game in the second half, with Mikey Lewis’ try the only score until Josh Thewlis knocked over a penalty on the hooter in front of a jubilant home crowd.

Man of the match King, on his 150th appearance for the club, helped get Warrington on their way on seven minutes, his offload getting them on the front foot for the centre himself to make a break a few tackles later, feeding Ashton on his outside to get away down the left and he returned the favour inside for King to score the first try.

The same two combined for the second try on 12 minutes, which could have turned in to an eight-point try but for Ashton’s toe brushing the touchline. King again passed early to release Ashton, and he was tackled high by Joe Burgess as he touched down. Ashton grounded the ball fine, though replays just about convinced the video referee that he was in touch, it mattered not with a penalty try given anyway.

Warrington were rampant and they nearly stretched their lead on 24 minutes when again King and Ashton linked up to break through, the latter’s kick leading to a foot race to a dead ball that Matt Dufty won, but just couldn’t quite get the ball down legitimately in-goal.

They didn’t have to wait long for the third try, which came on 27 minutes off the back of a penalty, King slicing through as former Wolves centre Peta Hiku and Tyrone May on the Hull KR right-edge struggled to pick out their movement.

The home side were well worth their 18-0 lead and had been pretty faultless until an unnecessary Zane Musgrove offload gifted Hull KR rare good field position, and from it Kelepi Tanginoa and Niall Evalds combined with offloads to feed Jack Broadbent to score his second try in as many appearances for his new club.

Hull KR ended the half by building some pressure, though they released it when mercurial scrum half Mikey Lewis failed to find touch with a penalty, well rescued by Josh Thewlis.

Despite their 18-4 lead, Warrington Wolves knew the game wasn’t done and Hull KR came within a whisker of reducing the arrears five minutes after the break when Evalds touched down. He was denied the try by the video referee, who judged that Ryan Hall had knocked on in attempting to offload as he was dragged towards touch.

Their second try did come on 50 minutes, when Lewis’ kick bounced up off a defender and he took the long way round to tip toe down the sideline and touch down, eventually awarded by the video referee as replays showed Lewis had initially grounded it on the foot of a desperately defending George Williams.

At 18-8, Hull KR still needed two scores and Warrington managed them set for set until the clock started to work against the Robins.

King and Ashton could have sealed the win with eight to play, King perhaps releasing the ball slightly early for Ashton’s dive to the corner, which replays showed he had bounced the ball while grounding.

That could have made for a more relaxing final few minutes, but as it was, Hull KR never looked like getting the scores they needed – especially when Evalds spilled a drop out three minutes from the hooter which effectively ended their hopes, long before Thewlis added a penalty with the final kick of the game after Hull KR had been penalised for offside from a short drop-out.

Next up for Warrington is a Challenge Cup semi-final date with Huddersfield next Sunday.

Warrington Wolves : Dufty, Thewlis, King, Tai, Ashton, Williams, Drinkwater, Harrison, Walker, Vaughan, Nicholson, Fitzgibbon, Currie. Subs: Philbin, Musgrove, Crowther, Powell.

Hull KR: Evalds, Burgess, Hiku, Broadbent, Hall, May, Lewis, Sue, Litten, Whitbread, Tanginoa, Batchelor, Hadley. Subs: Parcell, Brown, Storton, King.


About Author

Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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