Match Report: The Robins’ down Toulouse to keep playoff hopes alive

Category: On The Pitch

Match Report: The Robins’ down Toulouse to keep playoff hopes alive

Two tries in the final ten minutes saw Hull KR produce a fantastic comeback to beat Toulouse Olympique 22-16 at Sewell Group Craven Park and keep their play-off hopes alive.

Danny McGuire made five changes from last week’s defeat to Wigan Warriors, with captain Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Korbin Sims, Jimmy Keinhorst, Frankie Halton and Matty Storton replacing Will Dagger, Lachlan Coote, Connor Moore, Charlie Cavanaugh and Sam Royle.

The home side started on the front foot, with both George King and Jez Litten breaching the defensive line. Kenny-Dowall thought he’d opened the scoring early in the contest, but his effort was adjudged to be a double movement, and the try was disallowed.

However, the Robins did open the scoring moments later as a neat pass from Frankie Halton found Elliot Minchella, who crashed over from close range.

The Robins thought they had gone back-to-back when Will Tate took a Shaun Kenny-Dowall ball, but referee Liam Moore ruled the skipper’s pass to be forward.

When Toulouse finally got in KR’s half after 22 minutes, they scored as Matty Russell finished off a smart move to get the visitors on the board before KR had another try chalked off as Minchella had his brace cruelly taken away from him after another forward pass.

A mix-up from young duo Will Tate and Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e left Lucas Albert’s grubber to fall into the hands of Daniel Alvaro, who put Olympique in front for the first time, much to the dismay of the Hull KR supporters.

Toulouse had KR on the rack as the clock winded down, and they nearly extended their lead before the interval, but some safe carries from Keinhorst and Tate got Rovers out of jail, as the Robins trailed 12-6 at halftime.

The Robins started under the cosh again early in the second half, as five repeat sets close to their line paid off as Olympique extended their lead when Latrell Schaumkel edged over after a dummy-half pass from Peats. The Robins needed a response and got one through Ethan Ryan as the winger took Rowan Milnes’ kick to get KR back into the contest.

The game ebbed and flowed as it went into the final quarter, with KR failing to capitalise on several chances, as their injury crisis continued with Sam Wood exiting the field with a shoulder issue.

A spectacular Litten half break put the Robins on the attack with eight minutes to play, as the halfback found Minchella, who knocked it back to Kenny-Dowall, who danced and weaved around four Toulouse defenders to feed Halton, who barged over. Milnes slotted the conversion over as the ballgame was level heading into the final minutes.

KR  then found themselves in good ball after Schaumkel knocked down a pass meant for the side’s left edge. The Robins then produced a fantastic scrum-play which found Milnes, who dived over for Sewell Group Craven Park to erupt with jubilation. It wasn’t pretty, but the Robins held out for a famous victory as they kept their top six hopes alive.

Good Day

Shaun Kenny-Dowall – The skipper was immense on his return and led from the front in an outstanding display.

Bad Day

Toulouse – The visitors had the game in their hands and will be devastated to blow a big two points

Hull KR team

Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e, Ethan Ryan, Sam Wood, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Will Tate, Rowan Milnes, Jez Litten, Korbin Sims, Matt Parcell, George King, Jimmy Keinhorst, Frankie Halton, Elliot Minchella

Bench: Ben Crooks, Will Maher, Matty Storton, Zach Fishwick

Tries: Minchella, Ryan, Halton, Milnes

Conversions: Milnes 3/4

Toulouse Olympique team

Olly Ashall-Bott, Matty Russell, Chris Hankinson, Mathieu Jussaume, Latrell Schaumkel, Corey Norman, Lucas Albert, Dan Alvaro, Nathan Peats, Romain Navarrete, Joe Bretherton, Dom Peyroux, Anthony Marion

Bench: Lambert Belmas, Justin Sangare, Harrison Hanson, Eloi Pelissier

Tries: Russell, Alvaro, Schaumkel

Conversion: Hankinson 2/3

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