Rovers book last eight spot
Giants cut down to size at Craven Park
By Simon Dilger. Last Updated: 12/05/08 5:02pm
Hull KR notched up a 42-22 victory over Huddersfield Giants to see them through to the last eight of the Challenge Cup in a rollercoaster clash at Craven Park.
Finding themselves trailing by 12 points after 20 minutes, the home side fought back to go into the half time break with a ten-point lead.
The hosts then weathered a spirited Huddersfield fightback at the start of the second half before stamping their authority on the match and breaking Giants' hearts in the process.
Huddersfield opened the scoring in the 13th minute thanks to a try from Paul Whatuira, converted by Luke Robinson to give the visitors a 0-6 lead.
Five minutes later Kevin Brown instigated a wonderfully worked try, with the visitors showing supreme confidence in their handling to put Ryan Hudson in for the Giants' second.
Luke Robinson added the extras to take the lead to 12-0 and it was beginning to look like the visitors might cause an upset at Craven Park.
But it was not long before the hosts got in on the action, Scott Murrell dragging his side back into the game with terrific determination, touching down with arm at full stretch when brought down short of the line.
Paul Cooke hit the target to pull the hosts to within six points and minutes later, with Hull back on the attack, Ben Cockayne placed a delightful kick through for Daniel Fitzhenry to chase on and make the score in the corner.
Cooke missed the opportunity to draw level, drifting a difficult conversion attempt wide. But when he lofted a kick downfield not long after the restart and Rod Jensen fumbled the catch, Hull KR's chasers pounced.
The ball was whipped rapidly out to the wing before Huddersfield could recover and Peter Fox collected to cross on the right. This time Cooke was on target to give his side the lead at 16-12.
On 37 minutes a well worked set piece gave Hull KR their fourth try, Shaun Briscoe latching onto a short chip through and hacking on before falling on the ball.
After the video referee confirmed the score, Cooke slotted the conversion to take his side into the half time break leading 22-12.
But Within minutes of the re-start the Giants again shocked their hosts, Whatuira stealing a dropped pass and racing in from 40 metres to score for the visitors.
Tom Hemmingway missed the kick leaving the Giants on 22-16 needing a converted try to bring the scores level.
And on 48 minutes they did just that, stunning Craven Park into silence as Martin Aspinwall crossed in the corner and Hemingway nailed a difficult conversion from the touchline to bring the scores to 22 apiece.
Hull KR regained the lead five minutes later, Fox scoring his second of the match. But Cooke was unable to improve on that score, drifting his kick wide to leave the hosts with a four-point advantage.
Three minutes later though it was Mick Vella for the home side, neatly stepping out of the tackle to score, with Cooke this time adding the extras to stretch Hull KR's lead to 32-22.
On 73 minutes Chris Chester romped in, effectively taking the game out of Huddersfield's reach.
And, if there were any still left, two minutes later a Ben Fisher try truly dashed the Giants' hopes with Cooke's conversion sealing victory.