CHALLENGE CUP REPORT 2009 – Hull Kingston Rovers 32 Celtic Crusaders 6

Hull KR were rarely troubled as they eased their way past the Celtic Crusaders 32-6 in the fourth-round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup at a foggy Craven Park.

Justin Morgan’s men – who reached the quarter-final stage last year – ran in five tries in a low-scoring encounter against a lacklustre Celtic side who they beat 48-18 in the league just 19 days ago.

The story was all too familiar for John Dixon’s Celtic side who have failed to win any of their Super League games this season and now find themselves out of the cup.
The picture continues to look bright for the Robins, though, who sit comfortably in a play-off place and made the best of the torrid conditions to progress to the last 16.

Full-back Ben Cockayne, who was convicted of assault but spared jail on Thursday, was left out of Morgan’s side but there was a return from injury for stand-off Paul Cooke who played a key role in getting the scoring underway.

Rhys Lovegrove had already gone close with a fine run when Kris Welham broke the deadlock with eight minutes gone, taking in a cut-out pass from Cooke who had linked well with Michael Dobson.

It was a fourth try in as many games for teenage centre Welham – who was this week praised by England coach Tony Smith – and Dobson added the extras for an early six-point lead.

Rovers continued to dominate the possession but were unable to add to their score, with Welham coming the closest just short of the half-hour mark when he was hauled down by Tony Duggan after a mazy run.

That sparked Rovers into life, though, and they soon managed a second try through Clint Newton, with the second-row forward evading the tackle of Adam Peek to make the most of Scott Murrell’s pass and score his fifth try of the season.

Welham had the best chance to add a third score before the break, narrowly failing to take in an intercept with the line begging and Rovers were forced to settle for a 12-0 interval lead.

It did not matter, though, as they were soon able to add another try seven minutes after the restart, with converted hooker Daniel Fitzhenry scooting in for his first try of the season.

Newton and Jake Webster sent Liam Colbon racing clear and the winger comfortably turned the ball back inside for Fitzhenry who did the rest. Dobson slotted the goal from the touchline.

With Rovers looking comfortable they were stunned slightly when Celtic opened their account for the evening on the hour mark.

The try came from David Tangata-Toa, a National League winner with Rovers in 2006, who beat Shaun Briscoe to the bounce after Damien Quinn’s kick before scoring, allowing Josh Hannay to convert from under the posts.

That signalled the start of a mini revival for the Crusaders who mounted a spell of sustained pressure, only for their bubble to be burst by a 70th minute Dobson penalty.

The end of Celtic’s challenge was then confirmed by a third try of the season from Colbon – again after good work from Webster – while Dobson again slotted over from the touchline, before providing the kick that handed Webster a deserved score two minutes shy of the hooter.

Hull KR (12) 32
Tries: Welham, Newton, Fitzhenry, Colbon, WebsterGoals: Dobson (6)
Celtic Crusaders (0) 6
Tries: Tangata-ToaGoals: Hannay

Hull KR: Briscoe, Fox, Welham, Webster, Colbon, Cooke, Dobson, Fozzard, Fozzard, Fisher, Lovegrove, Newton, Galea, Murrell, Fitzhenry, Aizue, Gene, Mills, Mills.
Replacements: Mills for Fozzard (16), Mills for Fozzard (59), Fitzhenry for Fisher (27), Aizue for Lovegrove (25), Mills for Newton (77), Gene for Murrell (63), Fisher for Fitzhenry (65), Gene for Aizue (38), Lovegrove for Gene (53), Fozzard for Mills (35), Aizue for Mills (68).

Celtic Crusaders: Duggan, Dyer, Hannay, Dalle Cort, Blackwood, Quinn, Withers, O’Hara, O’Hara, Lupton, Bryant, Peek, J. James, J. James, Chalk, Budworth, Tangata-Toa, Tangata-Toa, Chan.
Replacements: Tyrer for Duggan (29), Tangata-Toa for O’Hara (19), Tangata-Toa for O’Hara (57), Budworth for Lupton (25), Budworth for Peek (70), Chan for J. James (16), Chan for J. James (68), J. James for Budworth (51), O’Hara for Tangata-Toa (32), O’Hara for Tangata-Toa (70), Bryant for Chan (55).

Att: 7,104.
Ref: Thierry Alibert (France).