Round 4 kicked off last night with the Sydney Roosters overcoming traditional rivals South Sydney Ra...
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Hull Kingston Rovers 23 - Oldham Roughyeds 10
Hull Kingston Rovers claimed the points from an exciting National League One battle thanks to a passionate and committed first-half display that saw them take a comprehensive 16-0 lead with them into the interval.
The Robins went into the match making only three changes to the team that suffered such an agonising defeat against Featherstone last weekend. Dave Wilson and Harvey Howard both declaring themselves fit to play whilst Paul Pickering and Latham Tawhai both recovered from injuries and Papua New Guinean International Makali Aizue was selected for his first appearance against an Oldham side in a bouyant mood following their narrow 12-10 victory against the Leigh Centurions.
Rovers continued where they had left off against Featherstone with a passionate and committed opening to the match in a tough opening quarter but the work-man-like pack was making huge inroads into the Oldham half and tackling everything that moved as the Robins quickly got the upper hand.
Simon Svabic and Lynton Stott both missed simple penalty attempts early in the match before Rovers began to enjoy some excellent territorial advantage, Anthony Seibold forced a drop-out with his grubber kick but the Robins couldn't capitalise and missed another glorious chance moments later.
Rovers were throwing the ball around at ease as they played an open expansive game. Nick Pinkney jinked his way inside before spotting the half-gap to offload to Latham Tawhai and after drawing the fullback a poor pass inside to Paul Pickering meant a clear six-points had gone begging.
Oldham gifted Rovers another chance when they knocked on but Anthony Seibold was penalised for a double movement after crashing over in the corner for what looked like the opening try.
Latham Tawhai's excellent 40/20 kick laid the foundations for another attack and this time they got their reward. Quick hands from Paul Pickering allowed Nick Pinkney to squeeze over in the corner for a 4-0 lead.
The introduction of Harvey Howard, Paul Fletcher and Dean Busby kept the Robins going forward after the hard-work that was done by their predecessors. Busby was straight into the action when he spotted a gap and powered through on the angle for his first try in Rovers colours, Stotts conversion making the score 10-0.
Whilst the Robins had been looking sharp in attack they also proved they were equally strong in defence. The Roughyeds were struggling to find any holes and with the half drawing to a close it took a massive defensive effort to withstand two sets on the bounce on the Robins try line.
The try of the half came in the 37th minute. After withstanding the Oldham pressure a power burst from Jon Aston took Rovers to near half-way. Lynton Stott supported and Paul Pickering followed up to combine for a try under the posts, Stott's conversion making it 16-0.
HT: Hull Kingston Rovers 16 - Oldham Roughyeds 0
Rovers were on fire again early in the second-half and broke through the Oldham defence with ease through Lynton Stott who was supported by Shaun Cooke. Latham Tawhai was content to finish off the move with a simple drop goal for a 17-0 lead.
Jon Aston's excellent offload on his 40m line put Dave Wilson away down the touchline but the Roughyeds were quick to regather to stop any chance of another score as they slowly started to gain some momentum of their own, Rovers however gave them a helping hand with some poor handling in their own half.
Rovers had been growing in confidence and morale throughout the half but a 57th minute Phil Farrell try converted by Simon Svabic started a few nerves jangling as Oldham pushed forward in numbers but despite the chances the Robins defence stood firm and it was the figure of Jamie Bovill that helped take Rovers forward at a crucial period of the match.
Bovill's powerful drive to relieve the pressure in the 63rd minute capped a magnificent performance for the youngster after his National League Under 21 call-up and Bovill was involved once again in the 67th minute as Rovers opted for the powerplay with the ball going wide to Anthony Seibold who marked his impressive display with a try, Stott's conversion putting the match beyond any doubt at 23-6.
Oldham proved they could also play attractive rugby when they wanted to with a 72nd minute try, Lee Doran bursting through to put Paul Anderson over the try line but the Roughyeds had certainly been over-awed by a committed, phsyical Rovers side that were fired up to take home the points.
FT: Hull Kingston Rovers 23 - Oldham Roughyeds 10
Rovers followed up last weeks excellent performance against Featherstone with much of the same and the right result at the end of the day. Some slick passing and tough defence was the order of the day as Rovers notched up an important victory and whilst the entire team played their part the Rovers pack was certainly dominant against a mobile and physical opposition. Attendance: 1,600. MOTM: Jamie Bovill.