Wolves hold off Rovers fightback to book semi final place


Warrington Wolves held off a second half fightback from Hull KR to qualify for a second straight Challenge Cup semi final.

It was a good start for the Wolves as they took the lead with 11 minutes as Jake Mamo was put in by Dec Patton just by the posts. Patton then converted to make it a six point lead.

But the Wolves were soon down to 12 men as Tom Lineham was given a yellow card for a late hit on Jimmy Keinhorst.

Rovers were on top and Warrington were soon down to 11 men as Patton was sent to the sin bin for a ball steal.

Warrington were able to see out that difficult period and grabbed another try a minute before the break as Blake Austin scored after being put in by Bryson Goodwin. Patton converted to make it a 12 point lead at the break.

It was always going to be a big start to the second half and the Wire got it just two minutes in as Lineham returned to the field to get in out wide. Patton missed the conversion this time, but the Wolves extended their lead to 16 points.

Then with half an hour to go, Warrington made all but sure of the game as Ben Murdoch-Masila powers his way over from 10m. Patton converted to make it a 22 point lead for the visitors.

But almost straightaway, Rovers pounced as Ben Crooks stripped the ball from Goodwin in a tackle and ran 70m to score. Ryan Shaw missed the conversion but the Rovers were on the board.

Rovers were threatening to make it interesting with less than 20 minutes to go as Josh Drinkwater was put through by Craig Hall to score under the posts. Shaw scored the conversion to bring the Rovers into double figures and within 12 points of their visitors.

The Wolves then moved to settle the game straight away as Patton elected to take the two after they got a penalty for obstruction. But he missed the target and didn’t get it dead to gift Rovers possession.

The home side were then just one try behind with ten minutes to go as Drinkwater grabbed his second of the game after getting on the end of Chris Atkin’s kick. Shaw kicked the conversion to make it a six point game.

Any hope of a comeback was then quashed just minutes later as Austin showed great feet to put Ben Currie in by the posts. Patton scored the conversion to reinstate a 10 point lead for the Wire.

But the home side refused to give in as Hall’s jinking run opened up the defence and he got in to score. Shaw converted to bring them back to within six points with three minutes to go.

Rovers tried, but couldn’t find the levelling score.

It means the Wolves are in the semi finals for a second straight season. They will wait to see who theyre opponents are, but they are back in the Super League next week when they welcome Catalans Dragons to the Haliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday.

As for Rovers, they can now focus on ensuring they stay in the Super League. They welcome Wigan Warriors on Sunday.

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