Hull KR swap crunching tackles for soaring somersaults
Hull KR swapped crunching tackles for soaring somersaults as they took on a new challenge as part of their intensive pre-season training.
On 20 February 2007, it was Hull Kingston Rovers’ long-awaited Super League debut.
We’ve teamed up with KCOM Craven Park to travel back in time, showcasing some of the most memorable games, events and goals at the venue. With the Robins’ intriguing history dating back over 135 years, there are some incredible moments to look back on.
It was a cold, wet Saturday evening when Hull KR faced Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in Super League XII. Despite the typical British weather, dedicated crowds had gathered and even Sky TV had come to the venue equipped with cameras and microphones.
For Luke Dyer, Michael Vella, Danny Ward and Chris Chester, this was their debut. They were joined by nine of the previous season’s Grand Final-winning team.
Before they walked out onto the pitch, Coach Justin Morgan reassured the men that he had faith in them to do the job. These words must have resonated with the players because within three minutes Scott Murrell had scored KR’s first try. This was largely thanks to Chester’s dummy pass, which prised open Wakefield’s defence.
The Robins managed to dominate their opponents throughout the first quarter. One of the highlights was Gareth Morton’s conversion that followed the first try; this gave KR a 6-0 lead.
By the 15th minute, Wakefield were beginning to push back. However, Morton proved
handy again by scoring a penalty goal that assured KR’s lead. The halftime score was Rovers 8 - 6 Wildcats.
The second half saw Jon Goddard making a tremendous try-saving tackle. However, the visitors managed to level with a penalty in the 48th minute. Dyer attempted to nudge the score in KR’s favour, but two of the opponents managed to prevent him getting the ball down.
As time quickly slipped away, Wakefield searched for their chance for a drop-goal. Their team’s Rooney put them in an excellent position, sweetening the score to 9-8. However, KR’s Webster slipped the ball to Chester, who sent Cockayne over for the winning score. Morton was the one who added the goal, with the whistle blowing almost immediately after. The crowd, which had reached 7,154, roared in celebration and commiseration.
The final score was Hull Kingston Rovers 14-9 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
“There was a huge amount of pressure on us that night,” player Jason Netherton told Hull KR Historian, Roger Pugh. “In front of a full house of our own supporters, it was really important to get off to a winning start, and the win gave us confidence that we could play at that level. The way the game ended was brilliant too – it was a night I'll never forget."