Challenge Cup: Leigh 10-23 Hull Kingston Rovers

Leigh's Atelea Vea tries to power clear of Hull KR's Jordan Abdull
Leigh's Atelea Vea tries to power clear of Hull KR's Jordan Abdull
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup
Leigh (10) 10
Tries: Burr, Naughton Goals: Reynolds
Hull KR (16) 23
Tries: Shaw 2, Lawler, Greenwood Goals: Ellis 3 Drop-goal: Ellis

Championship leaders Hull KR caused an upset by putting lowly Super League side Leigh out of the Challenge Cup.

After tries by Ryan Shaw and George Lawley were cancelled out by Leigh, James Greenwood's converted late first-half try earned Rovers a 16-10 lead.

Victory was then sealed by a late drop-goal from ex-Leigh scrum-half Jamie Ellis, who also landed three kicks.

Winger Shaw's last-gasp converted put the icing on a hard-earned fifth-round win for the 2015 beaten finalists.

It was a sixth successive defeat in all competitions for twice Challenge Cup winners Leigh, who stand 10th in the table, having won just three of their 11 Super League matches this season.

Leigh had pulled back a 10-0 deficit with tries from Lachlan Burr and Curtis Naughton before Rovers edged ahead again by the interval.

But, after going behind again, once Leigh winger Naughton had seen a second try disallowed for a forward pass, the visitors' defence held out against the side they effectively swapped places with at the end of last season.

Curtis Naughton dived over for Leigh's second try against Hull KR
Curtis Naughton dived over for Leigh's second try against Hull KR

Jamie Ellis the chief destroyer against former club

Rovers got off to a great start in only the second minute when Shaw was first to react to a wayward pass, racing over from halfway, before Ellis added the conversion.

Ellis was then involved again on eight minutes when he prodded a kick through for second rower Lawler to ground the ball, although Ellis was unable to kick the goal.

Leigh pulled one back on 19 minutes when Josh Drinkwater took on the Hull KR defensive line before sending a pass to Burr who charged in from close range. Ben Reynolds kicked the conversion, although he was unsuccessful minutes later after Naughton had gone in at the left corner to level the scores.

But, with only two minutes of the half left, stand-off Jordan Abdull's well-timed pass to Greenwood put Rovers back in front.

Ellis converted, then, after a long scoreless spell, kicked the drop goal which stretched the Robins two scores clear, before adding the conversion to Shaw's second late try.

Leigh coach Neil Jukes:

"It was a good effort and, although we worked hard, there was not enough quality. I don't like hammering the guys publicly but everyone is accountable and that starts with me at the top of the tree.

"We are not getting enough out of some players. We can look at the players who have not played and make excuses but the 17 we picked were good enough to win the game.

"We had enough ball in the second half to win but we were guilty of some poor last plays. Defensively we were not far off but there's not enough quality with the ball in hand."

"The bounce of the ball didn't always go our way but you sometimes get that when you're up against it. Hull KR smelled a bit of blood on us and went for our throats."

Hull KR coach Tim Sheens:

"It was a good win and we had to show a lot of courage. That's not their best side and it wasn't ours either but we had good support from our crowd.

"It pleased me that we were never behind at any stage and that we took the opportunities that came our way.

"I'm really happy with the result. We approached the game very professionally. Everyone did their jobs. But we have got some stuff to learn. We have got a long way to go as a team.

"My attitude has always been to deal with what's in front of you - but we are only halfway through the season."

Leigh: Ridyard; Hampshire, Crooks, Dawson, Naughton; Reynolds, Drinkwater; Acton, Hood, Weston, Vea, Stewart, Hansen.

Replacements: Pelissier, Tickle, Hopkins, Burr.

Hull KR: Quinlan; Shaw, Hefernan, Salter, Hodgson; Abdull, Ellis; Scruton, Lunt, Johnson, Lawler, Blair, Kavanagh.

Replacements: Greenwood, Dockar-Clay, Mulhern, Wardill.

Attendance: 9,152.

Referee: James Child (RFL).

Top Stories