Super League: Hull KR 24-8 Wigan Warriors
|Betfred Super League|
|Hull KR (10) 24|
|Tries: Vaivai 2, Quinlan, Atkin Goals: Tickle 4|
|Wigan (8) 8|
|Tries: J Tomkins Goals: S Tomkins 2|
Wigan Warriors suffered a first defeat in nine games as they were shocked by Super League bottom club Hull KR,
Wigan led 8-0 when Joel Tomkins latched onto George Williams' kick through to score, followed by brother Sam Tomkins' conversion and a penalty.
But Rovers responded with 24 unanswered points with fit-again Junior Vaivai scoring two of their four tries.
Adam Quinlan crossed before the break, while Chris Atkin scored a second-half try and Danny Tickle landed four goals.
This was the two sides' third meeting inside two months and Wigan had won the first two - 44-6 in Super League, then 28-10 in the Challenge Cup just a fortnight ago. But, in their first game since head coach Shaun Wane announced he will leave at the end of the season, the Warriors were outplayed.
Rovers' win, only their fourth in 15 league games this season, came at a cost as winger Justin Carney, on his return from a shoulder injury a month ahead of schedule, played the whole of the second half with a broken hand.
But the victory lifts them two places off the foot of the table, while Wigan's four-point gap on third-placed Warrington was cut to just two points by Wire's 30-12 win at home to Hull.
After being forced to dig deep on their own line in the face of Wigan's early pressure, which had seen Joel Tomkins go over, the hosts got back in the game against the run of play when hooker Tommy Lee exploited space with a kick for Vaivai to race onto.
Danny Tickle - sent off in the Cup clash - added the extras from out wide. And, after turning down an easy two points from a penalty, the home side's gamble paid off when Quinlan went in for a second try in five minutes from Will Dagger's offload.
After Atkin came off the bench to dummy his way over close to the posts on 52 minutes, Tickle added the extras to make it 16-8, then added a penalty in the same incident that had Joel Tomkins sin-binned for dissent with 11 minutes to go. And the man advantage proved crucial when Vaivai sprinted 40 metres from James Greenwood's offload to score the final try following a Wigan error.
Hull KR head coach Tim Sheens:
"That's probably our best performance of the season. We defended well, our completion rate was good and so were our energy levels.
"Wigan have turned up thinking that two weeks ago they got us and that they'd get us again, especially when they scored so early.
"But two weeks ago we felt we could have won that game, so the belief in ourselves was there."
Wigan head coach Shaun Wane told BBC Radio Manchester:
"We were poor. We made too many errors and had too many pressure releases. We need to be a bit smarter.
"To say I'm frustrated is putting it lightly. I'm really disappointed but it's our first bad one this year.
"When we came back from Australia it was different. This one is tough to deal with. We were under the pump all night and we didn't help ourselves."
Hull KR: Quinlan; Wallis, Salter, Vaivai, Carney; Dagger, Blair; Johnson, Lee, Greenwood, Clarkson, Tickle, Donaldson.
Interchange: Masoe, Scruton, Atkin, Kavanagh.
Sin-bin: Johnson (88)
Wigan: S Tomkins; Davies, Bateman, Forsyth, L Marshall; Williams, Escare; Navarrete, Powell, Flower, Isa, Farrell, J Tomkins.
interchange: Clubb, Sutton, Tautai, Ganson.
Sin-bin: J Tomkins (69)
Referee: Ben Thaler (RFL).