|Betfred Super League|
|Catalans (6) 6|
|Tries: Mead Goals: Gigot|
|Hull KR (16) 24|
|Tries: Shaw 2, McGuire Goals: Shaw 6|
Hull Kingston Rovers won 24-6 in Perpignan to boost their hopes of avoiding relegation from Super League and leave Catalans Dragons in freefall.
With Huddersfield winning at Hull on Friday night, Rovers needed to win to create a gap on bottom side London, who play fellow strugglers Leeds on Sunday.
Three Rovers tries, two for Ryan Shaw who also added six goals, and one for Danny McGuire, settled the contest.
David Mead’s first-half score was not enough to make Catalans competitive.
It capped a positive day for the East Hull club, having confirmed Tony Smith would be staying as head coach for the next three seasons at Craven Park earlier in the day.
While all the pressure was on Smith’s Rovers in terms of getting a result in the shake-up to avoid relegation, Catalans were also desperate for a win after three defeats in four left their play-off hopes looking slim.
Those ambitions for Steve McNamara’s side were well and truly ended after a error-strewn display, undoing much of their excellent defensive work with a series of knock-ons and handed the initiative back to the visitors.
Rovers showed signs of nerves, understandably given their precarious position, but they were ruthless enough to unlock the Dragons in the first-half and kept the scoreboard ticking over from the tee in the second half to take them clear.
Shaw’s brace came from the Robins’ joy down the left, Weller Hauraki proving pivotal in dishing him up the ball. And, after Mead latched onto a Tony Gigot chip to pull a try back, a slick move up the middle saw veteran McGuire steam through to finish.
It was the end of the try-scoring on a steamy day in which tempers flared, and the points were taken back to East Yorkshire.
Hull KR head coach Tony Smith told BBC Radio Humberside:
“We were committed. It wasn’t always the prettiest of matches in many ways, it was both teams making errors in all sorts of ways and we can pull our games apart and criticise.
“But what I certainly can’t criticise my team about is effort and enthusiasm. There wasn’t much between the two teams and there were blown opportunities, but we had to hang in there for one another.
“They did it for the badge, and we had a massive travelling support. It felt like that massive support was all over them putting people into the right places, and I think it helped some of them get there because they didn’t want to let anybody down.”
Catalans: Mead; Romano, Whitley, Wiliame, Tierney; Langi; Gigot, Kasiano, McIlorum, Maria, Edwards, Bird, Goudemand.
Replacements: Simon, Belmas, Albert, Baitieri.
Hull KR: Dagger; Shaw, Linnett, J. Keinhorst, Crooks; McGuire, Drinkwater; Murray, Atkin, Mulhern, Tomkins, Hauraki, Hadley.
Replacements: Masoe, Litten, Addy, Trout.
Referee: Ben Thaler (RFL)
Sun 1 Sept: London Broncos v Leeds, Wakefield v Wigan
Fri 6 Sept: Leeds v Salford,St Helens v Huddersfield, Warrington v Wakefield, Wigan v Catalans
Sun 8 Sept: Castlefordv Hull, Hull KR v London Broncos
Fri 13 Sept: Huddersfield v Catalans, Leeds v Warrington, Hull vSt Helens, Wigan v Castleford
Sun 15 Sept: Wakefield v London Broncos, Salford v Hull KR