Warrington hold off Hull KR fightback to go top

Betfred Super League

Warrington Wolves (18) 20

Tries: King 2, Ashton Goals: Thewlis 4

Hull KR (4) 8

Tries: Broadbent, Lewis

Warrington Wolves held off a second-half fightback from visitors Hull KR to win 20-8 and go top of Super League.

Wire raced into an 18-0 lead through Toby King’s double and a penalty try, touched down by Matty Ashton, with Josh Thewlis knocking over three goals.

Jack Broadbent’s score gave Rovers something to take into the break and the visitors came out transformed as Mikey Lewis’ try brought them back within 10 points.

But Wire withstood spells of incessant pressure before a late Thewlis penalty sealed a fourth straight win over KR.

Both teams kicked off the first match of round 11 knowing a win would propel them to the top of Super League and break free of a six-team cluster all locked on 14 points.

Rovers arrived buoyed by back-to-back statement victories over St Helens and Wigan and with the tantalising prospect of going top of Super League for the first time ever.

But instead it was Wire who leapfrogged Wigan at the top, albeit having played two games more than the Warriors.

Wire show their mettle in attack and defence

The hosts made a blistering start as King began and finished a slick move down the left on his 150th Warrington appearance before the centre put Ashton in at the same corner soon after.

The try was not awarded on field for a toe in touch, but video referee Marcus Griffiths awarded a penalty try for Joe Burgess’ high tackle on the winger.

Wire spurned further chances before King stepped inside and through three challenges to score his second as Rovers’ right edge was again run ragged.

Before the break, the visitors were a shadow of the side that had won seven of their previous eight matches, but they at least got on the board when Niall Evalds sent Broadbent over in the left corner after a powerful carry and offload from Kelepi Tanginoa.

The game was flipped on its head after half-time as Rovers dominated territory, piled on the pressure and threatened to serve up a classic game of two halves.

An Evalds score was ruled out for Ryan Hall’s knock-on in the offload before Lewis showed awareness and pace to collect his own deflected kick and skip over with half-an-hour still to play.

Warrington’s defence wobbled at times, yet held firm impressively as they restricted their opponents to fewer than 10 points for the fourth time in six matches.

And it was the hosts who went closer to the game’s sixth try as Ashton fell just short with an acrobatic finish in the left corner before Evalds' in-goal interception denied King a hat-trick.

Warrington Wolves: Dufty, Thewlis, King, Tai, Ashton, Williams, Drinkwater, Harrison, Walker, Vaughan, Nicholson, Fitzgibbon, Currie.

Interchanges: Philbin, Musgrove, Crowther, Powell.

Hull KR: Evalds, Burgess, Hiku, Broadbent, Hall, May, Lewis, Sue, Litten, Whitbread, Tanginoa, Batchelor, Hadley.

Interchanges: King, Parcell, Storton, Brown.

Referee: J Vella