Two teams without a league point between them met at Hull College Craven Park with Hull Kingston Rovers taking on the Huddersfield Giants for the chance to jump up the table.
KR were eliminated from the Challenge Cup last weekend in that incredible game against Castleford Tigers which went into multiple periods of golden point extra time while the Giants progressed thanks to a big win over Leigh Centurions on Sunday afternoon.
Two evenly matched and struggling sides were ready for an exciting match for the SKY cameras.
With a Super League record breaking seven seconds on the clock Ben Crooks picked up the Jordan Abdull kick-off ball after Huddersfield allowed it to bounce and the defence opened up to allow him to hit the line and ground for the fastest ever try. Abdull won the crossbar challenge, the ball bouncing over for a 6-0 lead. A truly sensational start for KR and a devastating one for the Giants.
Josh Jones was penalised for not being square at the play the ball and Abdull took the opportunity to extend the lead to 8-0.
Crooks got his second try on twenty-four as he chased a Mikey Lewis grubber kick from ten metres out and got a hand down to ground just inside the dead ball line. Abdull was unable to add the conversion but his side lead 12-0 with some justification.
Two minutes later Lewis went in himself under the uprights after taking an Abdull pass on the Giants forty metre line. Abdull added the conversion as the Giants had no answers.
Six minutes from time Jermaine McGillvary scored the Giants first points of the night when he took an overarm pass from Leroy Cudjoe to beat his defender and get the ball down on the line. Aidan Sezer brushed the left-hand post with his kick, the ball failing to pass between the uprights.
Kane Linnett had a try ruled out on fifty-three, some may say harshly, for an obstruction in the build-up and within a few seconds the Giants went a hundred metres down the other end with Darnell McIntosh picked up a pinpoint Lee Gaskell kick to score in the corner. Sezer pushed his kick across the front of the sticks.
Just before the hour Gaskell was again the provider but Jake Wardle had it all to do as he turned three KR defenders inside out to go over from twenty metres. This time Sezer added the extras for 14-18, the Giants right back in the game.
Chris McQueen gave the Giants the lead on sixty-five when he collected the ball in goal from a delightful grubber kick but after fumbling the ball in goal and then touching down the video referee ruled he’d knocked the ball backwards before touching down. Sezer added the goal for 20-18.
Three minutes later Linnett regained the lead for the home side as McGillvary knocked on while trying to take a high kick, straight into the path of the Robins second rower to go ten metres and dive over. Abdull added the conversion to push his side into a 24-20 lead.
On seventy-two the scores were level with a delightful flowing try down the left wing with Wardle eventually finding McIntosh to go over in the corner. Sezer drew his kick across the front of the sticks. The score was at 24-24 with six minutes remaining.
An Abdull drop goal from twenty metres on seventy-seven sealed the win for Hull KR and when English lost control of the ball twenty from the KR line, with the assistance of Linnett, it was the last chance for the Giants.
KR held on until the final hooter to take their first win of the season by the narrowest of margins, a Jordan Abdull drop goal with a few minutes remaining. It was a clumsy and scrappy match but that didn’t detract from the spectacle as both sets of fans and a few neutrals spent the closing stages on the edge of their sofas. Giants still pointless in 2021.
Hull KR: Quinlan, Hall, Kenny-Dowall, Crooks (2T), Ryan, Lewis (T), Abdull (4G, DG), King, Parcell, Sims, Linnett (T), Johnson, Lawler. Subs: Vete, Hadley, Litten, Mustapha.
Huddersfield Giants: McIntosh (2T), McGillvary (T), Wardle (T), Cudjoe, Wood, Cogger, Sezer (2G), Yates, Cunningham, Lawrence, McQueen (T), Edwards, Jones. Subs: English, Gaskell, O’Brien, Ashworth.
Referee: James Child.
Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 8-0, 12-0, 16-0, 18-0, 18-4 : HT : 18-8, 18-12, 18-14, 18-18, 18-20, 22-20, 24-20, 24-24, 25-24 : FT.