Following the shock announcement that Tony Smith would be leaving Hull KR at the end of the season, the Robins came into a rare Saturday afternoon game with their eyes on a potential fourth place in Super League, but they would need to defeat a Wakefield Trinity side who desperately needed a win after a couple of recent heavy defeats, to Wigan and Castleford.
The visitors had their free scoring talisman Tom Johnstone back in the side along with full back Max Jowitt and half back Jordan Abdull to give them a far more robust look. KR had escaped with the points from a close game with Toulouse on Bank Holiday Monday and they welcomed back Lachlan Coote and utility back Sam Wood who were both absent in France.
The bookies had KR as the favourites and had given the visitors a ten-point start on the handicap coupon.
It was bitterly cold as the two sides took the field, KR with the wind at their backs in the first half.
Lachlan Coote was the provider as he created the space for Kane Linnett to cross and round behind the sticks to make the providers conversion a formality for a 6-0 lead.
On eighteen minutes Coote, who had been involved in most moves, found his way through a gap in the line and over the whitewash for the second Robins try of the afternoon. Coote was again accurate with the boot for a 12-0 lead.
Another great break from Hull KR ended with Shaun Kenny-Dowall taking the pass to cross in the corner after a move which saw the ball moved across the field. Coote was unable the add the conversion but with four minutes remaining it was a healthy lead for the home side.
It had been a first half dominated by Hull KR, deserving of their half time advantage, but Trinity went into the interval hoping that the conditions would be in their favour in the second half.
The first scoring action of the second half was through a well worked try through half a dozen pairs of hands from left to right saw Ethan Ryan cross in the corner. Coote´s attempted conversion fell short of the sticks into a strong breeze.
Ryan got his second of the half, and the game, on fifty-three as he chased and grounded his own kick down the right-hand side. Coote was wide with the boot this time, KR 24-0 ahead.
Ryan went from hero to zero two minutes later when he spilled the ball which was then picked up by Jacob Miller and dotted down for the opening Wakefield try of the game. Mason Lino added the conversion to reduce the arrears to eighteen points.
Lewis Murphy leapt Kenny-Dowall to ground in the corner to get Trinity to double figures and start the home sides nerves jangling with the potential of a fightback. Lino was unable to add the conversion, Wakefield still needing three tries to get the lead.
Coote was again provider, this time offloading Kenny Dowall who then found Ryan Hall to cross for his first try of the game, the sixth for Hull KR as they steadied their nerves. Coote hit the cross bar with his conversion attempt, he´d now missed four on the bounce.
Linnett got his second of the game on seventy-two as any Trinity hopes were finally slain. The second rower pushed his way over the line with a tackler attached and forced the ball to ground. Coote hit the post again, failing to add the points again as KR had now spurned ten possible points with the boot but it was more than enough to seal a 32-10 win.
A terrific win for Hull KR over a Wakefield side who seem to have lost their way since that big Challenge Cup defeat against Wigan a couple of weekends ago. Coote was inspirational for the home side and had a role to play in most of the tries, despite having a below par afternoon with the boot as he missed five conversion attempts. KR are up into fourth place in the table, thanks to Warrington defeating Huddersfield over the other side of the Pennines, also by 32-10. Wakefield continue to dive down the table, flirting perilously with the end of season drop zone.
Hull KR: Coote (T, 2G), Ryan (2T), Crooks, Kenny-Dowall (T), Hall (T), Milnes, Abdull, Storton, Litten, King, Hadley, Linnett (2T), Minchella. Subs: Vete, Sims, Keinhorst, Richards.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Murphy (T), Lyne, Hall, Johnstone, Miller (T), Lino (G), Tanginoa, Walker, Arona Ashurst, Pitts, Batchelor. Subs: Kay, Aydin, Battye, Crowther.
Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 10-0, 12-0, 16-0 : HT : 20-0, 24-0, 24-4, 24-6, 24-10, 28-10, 32-10 : FT.
Referee: Aaron Moore.