Relegation-threatened Hull KR came from 14-0 down to claim a point from a dramatic 24-24 draw with high-flying Castleford Tigers at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle.
Winger Jy Hitchcox scored four tries for the Tigers but most of his good work was undone in a thrilling finale as injuries took a cruel toll and the visitors displayed tremendous spirit to claw their way into the Betfred Super League clash.
FULL-TIME: Castleford Tigers 24-24 Hull KR— Hull Kingston Rovers (@hullkrofficial) 17 June 2018
Wow, what a finish! Crazy final play as both teams searched for a winner but in the end though its a very good point and a deserved comeback from the Robins at the in-form Tigers. #ComeOnRovers pic.twitter.com/ivbHYEQMX3
Trailing 24-12, Rovers ran in two tries in the last 12 minutes to draw level and half-back Chris Atkin was wide with two drop goal attempts to win it, while Castleford’s Jake Trueman was off target with one as the game ended in stalemate.
Hull KR gave a debut to former Wigan forward Joel Tomkins and had hooker and captain Shaun Lunt back from a two-month injury lay-off.
🗒️ | Four tries from Tigers winger, Jy Hitchcox wasn't enough to propel his side to a win as a gutsy Hull KR fought back to a 24-24 draw at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle!— Castleford Tigers (@CTRLFC) 17 June 2018
➡️ https://t.co/AvMQy09sBb pic.twitter.com/YjgizFgrx5
There was little hint of the drama to come when Quentin Laulu-Togag’ae, playing at stand-off on his home debut, created an opening for second rower Mike McMeeken to score the opening try after only two minutes which Calum Turner converted.
Junior Vaivai scored a brace for the visitors with one apiece from Adam Quinlan and Mose Masoe - Ryan Shaw adding the extras to seal the draw.
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- Cas and Hull KR draw
State of Mind round DELIVERED 🙌🔥 pic.twitter.com/I78kfwro98
Castleford head coach Daryl Powell said: “I’m disappointed we didn’t win the game but we had no subs and we had players on there who had to stay on.
“Going into the last five minutes, if you had given me a point, I would have taken it. Hull KR had all the ascendancy. I didn’t think we were the smartest at times but it was a gutsy effort.”
🎥 | Tigers coach Daryl Powell spoke to the media following his side's 24-24 draw with Hull KR.— Castleford Tigers (@CTRLFC) June 17, 2018
Powell explained all the new injuries the team picked up following the game.
Catch the full press conference over on Tigers TV - https://t.co/J3A9xCygqq pic.twitter.com/5MBWTVp2fh
Hull KR boss Tim Sheens said: “Given the way we started, it was a good point for us.
“With the amount of ball and field position we gave up, not to get beat by 60, we were lucky in that regard. We kept within range in the first half, that was the main thing.”