WARRINGTON Wolves were unable to replicate their Challenge Cup fourth round success against Hull KR last week when they were beaten at The Halliwell Jones Stadium in Super League Round 8.
Wolves have entered the interval behind in their last two victories, at Huddersfield Giants and Hull KR, and did so again when Michael Weyman’s try put the visitors ahead with five minutes of the first half remaining.
Travis Burns increased the Robins’ lead, Weyman crossed again along with Kris Keating as Richie Myler replied with two tries for the hosts.
When Michael Monaghan needed treatment after a defensive tackle in the second minute Burns kicked deep, Matty Russell collected well and had The Halliwell Jones faithful on their feet with a dangerous run but a well-worked set eventually saw Stefan Ratchford’s kick gathered by the visitors.
Wolves’ skipper had recovered in time to force a turnover on the sixth tackle four minutes later and from the scrum Simon Grix broke the Robins’ line to feed Ryan Atkins, but he was stopped narrowly short out wide.
Adam Walker threatened to put Hull KR ahead eight minutes in as the visitors drew close to the Warrington line, but Kris Keating’s forward pass in the halves returned possession to Tony Smith’s side.
Hull recovered the ball after Joel Monaghan had kicked straight into touch moments later and Keating found space to execute a delicate lob into the path of Omari Caro.
The winger finished off the scoring with a last-minute try on Sunday, but was unable to gather Keating’s kick and after a spot of juggling fumbled forward.
Atkins almost barged over 15 minutes in, but as Wolves spread the ball through hands to the right Laithwaite attempted the offload to Ratchford in the tackle and could only find Josh Hodgson.
Hodgson darted 70 metres but checked back to avoid the covering Rhys Evans and from the set it was Hull’s turn to throw the ball away.
Neville Costigan was the guilty party, finding Trent Waterhouse and the forward handed on to Atkins who broke one tackle but lost momentum and was eventually stopped deep into the Robins’ half.
Tony Smith introduced Ben Currie and then Anthony England with 15 minutes of the half remaining and Wolves came close to breaking the stalemate when Richie Myler’s neat pass was spilt by Waterhouse.
Wolves had won the ball back after a bit of football from Burns, kicking on twice and nut-megging Russell in the process before Atkins gathered on the cover.
Waterhouse had no trouble holding on with seven minutes remaining, however. Former London Broncos man Caro was held up on the line and Keating’s grubber was pounced on by the Wolves man.
But two minutes later Hull KR opened the scoring, Burns broke through the middle and committed full back Russell before passing to the supporting Weyman to go between the posts. Burns added the extras.
With 13 seconds remaining of the half Myler thought he had found a gap, but was hauled back on the line.
Within a minute of the restart Ratchford got a hand to Keating’s left-footed kick and gathered to sprint 40 metres and touch down, but his block had bounced and play was pulled back for a Hull KR put in at the scrum.
Wolves’ defence could not get close to a Keating bomb on 45 minutes, though, and as the ball went loose Burns scooped up and dived over from close range before adding the conversion.
Good footwork from Myler off a Chris Hill pass after Brad Dywer had picked up from dummy half took Wolves deep into the visitors’ half with half an hour remaining.
Later in the set Kris Welham was penalised for holding on in the tackle and Ratchford fed Paul Wood at speed from the penalty, but the hosts were still unable to find a breakthrough.
Burns had a drop goal attempt blocked on 58 minutes and Wolves were left feeling aggrieved when the ball found its way back to the half back of a teammate they felt was offside.
But Craig Sandercock’s side were able to keep the move alive and Keating hit a gap to scoot over to the left of the posts, Burns increased the advantage to 18 points with the boot.
Wolves looked to hit back as Michael Monaghan and then Ratchford were forced sideways looking for a gap.
The reply eventually came with 18 minutes to go, Atkins made ground on the left and broke through a tackle before committing Hull KR full back Ben Cockyane.
The centre had Rhys Evans to his left and Myler to his right and sent the latter in for his second try of the campaign, Bridge converting.
Myler and Evans were involved again moments later after Burns had added a point with a drop goal, the winger picked up to cross the line but Myler’s pass was seen to be forward.
But as the clock approached the 70-minute mark the Robins looked to have put the game out of Wolves’ reach. Weyman added his second with a short-range charge and Burns converted.
Wolves narrowed the deficit to 13 points three minutes later as Michael Monaghan picked up from dummy half after Ben Harrison, making his first appearance this season, gained ground.
The skipper sidestepped through a gap and found Myler again the man in support to cross for his second of the evening, leaving Bridge a simple conversion in front of the posts.
Myler was called into action at the other end with two minutes left, Ade Gardner threatened to continue his prolific try-scoring streak against Wolves with a dart to the corner that was only halted by a last-ditch Myler tackle that forced the on-loan St Helens winger into touch.