On paper an intriguing tussle between fourth placed Huddersfield Giants and a Hull KR side in seventh spot, was one of three rare Sunday afternoon fixtures in Super League as the home side looked for a spot in the top half of the table and the visitors had their eye on the top three, should the Dragons slip up at Castleford.
The Robins named Elliot Minchella in the starting thirteen and Greg Richards on the bench in the only two changes to the side which lost narrowly to Saints a fortnight ago, while Innes Senior and Matty Russell were both back in the starting line-up for the Giants
The Giants were slight favourites with the bookies but there was very little to choose between the sides, the big betting money was going in the Giants favour but the punters seemed to have more faith in Huddersfield than the pundits.
When Tui Lolohea put his kick off out on the full, KR took full advantage with Matt Parcell picking up a ricocheted Mikey Lewis grubber kick on the last tackle of their opening set to ground with eighty seconds on the clock. Lachlan Coote was unable to add the conversion from wide, but it was the start of dreams for KR, and nightmares for the Giants.
KR had a try ruled out by the video referee on seven minutes for a knock-on in the act of scoring.
On twenty-four Jermaine McGillvary was held up short and two tackles later Ethan Ryan did brilliantly to push Innes Senior over the touchline to prevent the first Huddersfield try.
As the half wore on it was the Giants who were dominating and just before the hour mark Leroy Cudjoe collected a Lolohea kick through and grounded to level the scores at 4-4. Will Pryce added the extras to edge the Giants into the lead.
On thirty-four Cudjoe was on hand again, this time to take a Pryce chip over the top as the KR defence dithered to spin over the line and ground. Pryce was unable to add the extras, the Giants one converted try ahead at the break.
Thirteen seconds after the restart Luke Yates went in after taking a Coote short kick-off and sprinting seventy metres to score in the left corner. The prop forward somehow outpacing the Hull KR backs. Pryce added the extras for 16-4, not what Robins coach Tony Smith was looking for.
Two minutes after the restart Ricky Leutele took the pass on the halfway line and sprinted go the line to score with no defenders inside ten metres of him. Pryce was again off target with his kick.
A McGillvary break down the right saw him put in a delightful pass to Cudjoe to canter over for his hat-trick try, running towards the posts to improve the angle for the Pryce conversion and a 26-4 scoreline.
Sidestepping and dummying saw Pryce cross for his first try of the afternoon with the half back going in from ten metres out as Hull KR failed to lay a hand on him on his way to the line. Pryce converted his own try for 32-4.
A superb run from McGillvary saw him rip through a KR defence who looked ready to throw in the towel as he scored from thirty metres, coming in off the wing to go in under the posts. Pryce added the extras, and the Giants were towering over KR.
Consolation from Matty Storton on seventy-five for KR as he bumped his way to the line through a tired Giants defence. Coote added the conversion for 10-38, the Robins well beaten.
This was Huddersfield´s sixth straight win and they really are looking like the real deal who may well follow up their Challenge Cup Final appearance with one in the Grand Final at Old Trafford. Once the Giants soaked up the early pressure and waited for the home side to tire then they were devastating with the strong wind at their backs. The Giants march on, KR looking very fragile and picking up injuries as their hopes of a play-off place start to fade.
Hull KR: Coote (G), Ryan, Crooks, Kenny-Dowall, Hall, Lewis, Milnes, King, Parcell (T), Storton (T), Halton Hadley, Minchella. Subs: Vete, Litten, Keinhorst, Richards.
Huddersfield Giants: Lolohea, McGillvary (T), Cudjoe (3T), Leutele (T), Senior I, Russell, Pryce (T, 5G), Wilson, Levi Lawrence, McQueen, Jones, English. Subs: Greenwood, Trout, Golding, Yates (T).
Score Progression: 4-0, 4-4, 4-6, 4-10 : HT : 4-14, 4-16, 4-20, 4-24, 4-26, 4-30, 4-32, 4-36, 4-38, 8-38, 10-38: FT.
Lead Exchanges: Hull KR – Square – Huddersfield.
Referee: Chris Kendall.