Rovers earn derby spoils
Hull Kingston Rovers secured another derby victory over Hull FC 38-24 against the surreal backdrop of Hull City playing in an FA Cup final.
Normally a clash between KR and FC would be the hottest ticket in Hull but, with the Tigers in action at Wembley with an identical kick-off time, this was not a regular derby match.
Rovers won it 38-24 to the soundtrack of cheers and jeers as City did battle with Arsenal in London. When this game ended, Hull City were in extra-time and those fans who had remained loyal to the rugby sprinted out to the nearest screen showing the football.
This game alone would have been enough to be a headline-grabber in the city, though, with KR seeing off 12-man FC for a fifth win over them in six Magic Weekend clashes.
By the time it kicked off Hull City were already 1-0 up and 2-0 ahead not long after. A united rendition of 'two-nil to the Hull City' did not prompt on-field harmony, though, and with 10 minutes gone punches were being thrown as KR went ahead.
Liam Salter dotted down in the corner but, earlier in the move, Travis Burns was tipped by Kirk Yeaman and plenty of players raced in to let off some steam. As Burns converted the try, Arsenal made it 2-1 and word quickly spread.
Hull KR continued to dominate and with 20 minutes gone Kevin Larroyer scored the Robins' second try, beating a weak tackle from Jacob Miller to make good of a Josh Hodgson pass, with Burns again on the money with the goal.
Any FC fans of a Hull City persuasion will have been struggling to remain happy and that was certainly the case as Salter added a quickfire second, being in the right place after Burns and Kris Keating had torn down the middle.
Hull finally woke from the slumber at 18-0 as Dean Hadley broke through and survived an unorthodox attempted tackle by Ben Cockayne to bounce over, although he had to go off injured as a result.
Cockayne managed to make a difference as half-time approached, though, with he and Salter getting their bodies between Gareth Ellis and the floor as the Hull captain thought he had scored in the wake of Jacob Miller's kick coming loose.
Any unrest over that was forgotten a minute before the interval, though, as Jamie Shaul, one of 10 Hull natives on show, went in off the clean break by another, Kirk Yeaman. Miller kicked his second goal for an 18-12 scoreline at the buzzer.
Rovers were grateful of the chance to steady their ship with a penalty from Burns four minute after the restart, and their chances of maintaining that lead were improved dramatically with 30 minutes left as Jason Crookes saw red.
His head-high hit on Salter was certainly late and referee Richard Silverwood deemed it worthy of an early bath, with Crookes becoming the fifth player to be sent off at Magic.
Ade Gardner, with a fine sense of timing, then went in at the very corner where Crookes would have been defending.
Danny Houghton responded for Hull with a close-range drive over the line which came with them down to 11 men as Shaul limped off. At exactly the same moment, Hull City's 11 men were pegged back to 2-2.
Comeback was now the watchword as Hull FC scored again, belying their numerical disadvantage. Iafeta Palea'aesina scored their next, using all off his ample weight to get over the line off a Miller pass as Larroyer clung on to his shirt.
But Gardner chimed in again to put FC and their grit to bed, with Hodgson then helping himself to a try his industry deserved, leaving those in the stands to wonder about another match.