Rovers rally to surprise Wolves
Michael Dobson's 77th-minute drop goal stunned Warrington to cap a magnificent 23-22 comeback win by Hull KR at Craven Park on Sunday.
A week after coming from 14 points down to beat Hull FC at the Magic Weekend, the Robins rallied from 22-6 behind to seal their third successive win in dramatic fashion.
Dobson was the hero as he has been so often during his time at Rovers, and the stage was set for him after directing Rovers back from the dead for the most unlikely of wins.
Rovers were dealt a blow when Blake Green pulled up in the final moments of Saturday's training session with a hamstring injury. His place at stand-off went to Craig Hall, who deputised for Green there earlier in the season when Rovers lost 42-10 at Warrington.
Warrington welcomed back four players including internationals Brett Hodgson, Ben Westwood and Chris Bridge as Tony Smith's side looked for the win to close the gap on leaders Wigan.
The visitors made an ideal start when Gareth O'Brien opened the scoring with a try from a Rovers error.
Con Mika juggled a pass enough for O'Brien to scoop the ball up and score from 60 metres. Brett Hodgson added the extras for a 6-0 lead.
Rovers had already been served a warning before that try, with Westwood knocking on when it seemed easier to ground Lee Briers' kick through.
The second-rower made amends in the 10th minute when he grounded an identical kick from Briers. Hodgson's conversion opened up a 12-0 lead for the Wolves.
It did not take Warrington long to bring the Rovers supporters back down to earth following their derby celebrations at the Etihad Stadium.
They had referee Steve Ganson to thank for that win but today found the decisions of match official Robert Hicks a cause for concern, especially in Warrington's third try.
Rovers thought Chris Riley had knocked the ball forward but Hicks disagreed, allowing the winger to romp home from 80 metres.
Brett Hodgson landed his third conversion for an 18-0 lead, the same lead Warrington enjoyed at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in the first meeting of the teams this season. Rovers rallied that day before losing 42-10.
The hosts went close in the 22nd minute this afternoon when Rhys Lovegrove spilled a Josh Hodgson pass forward two metres from the Warrington line.
Following a penalty conceded by Chris Hill, Josh Hodgson then showed Lovegrove how to score by scooting over under the posts from dummy-half. Dobson converted to cut the deficit to 18-6.
Rovers coach Craig Sandercock would have accepted a 12-point deficit at the break, but his side leaked a fourth try moments before half-time.
Michael Dobson's kick under pressure gifted Warrington easy possession deep in their own half, with the Rovers defence out of position.
Within seconds Riley was celebrating his second try of the game. Brett Hodgson missed the conversion, with the ball rebounding off the upright.
Home captain Ben Galea, who inspired last week's comeback against Hull, had words with his players before they went in at half-time hoping it would do the trick again.
Rovers began the second half strongly, forcing an error from Westwood and a goal-line drop out from the resulting set. But Craig Hall's knock-on ended that chance of adding points. Rovers were their own worst enemies with Graeme Horne dropping a pass that would have led to a try.
Handling errors from Warrington did their bit to give Rovers as many chances as they could. Chris Hill's error nine minutes into the second half was punished when Lincoln Withers sent Michael Dobson over from close range. Dobson's conversion made it 22-12 with half an hour to play.
From their next set, Horne made amends for his previous error by breaking through a tackle to send winger Sam Latus in for the try. Dobson missed the conversion but Rovers were back in the game trailing 22-16.
Rovers drew level in the 68th minute when Hall backed himself to score, even though he was faced with three Wolves defenders. The stand-in stand-off touched down under the posts to make the conversion a formality for Dobson, who kicked Rovers level at 22-22 with 11 minutes to play.
It was down to Briers and Dobson as to whose drop-goal technique would seal the points. And it was Dobson on home soil that did it with an angled goal 20 metres out.
Briers had a chance to level the score, but his drop goal with time running out drifted wide to the left.