Catalans Dragons 6-24 Hull KR: Tony Smith's side claim vital win to boost Betfred Super League survival hopes

Hull KR coach Tony Smith
Hull KR coach Tony Smith

Hull KR will go into Friday's crunch relegation Super League battle with London Broncos buoyed by a rousing victory over Catalans Dragons at Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Tony Smith's reshaped Robins were too hot to handle in heatwave conditions in Perpignan, ending Catalans' faint hopes of a play-off spot with a 24-6 defeat of Steve McNamara's disoriented Dragons.

Missing experienced regulars Mitch Garbett, Craig Hall and Adam Quinlan, Rovers responded with a vintage display from Danny McGuire to end Catalans' slim hopes of making the top five.

McGuire was on fire alongside former Catalans ace Josh Drinkwater as Rovers took the game to the Dragons from start to finish.

There was to be no happy ending for Greg Bird on his last match in front of home fans before retirement.

Rovers were first on the board after 13 minutes when Bird was penalised for dissent and, from the penalty kick, Weller Hauraki found space for Ryan Shaw to cross in the left corner although the winger could not convert from wide.

The same combination produced the same result seven minutes later when Hauraki easily slipped the ball through the Catalans line to Shaw who found the mark this time and converted to put Rovers 10-0 ahead.

Giant Dragons prop Sam Kasiano kept the pressure on Rovers but indiscipline, errors and poor handling from his team-mates continually undid all the good work by the home team.

A succession of promising breaks collapsed at the final moment through sloppy handling and lack of co-ordination.

Rovers were not helping themselves either, conceding a series of penalties leading to captain Joel Tomkins speaking at length to referee Ben Thaler.

The Dragons kept pressing and Samisoni Langi went close then Bird was held up over the line.

The breakthrough came in the 28th minute when Tony Gigot found David Mead with a kick over the defence and the full-back strode over the line. Gigot added the conversion to make it 10-6.

But back came battling Rovers and 36-year-old McGuire rolled back the years with a vintage piece of slick handling involving Mose Masoe and Drinkwater whose clever pass from the floor went back to McGuire who then slid in three minutes from the break.

Shaw made it 18-6 with a penalty after Jason Baitieri went high on Jimmy Keinhorst and some smart work saw Gigot cross between the posts but the referee and video assistant disallowed the try.

Then the officials combined to disallow a 60-yard interception try by Keinhorst from a loose pass by Gigot so it was left to the sharpshooting boots of Shaw to finish the scoring.

He converted another shot at goal in the 62nd minute as the penalty count climbed against the Dragons and Rovers took control.

Antoni Maria took too long in a tackle on Drinkwater and Shaw added two more points from in front of the posts.

The Dragons tried to hit back with a break by Bird which ended up with Arthur Romano tossed into touch and a sweeping move to the left saw Lucas Albert passing the ball into touch over the head of winger Lewis Tierney.

A fourth penalty in a row for Shaw made it 24-6 to Rovers.

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