Super League: Hull KR 38-16 Widnes Vikings

Ken Sio
Ken Sio has scored 15 tries for Hull KR after joining from Parramatta Eels
Hull KR (26) 38
Tries: Welham, Mantellato 2, Blair, Kelly, Sio 3 Goals: Mantellato 2, Kelly 2
Widnes (10) 16
Tries: Marsh, Brown, Dean Goals: Owens (2)

Ken Sio's hat-trick helped Hull KR to victory against Widnes and boosted their chances of a top eight place at the KC Lightstream Stadium.

Tries from Kris Welham, Maurice Blair, Josh Mantellato, Albert Kelly and Sio gave Rovers a 26-10 half-time lead.

The Robins lost Mantellato to injury after the restart, but Sio led their charge as he went over twice more.

Despite Stefan Marsh, Kevin Brown and Chris Dean going over, Widnes were second best for most of the game.

Having lost their last two matches, and having to manage without injured Terry Campese, it was a dominant display by Rovers.

Welham opened the scoring early on, with Mantellato adding the conversion, but Widnes fought back and were rewarded when Marsh crossed after Ben Cockayne was fooled by a high bounce.

Rovers restoring pride
Going into the match, Widnes had won their last four meetings with Hull KR, with the Robins' last win against the Vikings being a 44-18 home victory on 17 February 2013.

In an end-to-end first half, Rovers scored their second try when Welham had Owens well beaten and fed the ball to Blair to provide the finish.

Brown put Widnes back in touching distance when he broke well with substitute Manase Manuokafoa to score their second try.

But the Robins gave themselves some breathing room when Mantellato scored his second try and Kelly latched onto John Boudebza's offload to run 60 metres and touch down.

Rovers went in at half time with a 26-10 lead after Sio dived over, but Mantellato missed the conversion and his game was over soon after the restart when he went down injured and was withdrawn on a stretcher following a lengthy hold-up.

However, Sio strolled in for his second when he received a superb offload from Graeme Horne.

And although Dean went over for the Vikings soon from Brown's short pass, Sio completed his hat-trick late on to seal it for Rovers.

Hull KR coach Chris Chester:

"The boys were outstanding, in terms of effort desire and aggression, it was first class.

"We let them back in the game in the second half through silly errors but the forwards led the platform in the first half.

"It's always nice to get some players back and I thought Adam Walker was very good in the middle. Graeme Horne was fantastic and we really stood up defensively."

Widnes coach Denis Betts:

It was about being in the right space at the right time and we weren't. They have had adversity here and they fought hard like a team desperate to win, we didn't.

"They asked all the questions and our mindset changed. We had lots of ball and opportunities to score but we didn't capitalise on them.

"We just crumbled too easily and I'm disappointed with the way we carried ourselves.

Hull KR: Cockayne, Sio, Salter, Welham, Mantellato, Blair, Kelly, Walker, Boudebza, Puletua, Larroyer, Horne, McCarthy

Replacements: Donaldson, Cox, Green, Greenwood

Widnes: Hanbury, Owens, Marsh, Dean, Ah Van, Brown, Mellor, Gerrard, White, Dudson, Clarkson, Leuluai, Isa

Replacements: Whitley, Heremaia, Manuokafoa, Joseph

Referee: Joe Cobb