Challenge Cup: Warrington Wolves 18-26 Hull KR

By Ged ScottBBC Sport
Highlights: Warrington 18-26 Hull KR
Challenge Cup semi-final
Warrington Wolves (6) 18
Tries: Atkins, Myler, Currie Goals: O'Brien 3
Hull KR (12) 26
Tries: Mantellato, Sio, Larroyer, Lunt Goals: Mantellato 5

Hull KR caused one of the upsets of the season as they beat Warrington in the Challenge Cup semi-final at Headingley.

After trailing to Ryan Atkins' second-minute converted try, Rovers kept their heads to book an all-Yorkshire final with holders Leeds on 29 August.

Josh Mantellato, who kicked five goals, Ken Sio, Kevin Larroyer and Shaun Lunt got their tries. Richie Myler and Ben Currie scored Wire's other tries.

Rovers' win booked their first Wembley Challenge Cup final trip in 29 years.

Challenge Cup final experience
Leeds: 12 wins from 24 finals - seven times winners at Wembley
Hull KR: One win from six finals, four of which have been at Wembley

Other than for a Challenge Cup Plate appearance in 1996, they have not been to Wembley since losing 15-14 to Castleford in 1986.

And, although they now face a Leeds side who have won the Challenge Cup 12 times, Hull KR have a chance to add to their only previous victory when they beat city rivals Hull 10-5 in 1980.

Warrington got off to a flying start when Atkins' second-minute try was turned into a 6-0 lead by Gareth O'Brien's goal from close to the left touchline.

Ken Sio scored Rovers' third try at Headingley
Winger Ken Sio scored Rovers' third try at Headingley - the 18th of his first season in Super League

Wire were aiming to play Leeds in the Wembley final for a third time in six seasons but, once Rovers had rallied from the shock of conceding that early try, they stunned the Wolves with two tries in three minutes.

A slick passing movement got Mantellato in at the left corner and, after he had converted his own kick, Sio then beat Gene Ormsby to collect Albert Kelly's cute up-and-under to go in at the right corner.

Mantellato again converted for a 12-6 half-time lead, before adding two more goals, first to convert forward Larroyer's 47th-minute try, then with a penalty that put the Robins 20-6 in front.

Ryan Atkins' second-minute try got Wire off to a great start at Headingley - but they were pegged back
Ryan Atkins' second-minute try got Wire off to a great start at Headingley - but they were pegged back

Warrington, who finished four places above Rovers in sixth when the regular Super League season ended a week ago, pulled it back to 20-18 with tries from Myler and Currie, who had been moved into the backs when Wire lost winger Gene Ormsby with a broken jaw.

Both were converted by O'Brien to set up a rousing final 12 minutes. But it was Rovers who got the last score, when Warrington failed to stop Lunt in the tackle and the hooker craftily wriggled his way to the line, Mantellato converting to take his individual tally to 14 points.

Rovers ended the league season with four straight defeats and must now battle to retain their top-flight status in the Super 8s. But that will be of little immediate concern to their army of fans as they now prepare for Wembley.

Hull KR coach Chris Chester:

"I'm really proud of the boys' efforts, especially towards the end. It was backs to the wall but they found a way to win.

"People have written us off all year but there is still a lot of confidence and belief in this group and we now want to go one further.

"I got a bit emotional in the dressing room, it means a lot to a lot of people. They're the best team in the competition but we've proved in one-off games this year we can beat anybody."

Chester going to Wembley
Chris Chester is in his first full season as Hull KR coach, having stepped up from his role of assistant when Australian Craig Sandercock was sacked just over 12 months ago.

Hull KR chairman Neil Hudgell:

"It's been a long time coming and I'm pleased for the supporters because I'm one of them and I know about the pain.

"The person I'm most pleased for is Chris. It's a goldfish bowl and it's very easy for the pressure to crank up. It's a monumental achievement for Chris.

"But no one remembers a beaten finalist so we've got to up our game and try to make some history for the club."

Warrington coach Tony Smith:

"We got off to a good start and then lost some control. We lost the tempo of the game which became stop-start and it suited Hull KR.

"We didn't make the adjustments when the game was so slow. They played to the situation and deserved to win.

"We didn't play as well as we needed to. We made some hard work of our defence. We leaked a couple of softies."

Warrington: Ratchford; Ormsby, Wheeler, Atkins, Monaghan; O'Brien, Myler; Hill, Clark, Sims, Wilde, Currie, Harrison.

Replacements: Dwyer, Asotasi, Philbin, England.

Hull KR: Dixon; Mantellato, Welham, Salter, Sio; Blair, Kelly; Walker, Lunt, Puletua, Larroyer, Horne, McCarthy.

Replacements: Boudebza, Donaldson, Green, Tilse.

Attendance: 13,049.

Referee: Richard Silverwood.