Super League: Wigan Warriors drop-goal edges out Hull Kingston Rovers 19-18
|Betfred Super League|
|Hull KR (6) 18|
|Tries: Keinhorst, Dagger, Lannon Goals: Shaw 3|
|Wigan (14) 19|
|Tries: Williams, Sarginson, Burgess, Marshall Goals: Hardaker Drop-goal: Powell|
Sam Powell's late drop-goal ensured a losing start for Hull KR boss Tony Smith, as Wigan edged to a 19-18 win in Super League at Craven Park.
Wigan outscored the hosts by four tries to three but, with regular kicker Zak Hardaker withdrawn, George Williams missed with three attempts.
That gave Rovers hope, while there is concern for Smith after a serious head injury forced Kane Linnett off injured.
They had a chance to level it but Josh Drinkwater's drop-goal sailed wide.
London's impressive home win against leaders St Helens means Rovers are only off the foot of the table on points difference, as both sides sit on 10 points.
Wigan are eighth, four points clear of Rovers and London.
Rovers fans might have hoped for a new coach bounce on the back Smith's appointment, but what was evident is some of the work the former Great Britain and England boss has to do at Craven Park.
The same issues which led to Tim Sheens's departure this week were again prevalent, notably as without playmaker Danny McGuire in the halves the Robins lacked creativity.
Jimmy Keinhorst's first-half try was a length-of-the-field intercept, and it was not until Will Dagger and Ryan Lannon scored after half-time that they opened Wigan up.
Mistakes proved costly, as Chris Atkin kicked out on the full and Wigan punished by scoring a try on the back of the error.
Adrian Lam's Warriors, also down at the wrong end of the table, were not at their ruthless best but found joy out wide for their four scores from George Williams, Dan Sarginson, Joe Burgess and Liam Marshall.
Hull KR head coach Tony Smith told BBC Radio Humberside:
"Kane Linnett is ok we think, pretty good, he's gone to hospital as a precaution, we were little worried about his neck but he's functioning all good now.
"The doctor has gone with him but she told me everything should be fine.
"It was close. There's lots to learn from it, we can impreove in a number of areas but all I wanted to gauge today was effort and it was great.
"We had an opportunity to turn over Wigan, the difference was a 45-metre drop goal. It was a fantastic kick. We had a try disallowed and it would have been interesting to have had a video referee.
"It's a tough call for the referee. That's how close it was."
Wigan head coach Adrian Lam told BBC Radio Manchester:
"We had a good chat in the dressing room we got the job done and it was really ugly
We played some good rugby but we put pressure on ourselves making silly errors. I was happy with the effort in defence, we had a couple of messy tries come through which we couldn't do much about.
"Overall, in the end I'm satisfied. We scored an extra try but missed three goals, we played it safe by taking Zak Hardaker off, but we could have put it to bed at the end of the second-half."
Hull KR: Hall; Crooks, Keinhorst, Linnett, Shaw; Drinkwater, Dagger; Harrison, Addy, Masoe, Tomkins, Hauraki, Lawler
Interchanges: Atkin, Maria, Lannon, Mulhern
Wigan (from): Hardaker; Marshall, Sarginson, Gildart, Burgess; Williams, Leuluai; Flower, Powell, Clubb, Isa, Farrell, O'Loughlin
Interchanges: Bullock, Shorrocks, Smithies, Tautai
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas