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Page last updated at 20:49 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 21:49 UK

Wigan 12-20 Hull KR

Wigan (6) 12
Tries: O'Loughlin 2 Goals: Richards 2
Hull KR (6) 20
Tries: Dobson, Cooke, Webster Goals: Dobson 4

Hull KR's Michael Dobson
Dobson was in fine form with the boot for Hull KR

Hull KR moved to the top of the Super League table with a hard-earned victory over in-form Wigan at the JJB Stadium.

Michael Dobson was the hero for the Robins, claiming 12 of his side's 20 points in difficult conditions.

Sean O'Loughlin's early try gave Wigan the lead before Dobson controversially levelled for the visitors after the half-time hooter had sounded.

O'Loughlin's second put Wigan ahead but tries from Paul Cooke and Jake Webster and sound defence sealed the win.

Both teams came into the game with an encouraging run of form behind them, but it was the Robins - who only returned to the top flight in 2007 - who held their nerve to move to the summit of the Super League table.

Heavy rain caused problems for both sides, but Wigan opened the scoring after six minutes when Tim Smith's accurate pass sent O'Loughlin into a gaping hole before beating Shaun Briscoe to cross the line.

A tight opening 40 minutes looked to be over with Hull KR scoreless, but they grabbed a vital try in unusual circumstances.

Daniel Fitzhenry was held in a tackle just short of the Wigan tryline as the hooter went, but referee Richard Silverwood allowed play to continue and Dobson forced his way over at the next play to the anger of the home fans.

Polly Tunnel

Wigan regained the lead almost straight after the restart after Jason Netherton lost the ball before Thomas Leuluai jinked through and put O'Loughlin in for his second try.

But instead of crumbling, Hull KR used the blow as a spur with a superb attacking spell yielding two tries in six minutes.

Smith's attempted clearance kick was charged down and Cooke capitalised by dribbling ahead before picking up and scoring.

Webster put the Robins ahead for the first time after 56 minutes when he went round the outside of his opposite man George Carmont.

But Wigan turned on the pressure and Hull KR had to defend with everything they had before a Dobson 40-20 kick relieved the pressure.

Dobson and Cooke were both unsuccessful with drop-goal attempts but a late penalty from Dobson ensured his side went to the top of the table.

Hull KR coach Justin Morgan:

"It doesn't matter where we are in the table, we just need to keep going. At the moment our concentration levels are good and we are learning how to win games without being great.

"Previously we had to be close to our best and execute almost perfectly to win but we've developed a willingness to grind games out when things aren't going well for us.

"We had to battle exceptionally hard. The conditions were not conducive for great rugby league and there were lots of mistakes from both teams.

"Defensively we were very good, especially on our own line. We had to defend huge amounts of minutes but we came up with a spirited effort.

"I asked for that and certainly got it. The guts and determination we showed defensively was first class."

Wigan coach Brian Noble:

"The boys are desperately disappointed because it was a tough game - there are stitches for all to see.

"We defended really well but we couldn't get over the line enough.

"I thought the effort was magnificent. We just lacked a bit of composure at their end of the field. I don't think there was much between the two teams."

Wigan: Phelps, Roberts, Gleeson, Carmont, Richards, Smith, Leuluai, Fielden, McIlorum, Coley, Hock, Bailey, O'Loughlin. Replacements: Riddell, Paleaaesina, J. Tomkins, Prescott.

Hull K R: Briscoe, Fox, Webster, Welham, Colbon, Cooke, Dobson, Wheeldon, Fisher, Newton, Gene, Galea, Murrell. Replacements: Aizue, Netherton, Fitzhenry, Fozzard.

Referee: R Silverwood (Dewsbury)

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see also
Wigan 38-18 St Helens
02 May 09 |  Rugby League
Warrington 28-36 Hull KR
03 May 09 |  Rugby League

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