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Opacic and Evalds tries see Hull KR beat Leigh

Betfred Super League, Craven Park

Hull KR (6) 12

Tries: Opacic, Evalds Goals: Lewis (2)

Leigh (0) 0

Tom Opacic and Niall Evalds scored tries either side of half-time to give Hull KR victory over Leigh Leopards.

Opacic broke the deadlock after 25 minutes in a tight contest at Craven Park with a finish that was confirmed by the video referee.

But it took until the final 10 minutes for the next score of any sort as Evalds finished a slick move after some excellent handling by the hosts.

Ricky Leutele came closest to a try for Leigh but he dropped the ball under pressure when trying to ground the ball.

It was the ninth win of the season for Rovers, who moved up to third in the table.

Leigh stay ninth despite a run of three wins and a draw before this game.

They were denied several times by Hull's last-ditch defence, with Jez Litten tackling Zak Hardaker when about to score before the break and James Batchelor producing another try-saving tackle.

Leigh came very close again later as Leutele was inches from touching down but the video referee confirmed he lost possession under a tackle from Peta Hiku and Jack Broadbent.

The home side took the lead after a quiet opening as Jack Hughes gave away a penalty that allowed Rovers to work in Opacic close to the line and he showed great strength to stay alive and get the ball down for the game’s first try.

Litten's interception then set up a chance for Kelepi Tanginoa but his try was ruled out for a double movement.

But nine minutes from time, Tyrone May made a break and great hands from Jai Whitbread and Matt Parcell put Evalds over to seal the match.

Post-match reaction

Hull KR head coach Willie Peters:

"We put ourselves under pressure at times with some unforced errors but we defended it well.

"We are huge on playing like that in terms of competing and in effort. We've worked hard for a long time to put in a performance like that.

"I'm hugely proud that they executed in terms of defence. In terms of shape, Leigh are one of the best in the competition and we handled that. That's the toughest win of the season so far.

"I think Tom (Opacic) had some big plays and some big moments. He has a new baby, a lot happening in his life, but he handled it well."

Leigh Leopards head coach Adrian Lam:

"The rugby wasn't pretty and the way we got there wasn't great. In the last 15 minutes we lacked some quality to manage the game.

"I thought there were six chances for us to score tries but Hull KR scrambled well.

"The effort was there, I was really proud of that. We had three or four players who played injured... We had a lot of positional changes and I was proud of the way we coped with that.

"I thought KR had two or three chances and they took two of them. I'm sticking by the boys, I think there are good times ahead if we keep up that effort."

Hull KR: Hiku, Evalds, Opacic, Hall, Lewis, Sue, Litten, Hadley, Batchelor, Minchella, Whitbread, May, Barley

Interchanges: King, Parcell, Tanginoa, Luckley

Leigh: Hardaker, Leutele, Charnley, Moylan, Lam, Amone, Ipape, O'Donnell, Hughes, Halton, Trout, Chamberlain, Hanley

Interchanges: Norman, Dwyer, Baxter, McIntosh

Referee: Liam Moore