Rugby League

Chris Chester, pictured, expected Josh Mantelatto to miss his late conversion.

Chris Chester admits to having feared the worst after Hull KR's late show

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Hull KR head coach Chris Chester admitted he expected Josh Mantellato to miss the last-gasp touchline conversion which earned his side a 16-16 draw against Castleford.

The Tigers were on the verge of opening their Super League XXI campaign with a hard-fought victory at the KC Lightstream Stadium but Mantellato went over in the corner in the dying seconds before holding his nerve to add the extras in difficult conditions.

"I must admit as soon as we scored I said to Dane Tilse that he (Mantellato) had no chance," Chester said.

"Considering he's only got one eye that's open he did a fantastic job at kicking that goal."

Two-try Mantellato, who picked up the injury after taking a stray boot to the face, was the hero for the Robins but it looked as if Rovers old boy Jake Webster would be the match-winner with a brace of his own.

The home side were forced to come from behind on three occasions - with James Donaldson cancelling out Denny Solomona's try at the end of the first half - and that fighting spirit pleased Chester, who had seen his team beaten heavily by Huddersfield and bitter rivals Hull FC in pre-season.

"I was pleased with the defensive side of the game but we were a long way off where we needed to be with the ball," he said.

"I'm really proud of the resilience and toughness of the boys. From one to 17 the effort was first class."

Castleford lost Michael Shenton to a knee injury in the opening period and Tigers head coach Daryl Powell felt his captain was the victim of foul play by John Boudebza.

"That was a bad tackle," Powell said. "That's got to be out of the game.

"He doesn't look great but we're not certain until he has a scan. "It's disappointing to lose our captain in the first game and he's obviously going to have a period on the sidelines."

Chester commented: "I've had a look at it and I don't there's anything malicious in it. He doesn't dive at the legs and there's no real intent there but I'll have another look at it tomorrow."

It was a frustrating afternoon all round for Castleford and Powell.

"I have to give credit to Hull KR who have copped a load of stick in recent weeks," he said.

"We were just a bit dumb; we had the game. It was pretty tight all the way through in real tough conditions.

"I thought we worked really hard but a couple of brain explosions from some players hurt us. We just kept gifting ball to Hull KR and they were finally able to take advantage of it.

"I thought they deserved it. We dominated the game for large periods but just weren't great, to be honest.

"We need to pick ourselves up and be a fair bit better than that. That was a disappointing effort today."

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Topics:
Hull KR
Rugby League

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