Hull KR edge Wigan 11-10 to win a dramatic Challenge Cup semi-final; Brad Schneider kicks golden point drop goal to win the match; Hull KR will play Leigh in the Betfred Challenge Cup final
Last Updated: 23/07/23 7:48pm
Brad Schneider kicked Hull KR back to Wembley with a dramatic golden point drop goal to sink 12-man Wigan 11-10 at Headingley and seal a Betfred Challenge Cup final against Leigh.
The Australian kicked the winner from 35 metres in Rovers’ first set of the additional period, just nine days after his similar feat had beaten Leeds Rhinos in their Super League clash at the same venue.
Holders Wigan had Joe Shorrocks sent off in the first minute of the second half for a shoulder-barge on Mikey Lewis but Matt Peet’s men still forged a six-point advantage deep into the second period.
Ethan Ryan’s late try, superbly converted from the touchline by Rowan Milnes, led to the spectacular finale which gives Willie Peters’ side the chance to atone for their last visit to Wembley when they were humiliated 50-0 by Leeds in 2015.
Rovers’ success was formed out of apparent adversity after star winger Ryan Hall pulled up in the warm-up, forcing a late reshuffle that brought the returning Lewis on at full-back with Ryan switched to Hall’s position in the wing.
If the loss of Hall was a significant blow for Peters’ men they did not show it as they held up well to early pressure before pouncing to grab the lead from their first attacking set.
Jai Field coughed up an error at the play-the-ball on his own 20 and from the resulting scrum Lewis spread the ball wide right to send Louis Senior cantering over in the corner much to the delight of the near 7,000 Robins fans in attendance.
Rovers, their form revitalised after their dramatic win over Leeds last week, clearly fancied the job but Wigan responded well and Brad O’Neill was held up inches short after attempting to burrow over from dummy half.
Field atoned for his earlier error on the half-hour when he darted through a flat-footed KR rearguard to haul his side level with Harry Smith kicking a difficult conversion from close to the touchline.
Rovers threatened to end an absorbing first period on top after a 40-yard interception from Shaun Kenny-Dowall prompted a series of sets deep in Wigan territory.
But Rovers failed to break through despite a series of repeat sets and proved their own worst enemy on the hooter as an unnecessary ball steal gave Smith the chance to kick his side into an 8-4 interval lead.
Wigan’s own plans were thrown into disarray within a minute of the restart when Shorrocks was handed a straight red by referee Liam Moore for his shoulder charge on Lewis.
But Peet’s men responded well, bundling Ryan into touch then threatening once again in move that led to Kenny-Dowall being sin-binned for obstructing Bevan French, and allowing Smith to kick the resulting penalty to take his side’s lead to six.
Kenny-Dowall’s first contribution upon his return was a brilliant lobbed release inside the Wigan 10 that allowed Matt Purcell to send Ryan over in the corner, Milnes’ cool conversion from the touchline dragging Rovers back level.
Both sides failed to fashion drop-goal opportunities in a frantic final few minutes before Schneider seized the initiative – and the victory – with Rovers’ first set of the extra period.