6th August 2017, 19:24 | Hullkr
Hull KR overcame a major scare to edge Halifax 26-22 in a thrilling Qualifiers Super 8s opener at KCOM Craven Park.
In-form Halifax secured their place in the Qualifiers by beating Kingstone Press Championship leaders Hull KR on the final day of the regular season and Ben Heaton's four tries left them on course for another stunning victory.
But Rovers dug deep to overturn a 22-14 deficit and make a winning start in their bid for an immediate return to Betfred Super League.
As voted by you, today's Man of the Match is... pic.twitter.com/cui53laaV8— Hull Kingston Rovers (@hullkrofficial) August 6, 2017
There was no sign of the drama to come when full-back Kieren Moss crossed twice in the opening seven minutes and Matty Marsh cancelled out Heaton's 10th-minute try to give Rovers a 14-6 lead.
But Heaton completed his hat-trick before the half-hour mark and then went over again in the early stages of the second half to leave Hull KR chasing the match.
George Lawler's converted try made it a two-point game heading into the closing stages and Nick Scruton touched down six minutes from time to deny Fax a famous win.
Hull KR coach Tim Sheens told their website: "It certainly had me on the edge of my seat, and probably everyone here, but the first round of games has been like that for everyone this weekend. All the clubs in this division are going to put up a fight so it’s going to be a tough, tough series.
"Considering we still had a few key people out and some guys who are not long back from lay-offs, I was still pretty happy with the overall effort. They’re a big, strong side with plenty of experience.
"They might not be as quick as us in some positions, but they’ve got a lot of game time behind them. There aren’t too many kids in their team, and they’re directed around well by Murrell. They put a lot of pressure on us, and they challenge you at the end of their sets, which is something we need to do more of."