Hull KR coach Tony Smith has praised captain and former NRL star Shaun Kenny-Dowall after he led his side to a Super League double over fellow play-off contenders Wigan with a 26-14 win at Craven Park.
Rovers led 16-14 at the break but kept the Warriors scoreless for the whole of the second half as Kenny-Dowall helped the home side to an important win in their battle for a place in the top six.
Kenny-Dowall suffered a foot injury in the first half but the centre came back on after the break to inspire his side to victory.
Wigan also suffered a blow before the break when hooker Sam Powell went off injured but he did not return to the game and it showed as Rovers claimed the spoils.
Smith said of former Sydney Roosters and Newcastle star Kenny-Dowall: “Honestly, unreal. He epitomises what a captain should do and we've tipped our hat to him.
“He's done some damage to the arch of his foot. Our physio mentioned to him just before half-time that he could quickly numb it and get him back out. He went, 'Numb it for me so I can go back out'.
“It wasn't just the courage that he showed and the toughness, it was the quality of what he did when he went back on to lead the way for us.
“He epitomised what we're about. Hats off to him. I thought he was tremendous there tonight.”
Rovers scored tries through Albert Vete, Rowan Milnes, Ethan Ryan, Kane Linnett and Jez Litten, with Ben Crooks adding six points with the boot.
Liam Marshall claimed two tries for Wigan and Jake Bibby added the third but Harry Smith could only convert one on a poor night for Adrian Lam's side.
Wigan remain fourth in the table on win percentage but the emphatic nature of the victory by Rovers was more evidence of their growing play-off potential as they stretched further ahead of city rivals Hull FC who occupy sixth.
Meanwhile there were no favours from father to son as Catalans Dragons claimed a 31-16 win over Hull FC.
Catalans coach Steve McNamara came up against son Ben – in the halves for Hull – for the first time, but family allegiances were set aside as the Dragons strengthened their grip on top spot.
On-field temperatures of 38 degrees proved challenging for Hull's makeshift young side, but they stood their ground for the first 40 minutes and led 14-10 at half-time.
The younger McNamara threatened an upset with his accurate goal-kicking and composure with the ball, but a second-half comeback by the Dragons ruined his chances of claiming the family bragging rights.
Former Penrith Panther James Maloney kicked five goals for Catalans.Internet Explorer Channel Network