Mantellato inspires Hull KR to cup final

Australian star Josh Mantellato contributed 14 points as Hull KR held off a stirring Warrington Wolves comeback to book their place in a first Challenge Cup final for 29 years.

Warrington flew out of the blocks with Ryan Atkins touching down two minutes in but Australian duo Mantellato and Ken Sio turned the tables before half-time.

After the break, Kevin Larroyer extended Hull’s lead before Richie Myler and Ben Currie narrowed the gap to two points but Shaun Lunt’s late score sealed a 26-18 victory.

They will face Leeds Rhinos at Wembley on August 29 as they seek a first Challenge Cup triumph since 1980, when they beat arch-rivals Hull FC.

Influential Warrington second-rower Ben Westwood missed out through suspension but that didn’t stop the Wolves, who have won three of the last six Challenge Cups, getting off to a perfect start.

Hull KR booted the kick-off out on the full and were punished as a slick left-to-right move ended with Atkins crossing the whitewash – Gareth O’Brien adding the extras for a 6-0 lead.

Warrington continued to press as they sought to extend their early advantage, with Currie going close, but against the run of play Hull found a way back into the match on 24 minutes.

A well-worked move down the left was finished off spectacularly by Mantellato and although his conversion hit the post, a second Rovers try soon followed.

Sio continued his superb season as he rose above Gene Ormsby to catch a perfectly weighted Albert Kelly kick and dot down before Mantellato slotted the touchline conversion.

A Mantellato penalty four minutes before the break gave Hull a 12-6 half-time lead.

Rovers’ dominance continued after the interval as French powerhouse Larroyer bashed his way over the line following an attacking scrum and Mantellato’s successful conversion gave them a two-score advantage.

The former Newcastle Knight then made it 20-6 with a 53rd-minute penalty but Myler’s jinking run soon after ended with him stretching out over the line and narrowing the gap to eight.

Joel Monaghan thought he had cut the deficit further on the hour mark but the video referee adjudged that the Australian lost control of the ball in attempting to touch down.

With time running out for Warrington, they became increasingly desperate and with a little over ten minutes remaining Myler’s delayed pass freed Currie to slide over.

A frantic finale ensued as the Wolves chased the score that would see them into the final but instead Lunt evaded numerous tacklers with four minutes left to dot down and send Hull fans into raptures.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!