A tremendous game of rugby played in great spirit, saw Hull gain a good lead only to be overtaken in the second half by the visitors. With Hull reduced to 14 men and the clock ticking down, they manged a last herculean effort to gain a foothold in the Rotherham half and score a last minute try to win then game and extend their advantage at the top of National 2 North to 12 points.
Rotherham started well and had plenty of possession in the first 20 minutes and as early as the 11th minute, Rotherham had a golden opportunity to score when they created room in Hull’s ’22’, but a dropped pass saw the chance go begging .
Rotherham had spurned a couple of penalty chances in favour of line outs and catch and drive attempts, but had not yet troubled the scoreboard. It was after 24 minutes that Hull aided by an error by the visitors found themselves in possession in their opponents half and a kick through bounced of the legs of a Rotherham player and was kicked forward by Hull’s fullback Reece Dean who was able to control the ball the to score an unconverted try to see Hull lead 5-0.
Hull then started to gain the upper hand with their forwards driving at the Rotherham line. A series of scrums, in which Hull dominated, saw the home side end that sequence of play with a penalty try conceded and a yellow card for Rotherham prop Rikki Stout after 33 minutes.
Rotherham had opportunities to capitalise on a late lineout near the Hull line, but Hull held out to go in at half time 12-0 in front.
The second period began well for Hull when off half Simon Humberstone kicked a penalty in the 48th minute to see Hull well ahead at 15-0. Hull were dominating the scrums and seemed in control, but Rotherham had other ideas.
A penalty goal by their full-back Matt Minogue after 45 minutes was followed by a period of sustained pressure by the visitors. A try by their substitute Tomos Richardson put Rotherham right back in the game after 57 minutes and when Minogue slotted over the conversion it was Rotherham who were in the ascendancy only five points adrift.
Worse was to come for Hull as Rotherham continued to press and a penalty try after 69 minutes saw the visitors leading for the first time 17-15 and with Hull having had forward Ben Bootham yellow carded, it may have seemed Hull’s winning run was coming to an end.
With the final whistle approaching, Hull made the most of some possession and after a lineout deep in Rotherham’s ’22’ the forwards drove on and when the ball was released full-back Dean Reece had the vision to see winger Mike Adlard in space on the left. His precision crossfield kick was gathered by Adlard who raced over for the decisive score seeing Hull ahead 20-17. Rotherham had only a minute to stage a comeback and it was Hull, who prevailed in a dramatic and close game as befitted the top two sides in the division.