Hull KR produced a superb fightback as they avenged their Challenge Cup defeat to Castleford Tigers with a 26-22 win in West Yorkshire.
In the first game back in front of fans, Rovers went 14-0 behind but rallied brilliantly to make it three wins in four Super League games.
KR reporter James O’Brien delivers the verdict from the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
May 17 will go down in history as the day rugby league got its soul back.
While the players deserve immense credit for the way they acquitted themselves, behind closed doors rugby is a pale imitation of the real thing.
The coronavirus era has brought the sport and its supporters closer together and they enjoyed an emotional reunion across five Super League venues on Monday night.
At the Jungle, 14 months of pain, suffering and frustration poured out of a crowd of 3,600 fans as the players were greeted by a roar that brought back forgotten emotions.
The result was almost secondary, but not quite.
Rovers had a job to do backed by a small army of travelling fans and they did it in dramatic fashion in another thriller between these two sides.
KR started slowly but warmed to the task and eventually overpowered a strong Castleford outfit thanks to a huge team effort to claim a win that should put any relegation talk to bed.
It was the third meeting this season and the teams picked up where they left off at Craven Park last month.
Rovers should have scored inside the opening minute after a break down the left wing by Ryan Hall, only for Jordan Abdull to throw a poor offload as he was hauled down.
The Tigers went straight down the other end and opened the scoring through James Clare with KR’s right edge all over the place to continue a worrying trend.
George Lawler was held up over the line on the last tackle as Rovers went on to dominate the opening exchanges but Castleford weathered the storm and extended their lead.
The Tigers looked like scoring every time they went left with the Robins having serious numbering issues, Michael Shenton the beneficiary this time from another Niall Evalds pass.
Danny Richardson nailed his touchline conversion and then knocked over a penalty from in front of the sticks after KR were caught offside to make it 14-0 on 20 minutes.
Rovers quickly got back on the front and got back in it when Brad Takairangi gave Ben Crooks a walk-in try after Derrell Olpherts had prevented Adam Quinlan from sending Hall over on the left edge.
Abdull was on target from out wide to reduce the deficit to eight points but Tony Smith’s side suffered a blow when George King went off injured.
The Robins overcame that disappointment to score their second try, Matt Parcell touching down after scooping up a messy offload by Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
Abdull made it 14-12 with a superb touchline conversion but Olpherts went over on the stroke of half-time on the back of a period of Castleford pressure.
Rovers needed to make a fast start after the interval and they did just that.
KR got their reward when Quinlan put Hall over for his seventh try of the season with a lovely flick pass.
Abdull was wide from the touchline but Rovers were soon level thanks to two big plays from Takairangi.
First the centre dislodged the ball from Paul McShane with a huge shot and then provided the final pass to give Crooks the chance to finish spectacularly in the corner.
Abdull missed another difficult kick and Castleford edged back ahead when Jake Trueman bought his side a penalty with a theatrical dive and Richardson did the rest.
Rovers knocked the door down in the closing stages and it eventually came off its hinges when they found space out wide on the left and Abdull went himself to cap another influential performance.
The half-back nailed the touchline conversion but KR had to defend for their lives in the dying seconds after the officials failed to spot a blatant knock-on from the kick-off.
Rovers scrambled in a frenetic conclusion with Korbin Sims taking one for the team by laying on for an eternity and seeing yellow.
The Robins held firm amid the chaos and there were jubilant scenes in front of the small band of travelling supporters at full-time.
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There were huge performances across the park but Abdull kept his cool in the closing stages to score the match-winning try.
Good day – Adam Quinlan
The full-back struggled for form in the early part of the season but had a much bigger influence at the Jungle, laying on a try for Hall with a bit of magic.
Bad day – George King
The prop was strong in the opening exchanges but looked in real discomfort as he left the field later in the first half.
Rovers are back in action on Sunday when they return to West Yorkshire for a date with Wakefield Trinity and will make the trip in high spirits.
Castleford: Niall Evalds, Derrell Olpherts, Peter Mata’utia, Michael Shenton, James Clare, Jake Trueman, Danny Richardson, George Griffin, Adam Milner, Nathan Massey, Oliver Homles, Jordan Turner, Brad Martin.
Bench: Paul McShane, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Daniel Smith, Lewis Peachey.
Hull KR: Adam Quinlan, Ben Crooks, Brad Takairangi, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Ryan Hall, Jordan Abdull, Rowan Milnes, George Lawler, Matt Parcell, George King, Luis Johnson, Kane Linnett, Dean Hadley.
Bench: Korbin Sims, Jez Litten, Matty Storton, Will Maher.