Official Match Report
Josh Mantellato converted his own try with the last kick of the game from the touchline as Hull KR snatched a 16-16 draw against Castleford Tigers.
The Tigers looked set to open their campaign with a hard-fought victory after two tries from Rovers old boy Jake Webster but Mantellato went over in the corner before holding his nerve to earn the hosts a point.
The sides had a try apiece to show for their efforts at the end of a physical first half in which Mitch Allgood and Lee Jewitt were both sin-binned for fighting.
Denny Solomona's individual try got Castleford's season up and running but Hull KR went into the break on level terms courtesy of James Donaldson's powerful effort.
Webster, a first-half replacement for the injured Michael Shenton, scored twice either side of Mantellato's smart finish to put the Tigers in control until the Australian winger's late show denied them.
On Mantellato's late heroics, Hull KR head coach Chris Chester said: "I must admit as soon as we scored I said to Dane Tilse that he (Mantellato) had no chance. Considering he's only got one eye that's open he did a fantastic job at kicking that goal."
Chester added: "I was pleased with the defensive side of the game but we were a long way off where we needed to be with the ball. I'm really proud of the resilience and toughness of the boys. From one to 17 the effort was first class."
Castleford lost Shenton to a knee injury in the opening period and Tigers head coach Daryl Powell felt his captain was the victim of foul play by John Boudebza.
"That was a bad tackle," Powell said. "That's got to be out of the game. He doesn't look great but we're not certain until he has a scan. It's disappointing to lose our captain in the first game and he's obviously going to have a period on the sidelines.
Powell added: "I thought we worked really hard but a couple of brain explosions from some players hurt us. We just kept gifting ball to Hull KR and they were finally able to take advantage of it.
"I thought they deserved it. We dominated the game for large periods but just weren't great, to be honest. We need to pick ourselves up and be a fair bit better than that. That was a disappointing effort today."
A few more shots from the opening game at the KC Lightstream stadium... pic.twitter.com/CL9udCZuU6— Hull Kingston Rovers (@hullkr_online) February 7, 2016
|78||goal||Goal scored for Hull K R by Josh Mantellato||16-16|
|78||try||Try scored for Hull K R by Josh Mantellato||16-14|
|62||try||Try scored for Castleford by Jake Webster||16-10|
|57||try||Try scored for Hull K R by Josh Mantellato||12-10|
|49||try||Try scored for Castleford by Jake Webster||10-10|
|49||goal||Goal scored for Castleford by Luke Gale||10-8|
|39||goal||Goal scored for Hull K R by Josh Mantellato||10-4|
|39||try||Try scored for Hull K R by James Donaldson||6-4|
|17||try||Try scored for Castleford by Denny Solomona||6-0|
|17||goal||Goal scored for Castleford by Luke Gale||2-0|