Eleven months after their relegation, Hull KR have secured a return to the Super League with two Super 8s games to spare thanks to a 12-6 victory over Widnes.

The result came in coach Tim Sheens’ 700th match and he is delighted having stepped down from his job in Australia to resume his career in England.

After the game Sheens said, “I didn’t realise it was my 700th game. Obviously it’s a game that I’ll remember, that’s for sure. In context, it’s as good as anything, it’s what you’re doing at the time. I was employed to get the team back into Super League and we’ve done it today. I suppose it’s one job done. We’ll enjoy the moment.”

Hull KR fell behind to a try from Widnes loose forward Hep Cahill but they drew level at half time thanks to a score from centre Thomas Minns and then secured victory with an 80-metre interception try from winger Ryan Shaw 11 minutes before time.

It means that the Rovers have a 100% record in the Qualifiers but Sheens still says that their form has been inconsistent, “It’s been by the skin of our teeth,” he said. “It’s not all been pretty but when you get to the semi-finals, and this is what they are, you just need to get across the line. There’s been some grit and desperation.”

Following the game Widnes coach Denis Betts also praised Hull’s tenacity, “It’s hard to take,” Betts said. “It is what it is. We couldn’t take our chances when we created them. I thought we had the better of the game and did enough to win it but you’ve got to give credit where it’s due. They didn’t want to give in. That’s the best I’ve seen them play this year. They had tenacity and desire not to lose the game.”