Hull Kingston Rovers survived a scare to edge Halifax in a thrilling Super 8s Qualifiers opener. Ben Heaton put Halifax in command with four tries but Hull KR turned around a 22-14 deficit to make a winning start in Dave Henderson Authentic Jersey their bid for an immediate return to Super League. The result may not rank as a shock, with the side who were third in the Championship beaten by the team who finished top, but the difference between the two clubs is stark. Hull KR are a full-time side and are guided by Australia’s 2013 World Cup-winning coach Tim Sheens. Halifax, on the other hand, are part-time, train twice a week at a college in the West Yorkshire town and have a wage budget around a fifth of their East Riding rivals. Yet here Halifax pushed the promotion favourites every step of the way until a late try from the prop Nick Scruton – one of many players in this Hull KR side with Super League experience – spared the hosts’ blushes to seal a vital win before a trip to the Super League side Leigh on Saturday. “At home we need to win the four games we’ve got – it’s a fair start in that regard,” Sheens said. A top-three place is the goal for Rovers to avoid the drama of the Million Pound Game, the sudden-death match to determine the 12th and final place in Super League next year in which they were relegated in 12 months ago. To that end, four more victories in their final six games will probably be enough from here to secure an instant return to the top flight. It looked as if it would be a comfortable afternoon for the hosts when they led 8-0 after six minutes courtesy of two Kieren Moss tries but Halifax, who defeated the Robins as recently as a fortnight ago, responded superbly. This was a strong piece of evidence for those who argue the Qualifiers are fast becoming a real highlight of the rugby league season. Often unpredictable and an opportunity for the sport’s part-time sides J.T. Miller Womens Jersey to showcase their credentials while receiving a significant financial boost, this tie had Halifax ahead 16-14 at half-time following a first-half hat-trick from Heaton. Advertisement It seemed inevitable Hull KR would go back in front but when Heaton scored his fourth try following an error from the Rovers wing Justin Carney their eight-point advantage began to seriously threaten a major upset. As spirited as they were in attack, Halifax’s defensive efforts were even more commendable, but after four successive sets on their own line the pressure told in the final quarter when George Lawler touched down to reduce the gap to just two points. Suddenly, it was the hosts on the front foot and Scruton touched down to seal a vital, albeit nerve-jangling, victory. “The win is all you want,” Sheens insisted afterwards. In that regard the Australian is right. But how things could have been so different here. Hull KR Moss; Carney, Minns, Heffernan, Shaw; Marsh, Ellis; Scruton, Lunt, Jewitt, Blair, Addy, Kavanagh. Interchange Masoe, Lawler, Mulhern, Atkin. Tries Moss 2, Marsh, Lawler, Scruton. Goals Ellis 3. Halifax Sharp; Heaton, Barber, Tyrer, Worrincy; Murrell, Johnston; Mammome, Moore, Boyle, Grade, Cahalane, Grix. Interchange Kaye, Morris, Sio, DouglasOn America’s team, let’s not choose to be against one another. Let’s choose to be for one another,” he said. “My great-great-great grandfather had no choice. We have one. I pray we dedicate ourselves to be the best team we can be, working and living together, representing the highest ideals of mankind, leading the way for all nations to follow.” Tomlinson, who runs a foundation set up to promote education and cultural awareness, received several standing ovations during his speech. “One of the most eloquent orators of all time said it best in his farewell address,” he said. “Paraphrasing and humbly building upon what President Obama said, we all have to try harder, show up, dive in and stay at it. I am asking you to believe in your ability to bring about change. To hold fast in the idea whispered by slaves. ‘Yes, we can.’” The other inductees on Saturday night were running back Terrell Davis; quarterback Kurt Warner; defensive end Jason Taylor; kicker Morten Andersen; and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones