A second-half collapse destroyed the Huddersfield Giants’ hopes of securing a 14th Super League XVIII triumph and keeping the pressure on leaders Wigan.
The second-placed visitors looked to be in the box seat when they led 22-10 after 23 minutes.
But by the break the Robins had clawed their way back to 22-16 before taking the second period storm to leave the Giants shell shocked, with a late Aaron Murphy try little more than a consolation.
And although coach Paul Anderson may not have liked to admit it, it looked as if the Giants were unable to back-up from Monday night’s home win over St Helens .
Huddersfield kept changes to the side that beat St Helens 25-16 at home to St Helens on Monday night to a minimum.
David Faiumu replaced Larne Patrick on the bench and Michael Lawrence took over at loose-forward from Dale Ferguson, who had a successful loan spell at Rovers earlier in the season and was named among the substitutes.
But the changes didn’t initially have the desired effect, with the Giants quickly falling 10-0 behind as errors and penalties paving the way for tries for Travis Burns and former Giants winger Alex Brown and a Michael Dobson conversion.
Fortunately, that nightmare start didn’t last any longer.
Instead, the Giants finally awoke from their slumber to storm back in spectacular fashion to lead 22-10 by the 23rd minute.
Leroy Cudjoe opened his side’s account by crashing over from close range after collecting Luke Robinson’s short pass.
Danny Brough failed to add the conversion, but made no mistake with his next three efforts.
His first success came from the led touchline after his kick to the corner had been tipped back by Aaron Murphy to Joe Wardle who squeezed in at the corner.
And by the 19th minute the visitors were ahead for the first time when Robinson broke clear from deep inside his own half and fed the supporting Shaun Lunt to finish off.
Then, with Hull KR pressing, Cudjoe intercepted a Dobson pass close to his own line and raced 90m to finish under the posts.
But the home side proved their challenge was far from over when another ex-Giant, Graeme Horne, charged over for a converted try to make it 22-16 at the break.
The Robins also started the second half strongly, with great tackles from Wardle and Grix required to save certain tries during a frantic opening.
But the pressure eventually told in the 57th minute when Burns crashed over from close range for his second and Dobson converted to level the scores.
And within two minutes, Rovers had regained the lead when Burns raced clear and kicked through for Brown to touch down in the corner for Dobson to goal and extended it just three minutes later with a strong close-range converted score from Con Mika.
All of a sudden it was 34-22, and the Giants were facing an uphill task.
A Faiumu centre field break did relieve some of the pressure with 15 minutes remaining and, five minutes later, Brad Dwyer was unlucky not to follow up an Ukuma Ta’ai kick-ahead to touch down.
Another Ta’ai break nearly brought reward shortly after, but it took the visitors until the 75th minute to reduced the deficit when Murphy collected Brough’s kick to touch down in the corner, with the captain adding the touchline goal to make it a six-point ball game.
But within 90 seconds Dobson had slotted over a drop goal to finally seal the Giants’ fate.
The Giants Under 19s got the night off to a positive start with a 34-22 curtain-raiser triumph over Hull KR.
Leeds Rhinos returned to winning ways with a 42-24 victory over West Yorkshire rivals Castleford Tigers at Headingley.
The home side’s tries came from Jimmy Keinhorst, who bagged a hat trick, Thomas Minns, Zak Hardaker Joel Moon and Ian Kirke and skipper Kevin Sinfield added seven goals, while Jordan Tansey (2), Weller Hauraki, and Craig Huby crossed for Castleford with Jamie Ellis kicking four goals
Widnes Vikings were beaten 32-33 at home by leaders Wigan Warriors.
There were tries for Widnes players Patrick Ah Van, who notched a hat trick, Adam Lawton, Frank Winternstein and Rhys Hanbury with three goals from Jack Owens, while Sam Tomkins, Lewis Tierney, Anthony Gelling (2), Scott Taylor and Josh Charnley touched down for Wigan with Charnley adding four goals and Andy Powell a drop goal.