Three tries in seven second-half minutes proved crucial as Challenge Cup finalists Hull FC leapfrogged city rivals Hull KR in the Super League table.
A penalty try for Kirk Yeaman and further touchdowns from Jamie Shaul and Joe Arundel helped the visitors turn the match around and emerge triumphant in the derby at MS3 Craven Park.
It was Hull's third successive win and a third straight defeat for the Robins.
Rovers' hopes were dealt a blow before a ball had been kicked with second-rower Rhys Lovegrove withdrawing from the team with an arm injury. His place went to George Griffin, who had missed Rovers' last 10 matches.
Josh Hodgson and Yeaman were sin-binned for their part in a brawl before the deadlock was broken by the hosts in the 21st minute when Greg Eden sent Liam Salter over for the try after juggling the ball at the second attempt.
It was just reward for Salter, whose hit on Danny Tickle handed Rovers possession near the halfway line. Michael Dobson added the extras for a 6-0 lead.
Dave Hodgson was yellow-carded for Rovers for deliberately keeping Tom Lineham on the ground following a tackle, and with the extra man advantage the visitors levelled as Jacob Miller stretched out to score after good work coming across the pitch by Arundel, with Tickle adding the extras.
Dobson opted to slot a penalty to give the hosts an 8-6 half-time lead.
Hull took the lead for the first time in the match when video referee Ian Smith ruled that Yeaman would have scored had Travis Burns not impeded him. Tickle added the extras, and they edged even closer to victory when Richard Whiting intercepted Craig Hall's pass, raced downfield and let speed merchant Shaul do the rest.
The game was taken away completely from Rovers straight from the kick-off as Holdsworth won possession from the restart and his brilliant offload sent Arundel away for another long-range try. Tickle converted in front of the posts to make it 24-8 with 20 minutes remaining.
The hosts responded with a try from Adam Walker, which Dobson converted but the sting was taken out of their recovery effort when Whiting scored in the right-hand corner. Rovers fans claimed there was a forward pass in to Whiting from Holdsworth, but the try stood and again Tickle converted.
Rovers were not going down without a fight and Evarn Tuimavave crashed over, but Tom Briscoe added another Hull try, grounding Danny Houghton's kick with four minutes left to play, and Tickle added a late penalty to seal the win.