Saints overcome Rovers despite scare

Hull Kingston Rovers faced a tough battle to move off the bottom of the table as they faced St Helens at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in this round nine battle.

It took the Saints less than five minutes to open the scoring as James Roby dropped the ball back inside for Alex Walmsley to run back against the Rovers defenders at the ruck and score.

In the 12th minute, Lachlan Coote made a break down the middle of the park and looked for a support runner.

He should have passed inside but instead looped a pass out to Regan Grace and the play came to a halt.

They did manage to get a second try just a few minutes later though as an error from Shaun Kenny-Dowall found Roby and in the next tackle, Jonny Lomax whipped a 25 metre pass out to Jack Welsby on the right-wing to run over and score.

In the 24th minute, Adam Quinlan appeared to pull a try back for the Rovers as he joined the attacking line and attacked the outside shoulder of Matty Costello, put the ball into his left hand, and stretched over with his feet inches from the touchline.

After video review, the try was confirmed and the full-back had score a superb solo effort.

At the end of the Rovers very next set, Ellis kicked towards the corner of Regan Grace, who failed to claim the ball under pressure from Ethan Ryan and the Hull KR winger jumped on the loose ball and picked up their second.

Theo Fages limped off after being tackled slightly late, which meant Jame Roby shifted into the halves with Aaron Smith being brought on.

Since this, the Rovers took control of the game and nearly scored again but Kenny-Dowall’s pass out to Ryan didn’t quite hit his man.

The Rovers managed to hold on in defence and even managed to win a penalty after a high tackle in the final seconds and Ellis converted to level the scores are the break.

HALF-TIME: Hull Kingston Rovers 12-12 St Helens

The Saints started the bright after some handling errors but the home side held on before working their own way up to the 10-metre line.

Ryan Brierley picked up a bad looking ankle injury just five minutes in, but seemed to run it off after a bit of a break in play.

The game swung back the way of the Saints in the 48th minute as the ball was shifted to the right-edge for Kevin Naiqama, who stepped back inside and ran under the posts to score.

Neither side to keep hold of the ball after multiple knock-ons in midfield, as they game turned sloppy.

Things went downhill for the Robins as Quinlan left the field after trapping his wrist underneath a St Helens player.

The Saints were showing their champion quality at the game ticked towards the hour, as Aaron Smith stepped out from dummy-half, dummied to Walmsley and run burrowed over for his own try to put the visitors 10-points ahead.

Welsby crossed for his second in the very next set, as James Graham combined with Lomax and Roby to make space on the outside for the young back to outpace Minikin and score.

The Saints were pushing for a sixth try towards the 70th-minute mark, but Ellis did enough to clean up Smiths kick.

Just a few minutes later though, it was Matt Parcell who crossed for Rovers as he ran the ball from dummy-half and stepped past two Saints defenders to close the gap and keep the home side in the game.

With 12-points the gap between the two sides, the next points were vital and after Rovers was penalised for a high tackle on Matty Lees, Coote added the extras to push Saints three scores ahead once again.

FULL-TIME: Hull Kingston Rovers 18-32 St Helens


Hull Kingston Rovers

Quinlan, Ryan, Kenny-Dowall, Linnett, Minikin, Brierley, Ellis, Peteru, Parcell, Lawler, Gee, Storton, Hauraki

Interchanges: Hadley, Murray, Mulhern, Maher

Tries: Quinlan, Ryan, Parcell

Goals: Ellis (3/4)

St Helens

Coote, Welsby, Naiqama, Costello, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Taia, Bentley, Graham

Interchanges: Peyroux, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Amor, Smith

Tries: Walmsley, Welsby (2), Naiqama, Smith

Goals: Coote (5/5)

Referee: S. Mikalauskas

Touch Judges: R. Hicks, G. Jones

Video Referee: T. Grant


Image Source: @Saints1890 (twitter)

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