Late Saints Beat KR

A FANTASTIC try from Tony Puletua handed Saints a late 34-28 over Hull KR at Langtree Park on Friday.

He finished off a tumultuous Francis Meli run to finally end a dramatic comeback from the visitors – and lift his side to third in the Stobart Super League table.

Before then, Rovers had wiped out a 26-0 deficit.

Doubles for Paul Wellens and Josh Jones, plus Jonny Lomax’ 13th of the season had a jaded Hull KR searching for answers.

But they found them with three tries in the final 10 minutes of the half to rock Saints on their heels.

In the second half, Scott Taylor grabbed his second to make it game on before Blake Green forged the Robins ahead.

But Anthony Laffranchi took advantage of a quick play the ball to rip the lead back once again.

And it was left to TP – who was simply class throughout – to seal a dramatic victory.

Saints kept faith with the majority of the players that beat Salford – Lance Hohaia missing out through injury and being replaced by Lee Gaskell. Josh Perry also returned after missing the win in Manchester.

But it was the magic of the Jonny Lomax that got the home side on the board; skipping through on the last tackle after just six minutes.

Paul Wellens grabbed the side’s second four minutes later – again benefitting from great work and a delayed pass from Lomax.

It got better on 17 minutes as Lee Gaskell’s chip through took a lucky deflection and Wello scooped up.

Tommy Makinson adding his second of the night.

Josh Jones then got his ninth of the season as he snaffled up a four-pointer after Rovers failed to deal with a bouncing ball.

And on 25 minutes Saints had their fifth of the night. Hull KR were right on Saints line but an error was picked off by Tony Puletua.

From there, he broke the line, got the ball to Meli who turned the defence inside out before flipping a superb pass to Jones for his second of the night.

At 26-0 Saints were rampant and there were no real concerns when Scott Taylor took advantage of a bouncing pass and an unlikely gap – goaled by Michael Dobson.

But when Sam Latus profited from another home error to make it 26-10 and then he grabbed another seconds later to leave Hull KR just 10 points behind at half time, the sirens were sounding.

Saints couldn’t get out of their 20 in the opening stages of the second half and Taylor notched his second after a bulldozing run.

And the comeback was complete as after the home side were harshly done for a penalty they failed to clear a kick and Josh Hodgson profited.

Dobson added his fourth of the night and it gave his side an unlikely lead.

Saints could have regained the momentum moments later but Meli was just bundled into touch by Green and Graeme Horne.

But it was perhaps a sign of what was to come as Anthony Laffranchi took advantage of James Roby’s brilliant play from dummy half with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Then the win was signed off in resounding fashion.

Meli picked the ball up inside his own half, swotted away three would be tacklers but was halted short of the line.

From the play the ball, TP does what he does best – heading to the line with speed and power and he crossed with three on his back.


Match Summary:

Tries: Lomax, Wellens (2), Jones (2), Laffranchi, Puletua
Goals: Makinson (3 from 7)

Hull KR:
Tries: Taylor (2). Latus (2), Hodgson
Goals: Dobson (4 from 5)

Saints: 6
Hull KR: 7

HT: 26-16
FT: 34-28

REF: Thierry Alibert

ATT: 12435



1. Paul Wellens; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Michael Shenton, 26. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 20. Lee Gaskell, 7. Jonny Lomax; 8. Josh Perry, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 11. Tony Puletua, 4. Sia Soliola, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 13. Chris Flannery, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Paul Clough.

Hull KR:

1. Shannon McDonnell; 2. Craig Hall, 4. Jake Webster, 18. Graeme Horne, 21. Sam Latus; 6. Blake Green, 7. Michael Dobson; 8. Joel Clinton, 9. Josh Hodgson, 17. Ryan O’Hara, 11. Constantine Mika, 12. Ben Galea, 16. Jason Netherton.
Subs: 10. Scott Taylor, 14. Lincoln Withers, 19. Scott Murrell, 23. Mickey Paea.

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