SAINTS narrowly lost 22-14 at Hull KR this afternoon.
After being 10-0 down after 25 minutes, the visitors clawed their way back with two tries from Mark Percival to go in level at half time, writes Louise Fildes.
They then scored early on in the second half through Adam Swift – but ill-discipline gave the advantage and ultimately the result to the Robins, despite some superb goal line defence.
After losing Mark Flanagan after just two minutes through injury, Saints’ afternoon didn’t get any easier. A lack of discipline hampered any chances of gaining momentum against a ferocious Hull KR side.
But it was Saints who nearly took the lead after only a couple of minutes, with Francis Meli going close but referee Ben Thaler pulled him back for offside.
Hull KR took the lead after nine minutes; a quick pass from a 20 metre scrum opened the doors for David Hodgson to score in the left hand corner. Craig Hall hitting the post with his conversion attempt.
Saints’ goal line defence was set to be tested all afternoon but their solid line was broken again on twenty three minutes when Josh Hodgson barged his way over from just two metres out. Hall converted to give his side a 10-0 lead.
Meli went close again on the half hour mark, Tom Makinson giving him a superb cut out pass 10 metres out, but he just couldn’t take it in.
Saints did get on the scoreboard two minutes later and it was Meli this time who was provider to send young Mark Percival in the corner for his first in Saints colours. He quickly converted his own try too.
And five minutes later he was in for his second after a sublime 30 metre break down the left hand side to score in the corner. This time he couldn’t add the extras but that score meant that Saints went in at half time 10-10.
The home side opened the scoring in the second half through Cory Patterson after just nine minutes. The prop forward barged over, taking two Saints defenders with him and with Hall adding the extras, Hull KR were now one score ahead at 10-16.
Saints indiscipline was costing them dearly as they couldn’t buy any possession during the opening twenty minutes of the second half.
But a spark of pace and a gap in the Rovers robust defence saw Adam Swift race 90 metres down field, beating three Hull KR defenders, to score just shy of the posts. Percival sliced the kick and missed narrowly, but Saints were back in with a shout at 14-16.
From then on it was all KR; Saints poor discipline giving away seven penalties in the last 20 minutes meant that Hull KR gained the momentum they needed to strike.
Despite an incredible five sets of six being defended superbly by the defence, they were broken on 68 minutes when Alex Brown went over in the right hand corner. Hall missed again with the conversion attempt but Hull KR had a six point gap at 14-20.
Saints did get close late on in the second half; a great break from Jordan Turner and some brilliant handling from Jon Wilkin and Paul Wellens, but Alex Walmsley couldn’t take the last pass and put the ball down metres from the try line.
Hull KR tried their luck with a few drop goal attempts from Michael Dobson, but both were missed.
The home side rounded off the afternoon’s scoring with Hall’s penalty after Saints were caught offside again on their own line.
A frustrating afternoon for the visitors…
Tries: D Hodgson, J Hodgson, Patterson, Brown,
Goals: Hall (3 from 5)
Tries: Percival (2), Swift
Goals: Percival (1 from 3)
Hull KR: 13
REF: Ben Thaler
1. Greg Eden; 5. David Hodgson, 3. Kris Welham, 15. Graeme Horne, 26. Alex Brown; 2. Craig Hall, 7. Michael Dobson; 8. Evarn Tuimavave, 9. Josh Hodgson, 16. Adam Walker, 20. Jordan Cox, 12. Cory Paterson, 11. Constantine Mika.
Subs: 13. Rhys Lovegrove, 22. Richard Beaumont, 21. Keal Carlile, 23. Mickey Paea.
21. Tom Makinson; 26. Adam Swift, 30. Mark Percival, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Francis Meli; 1. Paul Wellens, 12. Jon Wilkin; 16. Paul Clough, 36. Stuart Howarth, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 4. Sia Soliola, 15. Mark Flanagan, 19. Josh Jones.
Subs: 6. Lance Hohaia, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 24. Joe Greenwood, 25. Alex Walmsley.