A hat-trick a piece from Kevin Naiqama and Tommy Makinson secured a hard fought 42-26 win over Hull Kingston Rovers at the KCOM Craven Park.
Saints fell behind after tries from Danny Addy and Ryan Shaw before we responded in typical Saints fashion with two tries from Naiqama and Makinson to send us in 18-14 up at the break. Jimmy Keinhorst put Rovers back in front early in the second half before Jonny Lomax and Makinson again turned the score in our favour. Will Oakes pulled another try back for the hosts, but Naiqama and Makinson completed their hat-tricks before Regan Grace put the icing on the cake with a marauding run late on.
A tight opening affair saw both defences standing firm, but it was Rovers who produced the first try after a repeat set on Saints line resulted in Addy picking the ball up from dummy half and crashing over from close range.
Rovers were in again on the very next set after a break on the right edge allowed Hall to kick long and Shaw got to the ball first to touch down giving Rovers a 12-0 lead with 13 minutes played.
Saints hit back though after winning back to back penalties on the Rovers line. The ball was fed wide right for Dom Peyroux to put Naiqama through the gap to score his first. Coote adding the extras.
From the kick off Rovers won the ball back and won a penalty which they converted and extended their lead to 14-6 with 20 minutes gone.
In a explosive following 10 minutes Saints were in again after an excellent offload from Alex Walmsley kept the move alive before Makinson was set free down the line and he stepped back inside the covering defenders to score with Coote adding the two.
Saints were in again in the closing minutes of the first half after a cut-out pass from Lomax sent Makinson away down the line and he fed the ball back inside for Naiqama to score his second to send the teams in at half time with the score at Hull KR 14-18 Saints.
Rovers started the second half like they did the first and they took advantage as Keinhorst crashed over in the corner and Shaw converted off the touch line.
It didn’t take Saints long to hit back mind as after an excellent kick off from Coote forced a goal line drop out, Saints were in prime position and Lomax latched onto a fantastic offload from Peyroux to put Saints back ahead.
Seconds later Saints were in again and this try was down to a bit of individual brilliance from England international and golden boot winner Makinson.
The winger took the ball inside his own 20 meters, found the gap in the defensive line and ran 70 meters to score leaving Rovers full back Craig Hall trailing behind.
To their credit, Rovers came straight back at Saints and were rewarded when a flowing move on their left edge resulted in Oakes scoring in the corner bringing them back within two points.
But two quick fire tries from Naiqama and Makinson completed the duo’s hat-tricks and put the game beyond doubt with 10 minutes to play.
The game finished with a spectacular Grace try as the flying winger burst through the line to run 70 metres to score with a flying finish right in front of the travelling Saints fans.
Hull KR: Hall; Shaw, Vaivai, Crooks, Oakes; McGuire, Drinkwater; Mulhern, Addy, Maria, Linnett, Keinhorst, Lawler.
Interchanges: Lunt, Hauraki, Atkin, Rooks.
Tries: Addy (8), Shaw (11), Keinhorst (44) Oakes (60)
Goals: Shaw 5 from 5
St Helens: Coote; Makinson, Naiqama, Costello, Grace; Lomax, Fages; Lees, Roby, Walmsley, Peyroux, Taia, Knowles.
Interchanges: Paulo, Amor, Ashworth, Welsby.
Tries: Makinson (30,51,68) Naiqama (17,37,64) Lomax (48) Grace (79).
Goals: Coote 5 from 8
Referee: Liam Moore