Saints late show seals win
Hosts nearly throw away big lead against Rovers
Last Updated: 29/06/12 11:29pm
St Helens need late tries from Anthony Laffranchi and Tony Puletua to earn a victory they almost threw away against Hull KR at Langtree Park.
Saints eventually took the spoils 34-28 to push them up to third in the Super League table after it looked like they were going to squander a 26-point lead at one stage.
Saints raced into a 26-0 lead thanks to two tries apiece from Paul Wellens and Josh Jones, but they were far from home and dry.
Scott Taylor and Sam Latus both scored twice as Hull KR, who trailed by 10 points at the break, went in front by two points, but Saints responded late on to claim victory.
Hull KR's bus broke down to cause them to arrive late at Langtree Park and they were slow out of the blocks as, after a penalty, scrum-half Jonny Lomax ghosted through to plant the ball beneath the posts.
Tommy Makinson slotted the extras and with two fine long-range kicks from the recalled Lee Gaskell, back in at stand-off for the injured Lance Hohaia, Saints continued to press.
The pressure told when Lomax held the ball up well for the supporting Wellens to go over for a try.
Hull KR, off the back of three successive penalties, had a short spell of pressure on the Saints' line, but that came to nothing with Saints countering ruthlessly.
Gaskell's boot was again profitable with the young stand-off's grubber kick bouncing kindly into the grateful arms of Wellens, who was left with the formality of picking up and touching down.
Makinson's goal made it 16 points after as many minutes and Saints were soon back for more. Another fine attacking kick, this time from Jon Wilkin, was collected and touched down by teenage centre Jones, with Makinson again slotting the conversion.
Rovers then had a spell of pressure, but Constantine Mika's haste to offload backfired when Tony Puletua picked up to spark a length of the field move.
The New Zealander ate up the early yards before offloading to compatriot Francis Meli, who took play upfield before supplying the scoring pass for Jones.
But Rovers roared back with three tries in the last 10 minutes of the half. A close-range try from Taylor started the ball rolling, with Michael Dobson adding the extras.
A lost ball from Saints' Chris Flannery was then swiftly punished by the suddenly alert Rovers with Graeme Horne sending Latus in at the corner.
On the stroke of half-time Scott Murrell and Ben Galea combined to send Latus in for his second try, with Dobson's goal going in off the uprights to make it 26-16 at the break.
Taylor cashed in a spilled Meli ball to go in for his second try, goaled by Dobson. And Rovers hit the front for the first time when Josh Hodgson touched down Dobson's grubber kick, the latter's conversion putting the visitors two points in front.
But eight minutes from time, on the back of a penalty and a six again, Anthony Laffranchi ran a good line to crash through from close range. Makinson missed the easy conversion to add to the tension.
And late in the game Meli broke down the wing and Puletua forced his way over to make sure of victory.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K RvsSalford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield WildcatsvsHull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves