Hull KR 36-36 St Helens

Jamie Foster

Hull KR (24) 36

Tries:
Mika 2, D Hodgson, McDonnell, J Hodgson, Welham
Goals:
Hall 6

St Helens (20) 36

Tries:
Meli 2, Soliola, Shenton, Roby, Flannery, Wellens
Goals:
Foster 4

St Helens' Jamie Foster salvaged a draw with a penalty kick at the death in a Super League thriller at Craven Park.

Sia Soliola, Michael Shenton and James Roby tries put Saints ahead but Hull KR responded through David Hodgson, Constantine Mika and Shannon McDonell.

Chris Flannery put Saints back in front but Josh Hodgson hit back for Rovers.

Francis Meli and Paul Wellens crossed for Saints, but Mika's second and Kris Welham put Rovers back in front before Meli's second try and Foster's penalty.

Saints, who had lost on their last three visits to Craven Park, had raced into a 14-0 lead inside the opening 15 minutes.

But Foster had crucially missed two of his kicks. And, just eight minutes later Rovers were four points in front.

Winger Dave Hodgson latched onto a grubber from Lincoln Withers, who then instigated Mika's first try of the afternoon. And, when Craig Hall's kick set McDonnell on a 40 metre-run which culminated in a third home try, Hall's third successful conversion meant that his boot was proving the difference at 18-14.

Saints then engineered the opening for Flannery to cross, a try which Foster improved but Withers was again the creator with the boot for Josh Hodgson's score to earn the home side a 24-20 half-time lead.

Two tries in the space of four minutes early in the second half for Meli and Wellens, both from drop-outs, put Saints back in front, but Foster only kicked one of them to earn a slender 30-24 advantage for the visitors.

But, just three minutes later, Mika powered through, Hall again converting to make it 30-30.

Graeme Horne's offload then put Welham in with 15 minutes left. And Hall's sixth goal out of six still proved the difference, even after Meli went in again for his second try, with seven minutes left.

But, when Saints were awarded a penalty after Mickey Paea's high shot on Tony Puletua after the final hooter had sounded, Foster was on target to spare his club's blushes.

POST-MATCH VIEWS

Hull KR coach Craig Sandercock told BBC Radio Humberside:

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Rovers paid the penalty - Sandercock

"It was obviously very disappointing in the end, but you've got to learn from what happened today.

"Some of the boys are obviously disappointed in that last three or four minutes.

"Those last five minutes the players will look back on and think they should and could have done a lot better. They didn't and we paid the penalty."

St Helens coach Royce Simmons:

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Simmons left deflated by St Helens

"I'm a bit disappointed to concede 36 points against a side we knew would be very game and very hard. They were without their two starting halves but we knew how strongly their forwards carry the ball as they did so well in the first two games.

"The problem was we got to 14-0 too easily and I think we thought this would be an easy game.

"I don't think our attitude for the entire 80 minutes was quite where we wanted it. But, in saying that, don't take anything away from Hull KR because they could easily have given up at 14-0 down and we have key players injured."

LINE-UPS

Hull KR: McDonnell; Hall, Welham, Webster, D Hodgson; Lovegrove, Murrell; Clinton, Withers, Paea, Mika, Horne, Watts.

Replacements: Wheeldon, Taylor, J Hodgson, Cox.

St Helens: Wellens; Gardner, Shenton, Meli, Foster; Hohaia, Lomax; Laffranchi, Roby, Puletua, Flannery, Soliola, Wilkin.

Replacements: Perry, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Dixon, Wheeler.

Attendance: 7,610.

Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).

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