Hull KR 22 St Helens 14

Saints were defeated to a pumped up Hull KR side.
Saints were defeated to a pumped up Hull KR side.
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ST Helens were defeated by a Hull KR hungry for revenge after the heaviest defeat in the club’s history over the Easter weekend.

Saints coach Nathan Brown admitted his side were second best in all areas at Craven Park.

“I could tell by the first few sets that we weren’t quite there,” Brown said.

“Our kicking game was really poor and while our goal-line was great, our defence elsewhere wasn’t.

“Our best player was Francis Meli and he’s the only one to have had a rest over Easter.

“It’s not an excuse, we just didn’t execute well.

“There wasn’t a lot we did well.

“But to hold them out and stay in the game was good but there was a lot we didn’t do well.”

Brown admits Rovers were there for the taking after their record defeat to Wigan.

Now he has to get his players up for the visit of Catalan Dragons to Langtree Park on Friday night.

“Hull KR were a bit down on confidence and they probably didn’t know how to win the game for a while,” Brown said.

“The kicking game is a really good start to give yourself a chance.

“We kicked well against Castleford and scored off the back of it.

“We started lethargic here and a couple of classy bits of play got us back in the game in the first half.

“I counted 40 times when they stood in the tackle and played the ball which shows we weren’t quite there.

“Today wasn’t a good day for us but we’ll dust ourselves down off for Catalan next Friday.”

Coach Craig Sandercock praised his senior players for helping Hull KR respond positively to their heaviest defeat in their history on Easter Monday.

Sandercock demanded a response from his players - beaten 84-6 by Wigan last time out, their worst in their 131-year history - against St Helens today.

Captain Michael Dobson, second rower Cory Paterson and Dave Hodgson missed that drubbing but made telling contributions in the 22-14 win at home to Saints to the delight of Sandercock.

“Michael and Cory are the heartbeat of this team,” Sandercock said.

“To have them playing against St Helens was a big boost.

“Having them and Dave Hodgson was a massive help.”

Sandercock admits his side’s execution was not at its best but it mattered little.

“I’m very pleased with the efforts of the players although it wasn’t pretty,” Sandercock said.

“We didn’t execute as well as we would have liked. But it was a very gritty performance.

“The boys defended really well and showed the effort and commitment needed to play first grade rugby league.”