Justin Holbrook's reaction to Saints' hard fought win at Hull KR

Saints' players celebrate a hard earned win at Hull KR. Picture: SWPix
Saints' players celebrate a hard earned win at Hull KR. Picture: SWPix
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St Helens coach Justin Holbrook described Kevin Naiqama as "outstanding" after the Betfred Super League leaders rallied to win 42-26 at lowly Hull KR.

The Fijian international and England winger Tommy Makinson scored hat-tricks as Saints recovered from 12-0 and 20-18 down to move four points clear of Warrington at the top of the table.

Holbrook said afterwards: "Kevin was outstanding. His last four to six weeks is what we have wanted from him.

"He is building into the team nicely," added Holbrook of the 30-year-old centre who joined Saints from NRL outfit Wests Tigers for the start of the season.

"Tommy did some quality things as well while Jonny Lomax's defence on the other edge late in the game was outstanding - and it needed to be. Those three were our best."

Holbrook was also fulsome in his praise of the effort of the home team, beaten for a fourth successive Super League game.

He added: "Hull KR were urgent and desperate. They started better than us but it was a good effort to turn things around.

"We could easily have been down a lot more at half-time. To lead at half-time was really important.

"I could be hard on my players in that area. But on the other side full credit to them for swinging it in our favour. It was a hard second half and we couldn't quite kick away."

Hull KR head coach Tim Sheens said: "We gave them a game. There were good moments and a couple of terrible moments for us.

"But the guys didn't give up. That's why I say and people don't understand when I say you get beaten or you can lose. We lost the game but we didn't get beaten.

"People kept turning up and kept trying. The majority of the crowd stayed to show its appreciation and that's what you are looking for."

Despite the scoreline Sheens described his side's performance as one of the best of the season.

"Saints have averaged about 33 points a game against everybody. They are without doubt the competition favourites at this stage of the season.

"And I think that's the most points they have concided since we scored 24 points against them earlier in the year.

"They were also 26 good points, not fluky points. That was pretty much close to their strongest side and I though we performed really well."