Saints hit back to record victory on the road

Saints coach Keiron Cunningham
Saints coach Keiron Cunningham
Share this article

St Helens came from behind to beat Hull KR 31-22 at Craven Park on Friday night and hand Willie Poching a loss in his first game as the Robins' interim head coach.

The visitors took an early lead through Shannon McDonnell's try, before Ben Cockayne and Maurice Blair crossed over to put the Robins ahead.

Tommy Makinson got his first try of the season for Saints, but James Green went over to give Hull KR a half-time lead.

Tries from Matty Dawson, Jon Wilkin and Atelea Vea earned St Helens the win, despite Ryan Shaw's late consolation.

Poching will no doubt have been encouraged by his side's performance in their first game since the dismissal of Chris Chester on Wednesday, with the Robins strong in defence and creative in attack early on.

Keiron Cunningham's Saints, thrashed by Sydney Roosters in the World Club Series seven days earlier, struggled to cope with the hosts' movement with ball in hand in the first half, but the visitors were good value for their win after the interval.

Luke Walsh was a standout performer for the visitors with the boot, adding five goals and a drop goal, as well as two perfectly-judged kicks from close range to set up tries for Makinson and Vea.

Both teams ended the first half with 12 players, with St Helens' Travis Burns and Hull KR's Green both being sin-binned after an exchange of punches.

Hull KR: Cockayne; Sio, Salter, Thornley, Shaw; Blair, Kelly; Walker, Lawler, Tilse, Horne, Clarkson, Allgood.

Replacements: Holker, Green, Greenwood, Mulhern.

St Helens: McDonnell; Makinson, Peyroux, Dawson, Swift; Turner, Walsh; Walmsley, Burns, Savelio, Vea, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook.

Replacements: Roby, Amor, Tasi, Thompson.

Referee: Phil Bentham