Super League Champions St Helens headed to Craven Park having had to call upon young players ahead of a big game against Hull KR tonight.
The Robins had devastated Hull FC last week whilst St Helens came up short against Wigan Warriors in their own derby.
That set up tonight’s game perfectly making it a true test for KR as to whether they can compete with the big boys, whilst being a test of resilience for the champions.
Interestingly the bookmakers couldn’t split these sides prior to kick-off highlighting both the rise of the Robins but also the depleted nature of the Saints.
The opening ten minutes saw both sides feeling each other out but it was arguably the home side who were most impressive, however Saints were the side to get the first points on the board.
On the 15 minute mark Jonny Lomax was part of a big breakaway try which dented the home side’s early ambition, but it wasn’t long before they replied and they did so through young star Mikey Lewis.
After forcing a goal-line drop-out through a clever kick Rovers got themselves level through Mikey Lewis who cleverly threw the dummy and crossed over for four points. Coote added the extras to tie the game up.
The final 15 minutes of the first half saw KR deny a certain try but the game remained as close as ever, both teams kicking penalties as they headed into the half level on the scores at 8-8 but with Saints a man down following Matty Lees sin bin for a high shot.
Craven Park was packed full and the home crowd made a huge difference forcing the inexperienced Saints to invite pressure on themselves and off the back of a penalty Mikey Lewis managed to cross over again.
Lewis was the first to latch on to Matt Parcell’s grubber and grounded the ball just before the 50 minute mark allowing Rovers to take the lead for the first time in the match.
Former St Helens full-back Lachlan Coote then crossed over on the hour mark after brilliant work from new signing Corey Hall. Coote then added the two points as well to set up Rovers for a historic win.
Ill discipline by Saints allowed Rovers to have plenty of possession and territory and another man who has been called up to Shaun Wane’s squad, Jez Litten, darted in under the posts to extend the lead.
That try on the 67th minute provided Sains with an 18 point deficit and just 13 minutes to surmount it but they added six of those points on the 72nd minute as Lussick scored under the sticks.
Unfortunately for Saints though it was all too late and the home side earned themselves a deserved win to make it four wins on the spin.
Willie Peters will obviously be delighted with the win and the points but once again he’ll be delighted with the impressive defensive efforts showed throughout the game, particularly in the second half when defending back-to-back sets.
More impressive was that it marked the end of that unwanted record, 13 straight losses against St Helens, and it was former Saints’ man Lachlan Coote who was the architect of the win as he put in a Man of the Match style display.
Despite his try and perfect kicking it was actually Mikey Lewis, on the back of an England call-up, who secured the official award and it’s hard to argue against given his two try display.
MAGIC 🪄#UpTheRobins 🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/TOZnsqd3hK
— Hull KR (@hullkrofficial) April 14, 2023