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Saturday 14th September 2013, 17:00 - Round:Play Offs
Hull Kingston Rovers
|Francis Meli, Adam Swift 3, Sia Soliola, Jordan Turner, Tom Makinson, Lance Hohaia,||T||Liam Salter, Craig Hall,|
Jordan Turner 7,
Attendance: 9,926 Official: R Silverwood Venue: Langtree Park
Adam Swift ran in a hat-trick as rampant St Helens brushed aside Hull KR to book their place in the Super League preliminary semi-final.
The contest was effectively over by half-time as the sublime home side ran in six tries before the break.
It was like watching free-flowing St Helens teams of old as they went for the jugular against lame visitors.
Rovers had dominated St Helens on three occasions this season, twice winning during April and then again at Langtree Park in May, but it was all so different this time at the business end of the campaign.
The visiting side got off to a decent start and put the home side under pressure in the early exchanges. They pressed in defence to force an early Saints error and capitalised with a try.
Lincoln Withers – in for injured stand-off Travis Burns, who broke his arm in the defeat to Widnes Vikings – went very close with a scampering run. A quick play of the ball later and they were over as Liam Salter touched down.
However, Saints hit back in devastating fashion with three tries in five minutes.
The first was beautifully created by Jonny Lomax as Francis Meli powered over, and then full-back Lomax stabbed a kick through which Swift pounced on to score.
The Saints onslaught continued when James Roby cut through the poor Rovers tackling and Sia Soliola strolled in from 50 metres.
Nathan Brown's men were on a roll and the Robins were struggling to contain them. Alex Walmsley went close but Rovers stemmed the tide temporarily.
Rhys Lovegrove coughed up a silly mistake at the ruck as Hull KR looked to get back into it, yet Saints were in no mood to relent and piled on the pressure.
Saints' Anthony Laffranchi had a try ruled out by video official Ben Thaler after Tony Puletua had knocked on in the build-up.
The next Saints try came after 31 minutes when Lance Hohaia dummied his way through and offloaded to Jordan Turner for another score.
Turner banged over his fourth successful conversion and at 24-4 it was practically game over.
There was no coming back for Rovers as Tommy Makinson dived in for Saints' fifth try and Swift chimed in for good measure to make it 34-4.
Kris Welham thought he had got one back for Rovers after 47 minutes but it was chalked off by Thaler.
Saints replied with another try as Roby connected with Hohaia for a simple score.
Swift was next to benefit for his hat-trick try and it looked like a case of how many more could Saints run in.
But Michael Dobson, who leaves the competition for the NRL and Newcastle, had the final say, converting Craig Hall's effort with minutes to go for his last points for Rovers and in Super League.