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Friday 7th March 2014, 20:00 - Round:4
Hull Kingston Rovers
|Adam Swift 2, Jonny Lomax, Alex Walmsley, Sia Soliola, Tom Makinson, Jon Wilkin,||T||Kevin Larroyer, Greg Eden, Josh Hodgson,|
Luke Walsh 5,
Travis Burns 3,
Attendance: 11,818 Official: T Roby Venue: Langtree Park
St Helens made it four wins out of four thanks to a supercharged second-half showing to move clear at the top of the table and leave Hull KR still seeking their opening First Utility Super League victory of the season.
Rovers held Saints 12-12 at the break but conceded five touchdowns after the interval, with Adam Swift turning in a man-of-the-match display.
Swift led the way with two tries for the hosts and also created another for captain Jon Wilkin.
Saints, who opened the campaign with impressive wins over Warrington Wolves, Hull FC and Salford Red Devils, handed giant Samoan Mose Masoe his debut off the bench.
The 24-year-old former Penrith Panthers prop, who had been sidelined following ankle surgery after being injured during the World Cup, played 30 minutes in two spells after his long lay-off.
Gary Wheeler was also back after missing last week's triumph over Salford with a dead leg in place of the injured Mark Percival.
Hull KR welcomed back forwards Michael Weyman and Justin Poore from suspension and Jamie Langley from concussion, but Jonny Walker was out with a serious knee injury.
Craig Sandercock's men were bidding to end a six-match winless run stretching back to August, and had the psychological advantage of beating Saints in three of their four meetings in 2013.
Rovers would have grabbed an early lead had Ben Cockayne been able to take a pass from Greg Eden after a mistake by Alex Walmsley, which earned an angry rebuke from Luke Walsh.
But then Walsh spilled the ball, only for Rovers full-back Eden to throw a wild pass from the scrum which was snapped up by Swift to race over after six minutes.
Walsh tagged on the conversion and his well-judged high kick to the corner almost brought another score for Tom Makinson, who just failed to touch down despite an acrobatic dive.
Rovers were under the cosh and they conceded a second try after Swift sent Jonny Lomax away and the full-back dummied Eden to make it 12-0 with Walsh booting the touchline conversion.
Wheeler could have extended Saints' lead but failed to take Lance Hohaia's pass after Rovers had been ripped apart down their right flank.
Sandercock's men hit back, though, with Poore and Eden going close before Hohaia had a try correctly disallowed by referee Tim Roby.
Then it was Rovers' turn to be disappointed when Liam Salter's effort was ruled out after a smart tap-back by Craig Hall from Kris Keating's kick.
Referee Roby waited almost half an hour before awarding the first penalty and, although Rovers failed to find touch, they did cross for their opening try from Kevin Larroyer following smart play by James Green.
Travis Burns added a difficult conversion and Masoe earned the biggest cheer of the night, making his eagerly-awaited bow nine minutes before the break.
But Rovers deservedly drew level at the break with Jordan Turner moving out of the Saints line too fast for Cockayne to send Eden over for a converted try with an inside pass.
Saints regained the lead eight minutes after the restart with Alex Walmsley crashing over from short range to make it 18-12.
Masoe, clearly showing signs of fatigue after his lay-off, was substituted before Swift bagged his second try, created by Wilkin and Lomax.
Walsh set up two tries in three minutes for Sia Soliola and Makinson with teasing kicks to stretch the lead to 32-12.
Wheeler blew another chance with his second handling error before Masoe returned for another spell 12 minutes from time - with Swift jumping high to put Wilkin over from another Walsh kick.
The impressive Josh Hodgson caught Saints napping to dart over from a quickly-taken tap penalty to make the scoreline more respectable.
Rovers finished with 12 men with Burns sin-binned for a blatant obstruction on Wilkin before Paul Wellens had a try disallowed.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals