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Saints let rip with a glorious four try spell in ten golden 10 minutes
Updated 10:28am Thursday 13th March 2014 in Sport
Saints 38 Hull KR 18.
SAINTS can be mightily thankful that half time came when it did, or else they may have found themselves with a bigger hole to get out of on their way to a fourth consecutive win.
As it was four tries in a golden ten minute spell at the start of the second half ensured that the crowd was going home happy again and that those earlier lapses of concentration were atoned for.
There was a big mood of eager anticipation for this one – not least because big man Mose Masoe was prowling the touchline ahead of his debut.
But it was Saints’ speed merchants who initially had the crowd whooping for more, with the back three of Jonny Lomax, Adam Swift and Tommy Makinson again making their mark.
And it was the prolific Swift who got the ball rolling after a sloppy pass from the Robins was punished after seven minutes.
Not to be outdone Makinson very nearly added his own mark when he leapt for the kick to the corner but on this occasion could not get his telescopic arm out.
But Saints were soon over again when Swift pierced the Rovers defence on the left before turning it back inside for Lomax to show what a fine attacking player he is, throwing in a great dummy before accelerating to the corner.
Two Luke Walsh goals made it 12 and that should have been added to moments later but Gary Wheeler spilled the ball with a clear run to the line.
Had he scored there, Saints would have been out of sight and the Rovers heads would have dropped.
Rovers got a toe-hold and suddenly it was 12 apiece with tries from Kevin Larroyer and Greg Eden seeing Saints saved by the bell.
Bizarrely they seemed to draw some comfort from stopping big man Masoe in his tracks when he was thrown on ten minutes before the break.
They routinely threw four men into the gang tackles on the massive Samoan, which in some ways helped subdue Saints and their followers.
But a whirlwind second half saw Walsh kick much better in play and Saints rediscover their early direction up the middle and panache out wide.
Big Alex Walmsley had no right to bash his way over on 48 minutes, but he found a way.
And tries from Swift and Sia Soliola within the next five minutes make sure.
For a little bit of icing on the cake Walsh kick wide for Swift, who tossed it back inside for Jon Wilkin to run on to like a steam train.
The only further blemish was a late Josh Hodgson try scored from a tap penalty with the team asleep.
Saints are playing some marvellous, wing to wing rugby.
Bigger tests are to come - and hopefully by then the ten minute lapses in concentration and loss of direction will have diminished as the weeks progress.