5:08pm Sunday 6th July 2014
By Mike Critchley
SAINTS’ losing Super League run at Craven Park dating back to 2007 was added to with another year after an awful display on east Hull.
Although the Rovers, with caretaker coach Chris Chester in charge after the shock sacking of Craig Sandercock in the week, had a point to prove they were assisted by a completely lacklustre Saints.
Saints completely fell away in the second half – allowing Rovers to more or less score at will – but they sowed the seeds of that poor defensive performance with their clueless attack.
What a difference a week makes. This was up there with Catalan away and Magic in terms of inadequate, diabolical performances, bar a couple of exceptions.
They badly lacked direction and at times played like complete strangers, particularly towards the end of the set.
It flew completely in the face of all Nathan Brown had said beforehand about not lamely surrendering top spot.
Saints got off to an awful start when they dropped it when trying to open up inside their own 30metre zone, allowing one time target Omari Caro to pick up and fly in unopposed after just four minutes.
They hit back five minutes later when Mark Percival dumied wide and then sped 60 metres for the classic centre’s try.
He was unable to improve it from the touchline so 4-4 it stayed, with the Robins proceeding to benefit from some careless play from Saints.
It took a thunderous tackle from skipper Paul Wellens on Kris Welham, and then some desperation stuff held Rhys Lovegrove up on the line.
But Rovers would not be kept out for long, and Caro nipped in for his second, admittedly from a pass that looked a yard forward.
And then after another poor end to a set Mark Flanagan’s pass was intercepted by Craig Hall – and after a momentary juggle the wing dashed in for a try goaled by Travis Burns.
Saints got a toe-hold back in the game when Mose Masoe was sent on a crash ball to the line from five metres.
Percival goaled and so Saints went in at the break trailing 14-10.
But if the first half was a warning the second half completely unravelled, with Saints being punished for a complete lack of idea.
It turned into an awful display – symptomatic of the Jekyll and Hyde performances Saints are now capable of.
It was more or less a capitulation in the face of everything Rovers did came off and Saints having nothing with the ball to reply with, Rovers opened the second half scoring with an all too easy 60 metre Graeme Horne score from the scrum.
Caro flew in at the corner to complete his hat-trick and then Hall was able to dart over for his second.
Hall was in for his hat-trick more or less from the restart when a midfield break and kick wide was calmly taken by the left winger.
Rovers brought up the 40 three minutes from time with a close range Greg Eden try, but by that stage it was a mere detail.
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