SAINTS overcame some pre-match adversity, a half time deficit and the early loss of scrum half Theo Fages to see off Hull KR 36-24 to stretch their unbeaten start to the season to eight matches.

The loss of Zeb Taia and Alex Walmsley due to partners going into labour, plus sickness victim Mark Percival pulling out and James Roby having a niggle, meant Saints made four significant changes ahead of kick off.

Those players that came in - especially at short notice - performed admirably with 18-year-old Jack Welsby being one of Saints' three early try scorers at centre.

When Fages went off with a hip injury James Bentley, Taia's replacement in the second row, shuffled out to centre with Welsby moving to six.

Aaron Smith played the full 80 filling the boots of skipper Roby - and he too performed admirably, also grabbing a try.

Man of the match Lachlan Coote got the ball rolling with a try, with Luke Thompson powering over for a try after Welsby's touchdown, to see Saints coasting at 16-0.

But the arrival of the wily Shaun Lunt and Mitch Garbutt in the Rovers ranks, combined with the loss of Fages, changed the dynamic of the game.

Two tries from the strong running Robins second row Kane Linnett and one for Will Oakes, all goaled by Shaw, put the visitors two points up at the break.

Although a Coote penalty levelled after half time, Lunt cashed in on a rare Lomax error clearing the line to score a simple touchdown.

With Lomax and Coote guiding the team, and spurred by a massive kick chase, the game turned Saints' way again.

Fages injury news

Kyle Amor, in his best performance this year, took a short ball to power over and level.

Then Smith diagonally darted in from dummy half to put the Saints ahead.

And to make sure, Regan Grace atoned for his earlier howler to cross following yet another width of the pitch move from the scrum.

So a rollercoaster of a game, but Saints stay top with a massive block of fixtures now ahead of them.