THE players had been given the reward of some time off as a reward after a gruelling Easter programme – but after 12 minutes it looked like they were still on a break.

A soft start allowed Hull KR two early tries and a 12-0 down it looked like the old Craven Park bogy ground was back.

Although never at their best, with some uncharacteristically weak defence - particularly close to the ruck – Saints still had enough to get a 42-26 win to preserve their four-point cushion at the Super League summit.

It was very much a tit-for-tat game, the kind we have seen so many times before on East Hull.

And that they pulled themselves out of it was probably down to the attacking strike down the freshly discovered right edge.

Saints have always favoured their left – like many teams – but nowadays there appears to be a real balance across the side with genuine potency on the right.

For the second time in three matches it resulted in a brace of hat-tricks, with Fiji World Cup skipper Kevin Naiqama following up his four against Hull, with three against the Robins.

And Golden Boot Tommy Makinson, back in the side after a week off, took over where Adam Swift left off with a well-taken bagful of tries.

Naiqama’s form has gone up a notch in the past six weeks and is now stamping his qualities on to the team.

Alert, quick and with a lethal fend, the Fijian international can swivel and go to pierce defences on that edge.

And if needs be he can get that quick pass away to benefit his flankman.

The two of them are working well together and are developing a telepathy and understanding that will benefit both them and the team.

Makinson, however, deserves real credit to for the way he fashioned and executed his scores – the first in which he danced and dashed around four players near to the line and the second was a pure solo, bursting through two defenders then putting on the afterburners to take him around the full back.

Those tries certainly helped put the gloss on the score and ensure the victory, but it was not the type of performance saints have been noted for this year.

Maybe, given their lead at the top of the table, the schedule of Easter and with the Challenge Cup looming on the horizon they can get away with a slack one.

Hull KR: Hall; Shaw, Vaivai, Crooks, Oakes; Drinkwater, McGuire; Mulhern, Addy, Maria, Linnett, Keinhorst, Lawler. Subs: Atkin, Lunt, Rooks, Hauraki.

Saints: Coote; Makinson, Naiqama, Costello, Grace; Lomax, Fages; Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles. Subs: Paulo, Amor, Ashworth, Welsby.