Hull KR's title credentials can't be denied after stunning St Helens dismantling

If you think Hull KR can't be in the mix for trophies this year, think again. The Robins are rocking, and on this evidence, it's going to take a pretty good team to stop them. A 40-20 victory over St Helens, prolific Super League winners, was the latest, and perhaps most emphatic, suggestion that they are the title contenders many have hyped them up to be.

There was no disputing that this was a deserved win, they outplayed Paul Wellens' side who would have been outright league leaders with victory here. Instead, the Robins are now joint top after ten games and following back-to-back wins over Wigan and Saints. Not bad going.

This was a proper team performance. The pack was outstanding, the backs clinical. With the ball, Rovers were sublime. But they were supreme in the middle too. This was a performance of the highest order.

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They were forced into a late change minutes before kick-off. Oliver Gildart was forced to withdraw after suffering an injury in the warm-up and was replaced by debutant Jack Broadbent. It was the only change from the side named in the victory over Wigan Warriors.

But it didn't appear to faze Rovers, who started the game superbly and got a deserved lead. It was the two halfbacks who combined, with Mikey Lewis dinking a kick underneath the sticks which Tyrone May charged towards at full pace to open the scoring.
Lewis converted, but the lead would only last minutes. Ryan Hall couldn't field the kick-off, and some lacklustre defensive efforts saw Jack Welsby beat three men to score a solo try. Percival's goal levelled it up.

But Rovers were having the better of the play. In the grind, they looked stronger and defensively were testing Saints in all areas. That resulted in them retaking the lead after 19 minutes. Sauaso Sue crashed over Lewis Dodd, offloaded to Elliot Minchella, and the skipper put Lewis to the line for his latest score, one he converted with ease.

But that hard work was undone again. Hall came up with another error, dropping the ball on play one. A few plays later, Jonny Lomax produced a bullet pass that allowed Waqa Blake to step inside the scrambling Peta Hiku and score.

Percival couldn't convert, but Saints had the lead four minutes later. They were able to blitz Rovers with some quick play the balls and after frantically trying to regroup, Konrad Hurrell would eventually prove too strong from close range.

But Rovers' response was swift, and by halftime, they had regained the lead. Lewis' crash ball was hit like a freight train by Kelepi Tanginoa, who motored through. After trying to round Welsby, he tipped on to Broadbent, who marked his debut with a score. That ensured Rovers had a two-point lead at the interval.

Peters would perhaps have been disappointed that his side only had a two-point lead. But that was quickly extended to what appeared to be an unassailable one as they scored back-to-back tries. First, Hiku got the latest try of his Rovers career, scything through after an excellent reverse flick pass from Evalds. Saints would then concede a six again on the next set and from there, Rovers played hot potato after a contested kick fell kindly, and Jez Litten was in the right place at the right time to score.

But never write off the Saints. They threatened a comeback as Hurrell got a second try, which came after another error as Litten kicked out on the full.

However, the game was put to bed after 71 minutes. After a Welsby knock-on, Lewis went on a marauding run before producing a sublime offload, which allowed Hadley to score under the sticks. The conversion was good, and Rovers' 14-point lead was secured.

Then at the death, Hall would get the latest try in his collection, finishing off a looping Lewis pass. His conversion brought up 40.

Hull KR : Niall Evalds, Joe Burgess, Peta Hiku, Oliver Gildart, Tyrone May, Mikey Lewis, Sauaso Sue, Jez Litten, Jai Whitbread, Dean Hadley, James Batchelor, Elliot Minchella. Subs: Matt Parcell, Sam Luckley, Matty Storton, Kelepi Tanginoa.

Tries: May (9), Lewis (19), Broadbent (34), Hiku (48), Litten (52), Hadley (71), Hall (80)
Goals: Lewis 6/7

St Helens: Jack Welsby, Tee Ritson, Konrad Hurrell, Mark Percival, Waqa Blake, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Sione Mata'utia, Moses Mbye, Matty Lees, Matt Whitley, James Batchelor, Morgan Knowles. Subs: Daryl Clark, James Bell, Curtis Sironen, George Delaney.

Tries: Welsby (12), Blake (22), Hurrell (28, 64)
Goals: Percival 2/4
Sin bin: Knowles (16) - high tackle