Simmons disappointed by Saints

St Helens coach Royce Simmons was disappointed that his side could only manage a draw against a Hull KR side missing both their first choice half backs.

A shoulder injury to Michael Dobson has forced him to join Blake Green on the sidelines, but a makeshift half-back pairing of Rhys Lovegrove and Scott Murrell helped Rovers earn a point at Craven Park.

In fact, it took a late Jamie Foster penalty to level the scores up for 36-36, and bring to an end St Helens‘ 100% start to the new season.

Simmons told the club’s official website: “I am disappointed really. We let in 36 points against a side I knew would be very game and very hard but who are without their two starting halves. To leak 36 points when they are missing those ball players; that’s disappointing. I knew we were in for a really tough battle and knew their forwards would carry the ball hard.

“Our problem was at 14-0 we thought it would be too easy. All week there has been talk about us coming up here, players missing and I think up to that point we thought we were going to run away with it. But I pointed out through the week how aggressive Hull KR would be and how well Lovegrove and Murrell have been playing in the halves.

“Therefore I don’t think our attitude for the 80 minutes was quite what it should have been.

“Take nothing from Hull though, they could have said we are 14 down, have injuries and use them as excuses but they didn’t. Their coach has done a great job and made them competitive and at the end of the day they were the better side.”

Saints led through tries from Sia Soliola, Michael Shenton and James Roby, but Hull KR fought back through David Hodgson, Constantine Mika and Shannon McDonnell.

Chris Flannery and Josh Hodgson exchanged tries before Francis Meli and Paul Wellens helped Saints open up a lead, only for Mika’s second and Kris Welham to put Rovers back in front.

But Meli’s second try and Foster’s penalty rescued a point for the visitors, despite outscoring the home side by seven tries to six, with Foster’s four try conversion misses proving costly.

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