Rugby League - Saints crash out after Meli dismissal

St Helens paid the price for the first-half dismissal of Francis Meli as they fell at the first hurdle of the Tetley's Challenge Cup for the first time in 18 years following a 26-18 loss to Hull KR.

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Francis Meli of St Helens (PA Sport)

Referee Richard Silverwood had already put two St Helens players, Jon Wilkin and Ade Gardner, on report for late shoulder charges before he produced a red card for Meli eight minutes before the break for an horrific-looking high tackle on Rovers' two-try winger Craig Hall.

Hull KR were already leading 12-6 by then after Ade Gardner had got Saints on the board following tries from Craig Hall and Mickey Paea. Hall crossed again before the break while Greg Eden and Liam Salter went over in the second period. Paul Wellens and Mark Percival scored tries for St Helens.

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