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Either Hull FC or St Helens would end round three at the top of the league as the two sides met at the KCOM Stadium. Hull were defending their one hundred percent start to the season and knew that a win would guarantee them top spot, Saints needed a seven point winning margin and to hope that Warrington didn’t run in a big win against Wakefield.

Saints were without Mark Percival who has been ruled out for several months with a shoulder injury picked up in last weeks surprise loss to Warrington, but Tommy Makinson and Alex Walmsley were back in the line up.

Hull FC also made a few changes with Kelly, Satae, Faraimo and Savelio all missing for the home side, but Mahe Fonua would make his second debut after returning to Airlie Birds with Gareth Ellis back in at thirteen and Josh Griffin moved into the pack.

Saints took the opportunity to get the scoreboard moving after four minutes when they took advantage of an early penalty with Tommy Makinson kicking the goal.

The only try of the half came on twenty-nine when a mix-up in the Saints defence allowed Carlos Tuimavave to pounce on the loose ball and get it on the ground in the goal area. Marc Sneyd added the conversion and a little against the run of play it was the home side who took a 6-2 lead into the sheds.

Saints were back on level terms after a nicely worked try found Matty Costello on the overlap to go over in the corner. Makinson was unable to add the conversion from wide.

A brain explosion from Mahe Fonua gifted Luke Thompson a simple try as the ball was flicked into the Hull goal area for the Saints prop to react the fastest and score. Makinson was accurate with the boot this time for a 12-6 lead.

The floodgates were opened with a third Saints try in ten minutes when Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook went through a broken defence to score under the sticks off a Jonny Lomax pass. Makinson added the conversion for 18-6, Hull looking a different outfit from the one that we’d seen in the first half.

Three minutes later, James Bentley was in for the fourth St Helens try of the afternoon after Danny Houghton gave away a penalty and once again Lomax was the provider after feigning to kick before putting in the pass. Makinson added the goal and with the game at just under the hour, the Champions had a 24-6 lead.

Tuimavave got his second of the game with a well worked Airlie Birds try and they blasted their way downfield after a Jake Connor break and Fonua run down the wing before the ball was passed into his partner centres hands to run in the try. Sneyd added the goal for 12-24 with twelve minutes of the game remaining.

A Saints penalty, from the boot of Makinson, took the lead out to fourteen points to make it a three score game.

A tired Hull defence allowed Aaron Smith over for the fifth Saints try with seventy-six minutes on the clock as he scooted from acting half-back to avoid the tackles and drop over the line. Makinson added the goal for 32-12.

A spectacular final try of the game sent the Black & Whites fans home with a wry smile on their faces. Giving the ball some air as Jamie Shaul picked up the four pointer, Sneyd adding the conversion for a final score of 18-32.

FC were arguably the best side in the opening forty minutes and despite trailing at the interval they must have held out hopes of a decent second half and fancied their chances of securing the two league points. But the second half was all about St Helens who withheld the ball from the home side and used it themselves to devastating effect. It’s the Champions who go to the top of the table, banishing their horror show at Warrington last week into the back of their memory.

FC: Shaul (T), Swift, Tuimavave (2T), Fonua, Nualago, Connor, Sneyd (3G), Taylor, Houghton, Sao, Griffin, Jones, Ellis. Subs: Matongo, Johnstone, Bowden (Lane), Fash.

Saints: Welsby, Grace, Costello (T), Naiqama, Makinson (6G), Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Bentley (T), Thompson (T), Taia, Peyroux, Knowles.  Subs: McCarthy-Scarsbrook (T), Lees, Paulo, Smith (T).

Referee: Liam Moore.

Half-Time: 6-2.

Full-Time: 18-32.

Attendance: 12,399.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 16th Feb 2020 4:49 PM | Views : 1908 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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