Being without a win since the last weekend in June wasn’t the ideal way for Hull FC to prepare for a Monday night home game against a high-flying St Helens side who were looking to maintain pressure on minor premiers elect, the Catalans Dragons.
A loss for FC could see them drop below archrivals Hull KR, depending on how their fared in their home game against the Dragons on the other side of the city, whereas either outcome would not have any effect on Saints league position.
Saints comfortably won the first meeting between the two sides back in early June and the bookies and pundits all tipped them to do the double.
It took Saints just four minutes to open their account when Joel Thompson grounded a James Roby grubber close to the dead ball line. Lachlan Coote hit the post with his conversion attempt, but the early indications were that Saints meant business.
The second try came with twelve on the clock, Tommy Makinson going in down the right wing off a delightful Kevin Naiqama pass and diving in at the corner. Coote pushed his kick wide of the far uprights but Saints were 8-0 ahead.
Coote finally found his kicking boots on eighteen as he knocked over a penalty from twenty-two metres out to bring up double figures.
A scruffy third try saw Jack Welsby collect a scooped pass from Coote after the Hull FC defence were unable to deal with a kick through. Coote added the conversion for a 16-0 lead.
Adam Swift was held up over the line on twenty-eight as FC went close to scoring their first try but Saints defended well until the thirty fifth minute when Swift picked up a high kick which was fumbled by the Saints defence for the winger to sprint down the left wing and score. Sneyd couldn’t add the conversion, his side still trailing by two converted tries.
FC had just the start they wanted to the second half when Bureta Faraimo jumped to collect a Josh Reynolds high kick to dot down in the right corner. Sneyd added the touchline conversion to reduce the arrears to a single converted try.
After a high tackle from Marc Sneyd, Coote opted to take the penalty but smacked it into the right-hand post, his teammates tackling the receiver and forcing a goal line drop out.
On fifty-seven Jordan Johnstone was sin-binned for a late tackle on Lewis Dodd and when Coote kicked the resulting penalty goal his side were eight points clear.
A Roby grubber was collected by Kyle Amor for the big forward to crash over by the uprights to break Airlie Birds hearts. When Coote added the conversion, it was a fourteen-point Saints lead, another Super League win under their belts.
A pinpoint Coote try was grounded by a flying Naiqama on sixty-seven to put any hopes of a Hull FC fightback to bed. Coote added the conversion for 30-10.
Sao was yellow carded on seventy-one for a swinging arm, FC down to twelve men for the remainder of the game. Two minutes later Jack Welsby went in for his second try of the evening as Hull started to fade fast, scoring behind the sticks to improve the angle for Coote to kick the conversion.
Welsby completed his hat-trick on the final hooter as he weaved his way through the tired FC defence to dive over. Coote added the conversion for a final score of 42-10
Saints were in charge of this game from the outset and never looked in danger of losing the match as they turned on the style to run in seven tries and amass forty-two points against a jaded FC side who had no answers. Two sin-binnings didn’t help the home sides case but they were never at the races.
Hull FC: Wynne, Faraimo (T), Fonua, Scott, Swift (T), Reynolds, Sneyd (G), Sao (SB on 71), Johnstone (SB on 58), Satae, Ma’U, Lane, Cator. Subs: Brown, Fash, McNamara, Vulikijapani.
St Helens: Coote (7G), Makinson (T), Naiqama (T), Percival, Welsby (3T), Lomax, Dodd, Walmsley, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Thompson (T), Batchelor, Knowles. Subs: Lees, Mata’utia, Amor (T), Smith.
Referee: James Child.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-8, 0-10, 0-14, 0-16, 4-16 : HT : 8-16, 10-16, 10-18, 10-22, 10-24, 10-28, 10-30, 10-34, 10-36, 10-40, 10-42 : FT.