St Helens defeated Hull FC 19-12 at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday to revitalise their charge for a top-four finish. Mark Percival’s man-of-the-match performance sealed a crucial win for the Saints as the Black and Whites failed to move into second.

Stellar double from Percival

Percival’s man-of-the-match stint saw him claim a brace of tries, including a fantastic finish in the corner. Theo Fages’ delicate kick over the top of the Hull defenders was destined for Jamie Shaul’s arms but the centre, who scored 14 of his side’s 19 points, outstretched an arm to reach the kick ahead of Shaul before squeezing the ball down inches from the touchline.

Percival’s three kicks put the hosts in control before Danny Richardson’s drop goal made sure of the win.

Back in the top four race?

The result moves Justin Holbrook’s side to within four points of the top four – had the Saints lost, they would have been six adrift of the Grand Final play-off places. St Helens have never missed out on a play-off place in the Super League era and while they still have work to do if they are to keep up the impressive record, Friday night’s victory was an important step towards doing just that.

Two successive defeats for Hull

Lee Radford’s side have now lost twice in as many games but still occupy fourth thanks to Castleford’s 24-25 victory over Wakefield on Thursday night. The East Yorkshire side go to Leeds next weekend in another tie that will test their credentials for a top-four spot, before facing Huddersfield on the final weekend before the Super Eights split.

Top eight spot confirmed for Saints

St Helens became the latest side to confirm their Super Eights spot with a victory. The win takes them five points clear of ninth-placed Warrington with two games to go, and their sole focus now is on chasing down the gap to a prized Grand Final play-off spot.

St Helens 19 (8)

Tries: James Roby (x1), Percival (x2)
Goals: Percival (x3)
Drop goals: Richardson (x1)

Hull FC 12 (6)

Tries: Shaul (x1), Mahe Fonua (x1)
Goals: Marc Sneyd (x2)