St Helens put in a solid performance against Hull F.C. to keep them at the top of the Betfred Super League table.
The home side opened the scoring early in the first half when Zeb Taia collected a Theo Fages grubber.
Hull F.C. almost scored twice in the first half but we’re foiled firstly by the video ref and then a Jordan Lane knock on as he tried to touch down.
Justin Holbrook’s side doubled their lead early in the second half as Lomax and Fages combined to send Mark Percival bursting through a gap.
Danny Richardson then added two more points for Justin Holbrook’s men to give them a fourteen point lead.
Controversy then struck as Albert Kelly scored a try from a Saints error. Jake Connor picked up a loose ball and flicked a pass to Jack Logan who raced down the touch line before feeding Kelly to score on his inside- although replays suggested the pass went well forward.
The game was over in the 67th minute as Taia grabbed his second, finding space down the left edge before scoring despite the best defensive efforts of Scott Taylor.
Luke Thompson rounded off another solid performance with a try of his own as he took Matty Smith’s pass to crash over the try line.
The Black and Whites found consolation through a Chris Green consolation try but it wasn’t meant to be for the away side.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
No Barba, No Problem
Despite the late withdrawal of Ben Barba, the Saints still looked incredibly comfortable and proved wrong those who thought they were a one-man team.
Obviously, the league leaders are a better side with the Australian in the team, but the backline has shown that they can still win without their prized asset.
Fatigue set in for Hull
The effects of the Easter weekend were on show for Lee Radfords men; playing a derby with 12 men before a bruising clash against Wakefield looking to have taken its toll. The visitors looked drained of energy and endeavour, but will want this kind of a performance to be a one-off occurrence.
Mark Minichello and Sika Manu both failing fitness tests didn’t help their cause, but it was a disappointing night for the visitors all round.
Man Of The Match- Tommy Makinson
Makinson made some of the Hull F.C. defenders look amateur at times by causing them to miss several tackles with his sidewards runs. He was frustrating the middle men every time he ran the ball from dummy half.
Even when the game was won, the winger was still chasing kicks like it was the first minute of the game showing why he deserved his England call up.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
St Helens Head Coach Justin Holbrook
“When you play a third game in eight days you need everyone to play well and everyone did.
“It was a good win and, against a really dangerous attacking team, the way we defended makes it all the more sweet.”
Hull F.C. Head Coach Lee Radford
“Both teams were tired and busted from three games in seven days. They were a lot better than us.
“Every kick they threw up was a challenge, they played the ball quicker than us and they defended slowly. I was very envious watching their performance.”
St Helens 26
Tries: Taia 2, Percival, Thompson
Goals: Richardson 5
Drop Goals: n/a
Hull F.C. 12
Tries: Kelly, Green
Goals: Sneyd 2
Drop Goals: n/a
St Helens: Lomax, Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Fages, Richardson, Grace, Roby, Amor, Thompson, Peyroux, Taia, Wilkin.
Hull FC: Shaul, Logan, Griffin, Tuimavave, Griffin, Talanoa, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Paea, Washbrook, Lane, Fash.
Referee: Robert Hicks