A Jonny Lomax-inspired St Helens team made it two wins from two over Easter with a 62-16 drubbing over Hull FC.
Both teams came into the game full of confidence after wins against their rivals on Good Friday. Hull raced into an early 10-0 lead with Joe Westerman touching down a Jake Connor grubber and then Carlos Tuimavave scored off the back of a Marc Sneyd 40/20.
It then got worse for Saints as Luke Thompson was taken off with a suspected ankle injury.
It was one-way traffic after that as Jonny Lomax began to turn the screw. He scored two tries in quick succession. His first came from a Joseph Paulo pass then his dummy fooled three Hull players for his second to make it 12-10.
The scorer then turned provider as Lomax put Kevin Naiqama in the corner to extend Saints’ lead.
Joseph Paulo put in his best Saints performance to date in the loose forward role as his inside pass set up a break for Lachlan Coote, who fed Adam Swift to score on his first appearance of the season.
Then, on the brink of half time, it was Coote who got in on the scoring action, once again with Paulo at the heart of the action making it 30-10 at half time.
Hull needed to score first after the break if they were going to make a fist of it and they did just that, with Jez Litten scoring after a couple of offloads left gaps in the Saints defence.
Swift made sure there was no chance of a comeback minutes later though with his second of the day in the corner. He then completed a hat-trick with an acrobatic finish to give Justin Holbrook something to think about when it comes to wingers.
Saints were really starting to enjoy themselves and it was Lomax once again with an assist with a flick pass Matt Gidley would be proud of to put Naiqama in to score.
18-year-old Jack Welsby got his second try of the season, who was brought on to rest Tommy Makinson, after some Harlem Globetrotter-style play from the Saints.
Naiqama scored his third and fourth tries in the last five minutes to complete the rout as he used his strength and power for both of them to make the final score 62-16.
Strength in depth
Saints have been pretty lucky when it comes to injuries this season but they lost Mark Percival and Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook on Friday while Luke Thompson left the field after just 15 minutes against Hull. Justin Holbrook’s team showed they have strength in depth though as Matty Lees, Jack Ashworth and Kyle Amor put in strong performances while Adam Swift showed that their third choice winger is probably better than a lot of clubs’ first choice wingers.
Go Jonny go
Not often does one player score four tries while another scores a hat-trick and neither of them are man of the match but that’s just how good Jonny Lomax was. He was at the heart of everything and at the moment, he is the league’s in-form half-back.
New signings for Hull
Despite the score line, Hull are not far off being a top team. They have a good set of forwards while the partnership of Marc Sneyd and Albert Kelly is a strong as any in the league. It’s the forwards which are the difference. Hull need to make at least 3 good signings in the pack if they are to compete next year; however, getting key names back should help.
The Easter weekend always gives an opportunity for young players to shine. Cameron Scott played his first game of the season for Hull while Joe Batchelor showed once again there is talent outside of Super League as he did not look out of place making his Super League debut for Saints.
St Helens 62
Tries: Lomax 2, Naqaima 4, Swift 3, Coote, Welsby
Goals: Coote 8, Richardson 1
Drop Goals: n/a
Hull FC 16
Tries: Westerman, Tuimavave, Litten
Goals: Sneyd 2
Drop Goals: n/a
St Helens: Coote, Swift, Makinson, Naiqama, Grace, Lomax, Richardson, Lees, Roby, Thompson, Batchelor, Knowles, Paulo
Interchanges: Amor, Peyroux, Ashworth, Welsby
Hull FC: Connor, Faraimo, Tuimavave, Scott, Naulago, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Hadley, Matongo, Manu, Minichello, Westerman
Interchanges: Thomspon, Green, Fash, Litten