Lee Radford admitted Hull were out-fought by St Helens at Magic Weekend on Saturday.
Saints’ stunning 45-0 success was in stark contrast to their abject display at Castleford in the Challenge Cup last weekend and Radford acknowledged his team had fallen well short of their usual high standards.
“I think the result was well deserved by St Helens – it’s probably the third time this year that we’ve not just been beaten, but where we’ve completely collapsed,” said Radford.
“St Helens’ reason to perform today obviously meant a lot more than our reason to perform to go top of the table.
“Their reason to perform today was purely down to the fact that they got torn a new one last week.
“When there’s a veteran of the game like Jon Wilkin saying that it’s the lowest he’s ever felt in his career, that shows how likely it was there was going to be a response.
“We threw jabs and they threw bombs and that’s probably the best way I can describe it.”