St Helens proved they aren’t a one-man team as they beat Hull FC 26-12 without Ben Barba.
St Helens coach Justin Holbrook made just one change to his side that beat Widnes Vikings on Easter Monday. Barba was ruled out with illness and was replaced by Jonny Lomax.
Lee Radford made five changes to his Hull FC that beat Wakefield Trinity on Monday. Jamie Shaul, Jack Logan, Carlos Tuimavave, Danny Houghton and Jordan Lane came in for Hakim Miloudi, Bureta Faraimo, Mark Minichiello, Jansin Turgut and Jez Litten.
St Helens started the game in fine fashion. Zeb Taia did well to collect a hanging kick from Theo Fages to score the game’s opening try. Danny Richardson converted to put his side 6-0 up.
Josh Griffin thought he had scored for the away side midway through the first half on the back of a Marc Sneyd kick. However, the video referee ruled it out due to Jake Connor knocking on earlier in the move.
A chance went begging for Hull FC on the half hour mark. Jordan Lane did all the hard work and ran a nice line but knocked on when reaching over the line.
St Helens had a couple of half chances late on in the first half but the score remained 6-0 to Saints at the break.
Whatever Holbrook said to his players at half time, it certainly worked. Saints scored within three minutes of the second half starting as Mark Percival burst onto a flat ball from Lomax to glide over. Richardson’s conversion took the score to 12-0.
Richardson extended Saints’ lead with a penalty goal after Jake Connor committed a dangerous tackle. It was 14-0 after 49 minutes.
Saints flyer Regan Grace came so close to scoring, but the Wales star couldn’t hang on to the ball near the line.
Hull FC pulled one back on the hour though. Percival dropped the ball and Logan made a quick break down the right before assisting the supporting Albert Kelly. Sneyd added the extras and Hull were just 14-6 behind.
Luke Thompson had a try denied in the 67th minute. The Saints prop crashed over the line, but it was disallowed for double movement.
They scored in the following set though. They had numbers out wide and Taia grabbed his second.
Thompson got a deserved try in the final quarter. He wrestled his way over the line from close range. The conversion was on point, St Helens 26-6 Hull FC.
Chris Green scored a consolation try for Hull FC late on, but St Helens were worthy 26-12 winners. They remain at the top of the Betfred Super League table.
St Helens: Lomax; Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Grace; Fages, Richardson; Amor, Roby, Thompson, Peyroux, Taia, Wilkin. Subs: Smith, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas, Knowles.
Hull FC: Shaul; Logan, Griffin, Tuimavave, Talanoa; Kelly, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton, Paea, Washbrook, Lane, Fash. Subs: Bowden, Connor, Green, Abdull.
Starman: Zeb Taia was solid throughout for St Helens. He did the gritty work in defence and even scored two tries.