Jack Welsby inspires St Helens to Challenge Cup semi-finals after beating Hull FC

Drew Darbyshire
Jack Welsby St Helens News Images

Photo: James Heaton/News Images

A man of the match performance from Jack Welsby helped St Helens progress to the Challenge Cup semi-finals as they beat 12-man Hull FC 32-18 at the MKM Stadium.

Hull coach Tony Smith made two changes to his side that lost at Leigh last week. Chris Satae and Davy Litten came in for Jake Clifford (concussion) and Jack Brown.

Meanwhile, St Helens boss Paul Wellens named an unchanged team from the one that beat rivals Wigan last time out.

The score was level at 12-12 at the break with Joe Batchelor and Konrad Hurrell scoring first half tries for Saints, with Josh Griffin and Andre Savelio scoring for Hull.

Griffin was sent off on the stroke of half-time. He was initially shown a yellow card before saying something to referee Chris Kendall, which then saw him receive a red.

Tries from Curtis Sironen and Lewis Dodd put Saints ahead shortly after the second half restart before Jake Trueman gave Hull a chance, but late tries from Jack Welsby and James Bell secured the win for Saints.

St Helens open the scoring

St Helens opened the scoring in the eighth minute with back-rower Joe Batchelor running a good line to score, with Tommy Makinson converting.

The Saints were dealt a blow just minutes later though. Centre Mark Percival left the field for a head injury assessment following a collision in a tackle with Brad Fash and didn’t return.

Hull lost starting prop Scott Taylor to a suspected dislocated shoulder, with the former England international going straight to hospital.

The Airlie Birds scored their first try of the afternoon in the 15th minute when Tex Hoy made a break and assisted the supporting Griffin.

Hull took the lead midway through the first half when Andre Savelio capitalised on Saints failing to deal with a kick into the corner.

Saints lost star winger Tommy Makinson with what looked like a hamstring injury in the first half.

The score was brought level in the 33rd minute when Hurrell executed a stunning pass from Welsby.

Hull went down to 12 men seconds after the half-time hooter sounded. Griffin was initially shown a yellow card by referee Chris Kendall before then being shown a red for dissent.

The score level at the break

Saints took the lead shortly after the second half restart after Sironen barged his way over the line.

Dodd then extended his side’s lead following an excellent break from winger Tee Ritson, with Joey Lussick converting to put Saints 24-12 ahead.

Hull suffered a blow in the 64th minute when playmaker Hoy left the action with a hamstring injury.

Miscommunication from Welsby and Ritson when dealing with a Hull high bomb resulted in Trueman pulling one back for the Black and Whites.

But the Saints dug deep and scored through full-back Welsby who jinked his way through the Hull defence to score to put his side 28-18 ahead with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Scotland international Bell, who recently signed a new deal with Saints, scored late on to wrap up the 32-18 win for Saints.

St Helens will discover their semi-final opponents when the draw takes place on Sunday afternoon.

Hull: Litten; Swift, Sutcliffe, Tuimavave, McIntosh; Trueman, Hoy; Fash, Houghton, Taylor, Griffin, Savelio, Cator. Subs: Dwyer, Lane, Sao, Satae. 18th man: Scott.

Tries: Griffin, Savelio, Trueman Goals: Sutcliffe 3

St Helens: Welsby; Makinson, Hurrell, Percival, Ritson; Lomax, Dodd; Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Sironen, Batchelor, Knowles. Subs: Mata’utia, Lussick, Paasi, Bell. 18th man: Bennison.

Tries: Batchelor, Hurrell, Sironen, Dodd, Welsby, Bell Goals: Makinson 2, Lussick 2

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