St Helens took another step towards claiming the League Leaders’ Shield after humiliating Hull FC 60-6 at the MKM Stadium, with the Black and Whites’ play-off hopes now hanging by a thread.
The reigning champions, missing a few key stars to injury, had to work hard at the start of the match to combat an energetic and enterprising Hull team. Ultimately, they were never in doubt of getting the result, having too much class for a home side still ravaged by injury and suspensions themselves.
Once Saints got in front on the half-hour mark it was all one-way traffic. The visitors notched up 11 tries in total as Hull conceded 60 points for the third time in 2022.
Agnatius Paasi was outstanding for the visitors. His offloads proved the catalyst for the Saints onslaught, to which Hull had no answer. Brett Hodgson’s side are now in serious danger of missing the play-offs altogether.
Hull took the lead
There was little sign of what was to come when Hull took the lead inside five minutes with a converted try out wide to Jack Walker.
But Saints showed patience and class to score from deep and level matters, with Will Hopoate supporting a Konrad Hurrell break to open his side’s account for the afternoon.
As the game wore on, the energy started to drain from Hull as Saints found their rhythm in attack, taking the lead after half-an-hour through Tommy Makinson, who finished well on the right edge.
The visitors were now well on top and hit Hull with three tries in the final 10 minutes of the half, with Hurrell burrowing over either side of a brace from Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook to take a commanding lead into the break.
HT: Hull FC 6-26 St Helens
Hull needed a good start to the second half but produced anything but. Silly penalties contributed to an avalanche of point to Saints, with the home side not touching the ball for the first 10 minutes after the break.
Ben Davies darted over before Hurrell and Makinson added a second each in nine minutes to end the game as a contest.
There was simply no answer from Hull, whose defence was ripped apart through the middle and on both edges.
The scoreline continued to mount up as Saints cut loose with three more tries in the final quarter.
Sione Mata’utia darted over out wide to join the scorers before Joey Lussick split the defence through the middle to race away from long range.
With Hull still reeling from losing Danny Houghton to a head knock, the visitors rounded off the scoring with a second try to Davies. Saints completed a demolition and inflicted Hull’s third heavy home defeat in a row.
FT: Hull FC 6-60 St Helens
Hull: Walker; McIntosh, Connor, Vulikijapani, Wynne; Smith, Gale; Taylor, Houghton, Evans, Lane, Longstaff, Fash. Subs: Johnstone, Laidlaw, Lovodua, Satae.
Tries: Walker Goals: Gale 1
St Helens: Hopoate; Makinson, Hurrell, Mata’utia, Bennison; Davies, Lomax; Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Bell, Batchelor, Knowles. Subs: Lussick, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Paasi, Wingfield.
Tries: Hopoate, Makinson (2), McCarthy-Scarsbrook (2), Hurrell (2), Davies (2), Mata’utia, Lussick Goals: Makinson 8