Hull FC 6-38 St Helens: Highlights, player ratings and talking points

Champions St Helens produced as good as a performance as you’re ever going to see in snow and sleet.

The Saints stampeded down the middle of the field to blow Hull FC away. Making life more difficult for the Black and Whites was the sending off of skipper Luke Gale in what was a reckless moment from the former Man of Steel.

Highlights:

Hull chance their arm

Early in the game, Hull looked to play off the cuff rugby knowing that they’d struggle to contend with St Helens down the middle of the field. They even produced two chips over the top in one set. This saw them come within inches of scoring when former St Helens winger Adam Swift looked to turn one of these kicks into four points. Had he, it could’ve been a different story.

Adam Swift spent seven seasons at St Helens before joining Hull in 2020

Luke Gale red card

In a somewhat reckless moment, Hull FC’s new skipper got himself sent off when he led with his studs when attempting to block a kick from Johnny Lomax. Until this point, Gale had been central to everything Hull did and every question they threw at the Saints. His departure from the field signalled the end of the game. The last thing you want to do against a powerful side like the Champions is give them a man advantage.

Whiteley Tribute

In a touching moment before the game, which was somewhat sullied by the weather and cards shown, Hull FC paid tribute to legend of the game Johnny Whiteley. Lizzie Jones sang Abide With Me, the Hull FC Chaplain read a lovely poem about the Great Britain international and his great grandchildren delivered the match ball.

Major Talking Points:

1. Composure needed from Hull

Hull FC showed a number of good signs in the defeat today. Chris Satae was able to contend with St Helens’ pack whilst his teammates demonstrated glimpses where they were able to ask St Helens’ some questions and build serious pressure. But unfortunately that pressure would always be undercut but something like an error or indeed the red card shown to Gale and the yellow shown to Connor Wynne. If Hull had the composure to sustain these moments of pressure, it might have been a more fruitful afternoon.

2. Powerful pack powers passed Hull

St Helens’ pack is the bedrock of their success. In the opening to the game Alex Walmsley looked unstoppable and when he went off Agnatius Paasi came on and enjoyed a similar stint. He also helped conjure up a try for Sione Mata’utia. If there was anything more daunting than the weather today, it was the sight of the Saints big men charging forward.

3. Saints spine sharp in the snow

In the snow, it’s always difficult for ball players to stamp their authority on the game and yet somehow Saints’ spine did. Johnny Lomax showed a number of touches of class, James Roby bossed the game in the middle and Joey Lussick did a very good job of continuing that. Meanwhile, young Jack Welsby and Lewis Dodd came up with a sublime try each in spite of the conditions.

Player Ratings:

Hull FC
29 Jamie Shaul – 6
5 Darnell McIntosh – 7
23 Connor Wynne – 5
24 Cameron Scott – 5
2 Adam Swift – 6
6 Josh Reynolds – 6
7 Luke Gale – 5
17 Brad Fash – 6
9 Danny Houghton – 6
8 Ligi Sao – 6
4 Josh Griffin – 7
13 Jordan Lane – 6
21 Jordan Johnstone – 6
Substitutes
10 Chris Satae – 7
14 Joe Lovodua – 6
20 Jack Brown – 6
25 Mitieli Vulikijapani – 6

St Helens
1 Jack Welsby – 8
21 Josh Simm – 8
23 Konrad Hurrell – 7
4 Mark Percival – 7
2 Tommy Makinson – 7
6 Johnny Lomax – 8
7 Lewis Dodd – 8
8 Alex Walmsley – 8
9 James Roby – 8
10 Matty Lees – 7
11 Sione Mata’utia – 8
12 Joe Batchelor – 7
13 Morgan Knowles – 7
Substitutes
14 Joey Lussick – 8
15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook – 7
16 Curtis Sironen – 7
17 Agnatius Paasi – 8

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