St Helens 20-12 Hull FC: Highlights, player ratings and talking points

Saints returned to winning ways at the Totally Wicked Stadium, defeating Hull FC 20-12 in a match that only saw a single try in the first half.


Great Scott: The first real opportunity of note for either side came after a quick change of direction, and subsequent break from Cameron Scott. The ball ended up going from FC’s right to their left the closer they found themselves to the line, before Adam Swift was knocked into touch by Ben Davies.

Houghton on the charge: Hull continued to create chances, as, in the 19th minute, Danny Houghton broke away from the line, and a subsequent Jake Clifford kick in behind had Swift chasing, but it bounced out before he could get there. Late replacement Tee Ritson recovered the dead ball and won a penalty for a high shot, after restarting quickly from the 20m line.

Bennison denied: The first time the ball was touched down in an attacking context was courtesy of Jon Bennison, who crossed the Whitewash down the Saints left, but the joy was short lived for the Champions, as the try was quickly pulled back for a forward pass to Bennison.

Griffin held up: The Black and Whites came close again, this time through Josh Griffin, who looked to drive over from Dummy Half on the last tackle. The Referee sent it up as no try, and that view was corroborated by the Video Referee who confirmed the ball wasn’t grounded.

Opening try of the night: In a half of defence being King, Saints broke the deadlock close to the final minute of the half. A short Goal Line Drop Out from FC went awry, and Ben Davies was able to pick the loose ball up and cross to open the scoring, with the conversion missing the mark.

Hull strike back: Hull made it a try apiece after 47 minutes, when Scott Taylor managed to overpower a handful of Saints defenders, forcing his way over the line from Dummy Half. Clifford converted to give the Airlie Birds the two point lead.

Bennison gets his try: After being denied in the first half, Bennison added his name to the scoresheet after 55 minutes. After receiving the ball on the Saints left, he cut back inside and patiently worked the Hull line, before spotting the space and flying through to crash over for the try. Joey Lussick converted for the four point advantage.

Welsby adds four: Just after the hour mark, Jack Welsby added another four points to the scoreboard for the first bit of daylight in the tie. A clever offload from James Bell set Welsby off, who found a gap to the left and drove into the space to add his name to the list of scorers. Lussick again converted for a ten point advantage.

Clifford reduces the gap to one score: Just four minutes after Welsby’s try, Hull forced the error from Saints, as a big tackle involving the likes of Brad Dwyer and Chris Satae forced the error, and the loose ball was gratefully picked up by Clifford, who scored the try and converted it to once again reduce the gap to four.

Bennison seals it: Bennison down the left flank warpped up the victory with a couple of minutes to go, receiving the ball a few metres out and crashing over under pressure to confirm the end of Saints’ losing streak, with Lewis Dodd missing the subsequent conversion.

Talking Points

Offloads a plenty: Both teams came out with the intent of offloading as much as possible to try and break their opponents’ stubborn defensive line. The usually reliable likes of Alex Walmsley and Ligi Sao producing errors to turnover possession as they looked to keep the play going. This is something that was much less prevalent in the second half, however.

A solid Hull response: After their big defeat against Salford last week, Hull and Tony Smith had to make a statement, even in defeat, by upping their performance levels after the performance against the Red Devils. Despite losing, they were much improved, and can take solace in a much more even game despite losing.

A more typical Saints performance: After looking out of character in recent weeks, the Saints looked much more like their vintage selves, particularly in the second forty. Two tries, including a great solo effort, from Jon Bennison, and a much more cohesive display from the Red Vee after two defeats left questions above their heads.

Player Ratings

St. Helens:
1 Jack Welsby – 7
2 Tommy Makinson – 7
21 Ben Davies – 8
25 Tee Ritson – 6
5 Jack Bennison – 8
6 Jonny Lomax – 6
7 Lewis Dodd – 7
8 Alex Walmsley – 6
9 James Roby – 7
10 Matty Lees – 7
19 James Bell – 8
16 Curtis Sironen – 6
13 Morgan Knowles – 6
14 Joey Lussick – 7
15 Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook– 7
17 Agnatius Paasi – 7
18 Jake Wingfield – 6

Hull FC:
1 Tex Hoy – 8
2 Adam Swift – 7
23 Josh Griffin – 7
17 Cam Scott – 7
25 Davy Litten – 6
14 Joe Lovodua – 7
7 Jake Clifford – 8
20 Jack Brown – 6
9 Danny Houghton – 8
10 Chris Satae – 7
12 Andre Savelio – 6
8 Ligi Sao  – 6
13 Brad Fash – 7
11 Jordan Lane – 6
15 Joe Cator – 6
30 Scott Taylor – 7
33 Brad Dwyer – 7

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