St Helens 31 Hull FC 10: Depleted Hull give Saints an early fright before bowing out

Mahe Fonua.
Mahe Fonua.
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Hull FC’s under-strength side produced a valiant effort to ensure there was no Wembley hangover but it was not enough to prevent St Helens securing a 31-10 win.

Winger Jack Owens scored 18 points with two tries and five goals as Saints took another significant step towards clinching a semi-final spot despite being well below their best.

Led by Leon Pryce, the Black and Whites looked anything but a weakened team as they bossed the game for long periods.

Centre Mahe Fonua caught Saints defenders napping at a play-the-ball by dummying his way around the blindside of the ruck and tip-toeing his way over for the game’s first try.

Jonny Lomax came up with two acts of class to get Owens and Matty Fleming over for two quick-fire tries early in the second quarter. Owens added a conversion to make it 10-6 at half-time.

Saints edged further in front as Atelea Vea crashed through the attempted tackle of Danny Washbrook and Chris Green, Owens converting, before Sika Manu pulled a try back for Hull, shrugging off the challenge of Dominique Peyroux to gallop over.

Owens kicked a dubious penalty, before St Helens were indebted to Adam Swift, making a try-saving tackle to deny Michaels before breaking out of defence to create position for Vea’s try, he was first to reach James Roby’s grubber kick to record his second try and Owens kicked his fourth goal.

Turner added a drop goal before Owens rounded off the scoring four minutes from the end by converting his second try.

St Helens: Lomax, Owens, Peyroux, Fleming, Swift, Turner, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Richards, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Greenwood, Wilkin. Substitutes: Amor, Vea, Ashworth, Knowles.

Hull: Shaul, Michaels, Fonua, Talanoa, Naughton, Pryce, Abdull, Bowden, Washbrook, Green, Manu, Hadley, Thompson. Substitutes: Watts, Paleaaesina, Pritchard, Downs.

Referee: C Campbell (RFL).