Hull FC boss Brett Hodgson says Theo Fages wasn't "disrespectful" after Josh Griffin injury

Hull FC boss Brett Hodgson insists St Helens scrum-half Theo Fages’ controversial try was not “disrespectful” - but admitted there had been tears in their dressing room after missing out on Wembley.

St Helens' Theo Fages celebrates his try (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)

The Black and Whites lost an epic Betfred Challenge Cup semi-final 33-18 against Saints at sun-drenched Leigh.

They had come from 20-2 down early in the second period to trail the Super League champions just 21-18 in the 72nd minute after tries from Mahe Fonua, Danny Houghton and Cameron Scott.

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Jake Connor’s 40/20 put them in position to strike again - only for the full-back to see his pass intercepted by Regan Grace, the Welsh winger who raced 80m for his second try and to seal Saints’ win.

However, arguably the key point had been in the 25th minute when Hull centre Josh Griffin collapsed in agony with no one near him near his own line.

He dropped the ball before falling to the ground, clutching his right leg after suffering a suspected ruptured Achilles.

Saints scrum-half Theo Fages immediately picked up the ball and scrambled over to score from 10m out as Saints went 14-2 ahead.

With in-form Griffin in clear distress, Hull fans were incensed about the French player’s actions.

Hull FC's Carlos Tuimavave can only watch on helpless as Regan Grace intercepts Jake Connor's pass at the death. (ALEX WHITEHEAD/SWPIX)

However, Hodgson insisted: “It’s part of the game.

“Unfortunately that is the rule if the ball is dropped.

“I would expect the same.

“I don’t think it was disrespectful to Josh’s injury. It was just unfortunate.

Hull FC's Dannny Houghton scores as their comeback continues (ALEX WHITEHEAD/SWPIX)

“Theo Fages did what he had to do. It’s one of those where I can’t be too angry about it.”

Griffin, 30, has again been one of Super League’s form players this season and was tipped by many to make his England debut against the Combined Nations All Stars later this month.

He had to be helped from the field in obvious distress and Hodgson added: “It’s not good.

“It looks like he’s ruptured his Achilles. He’s hurting pretty badly at the minute.”

The Hull coach says he was always confident his side would overhaul the deficit as they mounted that thrilling fightback - only to see Saints score two late tries at the death.

“I never lost confidence,” said Hodgson.

“Jake Connor executes that pass 99 times out of 100.

“The one time he doesn’t, Regan Grace runs the length of the field.

“It’s fine margins but we have to move one and make sure we compete for the rest of Super League now.

“We want him (Connor) to execute those players and want him to keep trying them.

“There’s a few boys shedding some tears in there.

“A lot of effort went into that performance.

“The way it went at the back end we’re disappointed but we need to make sure we process this and move on.

“We showed that in that second half. We showed we can match them and were almost good enough to beat St Helens.”