EMBARRASSED Hull FC were left scoreless for the first time in more than three years as rampant St Helens ran riot at Magic Weekend.
Lee Radford’s side would have gone top with a sixth successive win but were utterly destroyed by their ruthless opponents in one of the biggest victories in the event’s 11 year history.
Woeful Hull found themselves on the end of the traditional ‘new coach effect’ as Justin Holbrook, the former Sydney Roosters assistant, took charge for the first time in Newcastle.
He only flew into the country in Thursday and took one session - their captain’s run yesterday - but watched on as Saints produced a masterclass.
Hulking prop Alex Walmsley underlined just why he should be in the England team once more, the uncapped forward scoring two tries and terrorising FC’s pack.
Saints had been embarrassed themselves in front of the TV cameras a week ago when Castleford thrashed them 53-10 in the Challenge Cup.
But it was Challenge Cup holders Hull left searching for answers here with a wretched defensive display.
Furthermore, it was the first time they had been kept pointless since losing 7-0 at home to Widnes in March 2014 and no one really saw it coming.
They had to start with second-row Jansin Turgut as a makeshift centre given they were without Jake Connor, Mahe Fonua and Fetuli Talanoa but there was no excuses for this.
In fairness, they started well. Indeed, both sides opened positively, each completing their sets in the opening 10 minutes without actually creating too many clear-cut chances.
It looked like it would be a tight affair. How wrong.
Josh Griffin thought he had escaped down the right touchline after a lovely pass from Sika Manu - back after a two-game ban - but Morgan Knowles’ desperate ankle tap just managed to stop the Hull winger.
FC had to work hard in defence, too, before eventually crumbling.
Then three tries inside just six minutes around the quarter mark did the initial damage as Saints raced into an 18-0 lead and Hull simply never recovered.
They were unlucky with the first. Scott Taylor put fellow prop Liam Watts racing through the middle with Jamie Shaul in support but the play was brought back for a questionable forward pass.
Saints did not ask questions; in the next set Walmsley made his first imprint barging over Danny Houghton and out of Taylor’s grasp to score between the posts before being heavily involved as his side marched down field in the next set, too, for Ryan Morgan to eventually rise and collect Matty Smith’s pinpoint kick.
Mark Percival converted both and suddenly Saints were full of vigour.
James Roby, so integral around the ruck, was held up over the goalline by Shaul but it was not long before his side were over again, this time Hull winger Steve Michaels failing to deal with Smith’s high kick before Knowles picked up the pieces.
When Radford’s side did finally get some decent possession, they were met by strong Saints defence and, invariably, made mistakes such as Albert Kelly - of all people - fumbling as he strived to get close.
They needed to score before the break and, after Shaul’s kick forced a drop-out, created space to do just that in the 38th minute but Carlos Tuimavave’s final flick pass crucially went behind Griffin into touch.
Instead, Smith, the wily former England scrum-half, slotted a drop-goal with just 41 seconds of the half remaining to make it 19-0 and, most importantly, four scores required for Radford’s side.
They may have rallied from 22-4 down at the break at Widnes Vikings recently but this Saints side was a far different proposition.
Hull needed to score first after the break but it was the mountainous Walmsley who did with his second of the game, twisting out of more feeble goalline defence between the posts in the 46th minute.
Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook followed soon after, swatting aside the weak tackle effort from Tuimavave to expose FC’s ineptitude in that area once more.
The most embarrassing score - or brilliant, depending which way you look at it - came when Tommy Makinson, the Saints full-back, collected Marc Sneyd’s in the shadow of his own posts and weaved his way 100m to score.
He busted through another tame Tuimavave tackle attempt, left other defenders in his wake and then slipped Houghton, the hooker who at least made a desperate bid to deny his opponent’s right at the end.
Winger Regan Grace touched down after Griffin made a poor defensive read coming infield in the 70th minute and it was all too easy.
The youngster added his second late on to heap on more misery.
Hull FC: Shaul; Griffin, Tuimavave, Turgut, Michaels; Kelly, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton, Watts, Manu, Minichiello, Green. Substitutes: Bowden, Fash, Thompson, Washbrook.
St Helens: Makinson; Swift, Percival, Morgan, Grace; Fages, Smith; Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Taia, Wilkin, Knowles. Substitutes: Douglas, Thompson, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lee.
Referee: Robert Hicks