Super League: Hull FC 12-40 St Helens

Regan Grace
Regan Grace dives in for his 46th try for St Helens
Betfred Super League
Hull FC (0) 12
Tries: Shaul, Naulago Goals: Sneyd 2
St Helens (18) 40
Tries: Knowles, Fages, Coote 2, Grace, Ashworth, Lomax Goals: Coote 6

St Helens strengthened their position as Super League leaders with a brutal demolition of third-placed Hull FC at the KCOM Stadium.

Lachlan Coote scored two tries and six goals as Saints ran riot in the second half for a fourth straight win.

Regan Grace scored his 17th try of the season with Morgan Knowles, Theo Fages, Jack Ashworth and Jonny Lomax also going over.

The table-toppers have now won 13 of their past 14 games.

Victory took them eight points clear of second-placed Warrington Wolves.

St Helens wasted no time asserting their authority with two tries in the opening eight minutes.

Knowles scored on six from a pass by Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook before Fages recovered a fumble by Ratu Naulago on eight and went over, with Coote converting both.

They had to wait for a third try but it came on 20 minutes when Coote pounced on a fumble by Marc Sneyd and touched down before kicking the extras.

Hull avoided further damage before half-time despite further Saints pressure, but the visitors extended their lead seven minutes after the restart when Grace touched down after being set up by Coote, who failed to convert from the touchline.

And four minutes later it was 28-0 when Ashworth scored under the posts and Coote added the conversion, and Coote slotted his fifth goal after Jonny Lomax completed a sweeping move with a try.

Coote scored and coverted his second try to make it 40-0 before Hull finally got on the scoreboard with tries from Jamie Shaul and Ratu Naulago, with two conversions from Sneyd.

Hull FC coach Lee Radford told BBC Radio Humberside:

"It's disappointing to lose any game but to lose with a scoreline like that is even more disappointing.

"For the second week running we've not put any foundation down to win a game.

"The errors in the first half were very similar to the Hull KR performance - we got beaten last week by the bottom-of-the-league team because we refused to hang onto the football and push the pass and tonight we got beaten by the top-of-the-league side in the same manner.

"The penny has got to drop sooner or later. They played some good stuff but a lot of it was self-harm."

St Helens head coach Justin Holbrook:

"It's a tough place to come and play, with a hostile crowd, so to come away with a good win like that, I'm really happy.

"It was a really good performance from us. There are areas for improvement for sure but it was a dominant win.

"We know how dangerous an attacking side Hull are so to keep them scoreless for long periods of the game was fantastic."

Hull FC: Shaul, Naulago, Connor, Griffin, Faraimo, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Paea, Manu, Minichello, Westerman.

Interchanges: Bowden, Ellis, Fash, Tuimavave.

St Helens: Lomax, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Fages, Walmsley, Thompson, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Knowles, Peyroux, Bentley, Coote.

Interchanges: Paulo, Amor, Lees, Ashworth.