It was the Cup holders against the Champions elect in the last quarter final on Sunday afternoon, as the Totally Wicked Stadium was the venue for St Helens against Hull FC. There are currently ten points separating the two sides in the the league table and with home advantage it was Saints who were the hot favourites. Saints were unchanged from the side which comfortably beat the Castleford Tigers last weekend while Hull had Bureta Faraimo, Carlos Tuimavave, Albert Kelly, Scott Taylor and Dean Hadley back in their starting thirteen but were still without Marc Sneyd. The question on everyones lips was whether Hull could halt the Saints juggernaut. It was evident from the opening exchanges that both sides had come to play fast and open rugby but even in those opening minutes it was Saints who were enjoying the best of the position and possession. It took twelve minutes for Saints to breach the Hull defence when Mark Percival spun his tackler over the line and grounded. Danny Richardson floated the touchline conversion between the uprights for a deserved 6-0 lead. Three minutes later and a wonder pass from Jonny Lomax put Regan Grace over by the corner flag for Saints second. This time Richardson was unable to add the extras but it was already looking like a long day in the office for the Airlie Birds. Against the run of play, Hull scored on eighteen when Albert Kelly dummied and stepped before hitting the line top score under the sticks. Jake Connor added the extras to reduce Saints lead to four points. Hakin Miloudi was obstructed in the Saints twenty while chasing a kick on twenty-one and on the first play Chris Green crashed the line by the uprights allowing Connor a simple conversion for a 12-10 lead. After the early onslaught it was Hull who had bided their time and made the most of Saints mistakes to take the lead. The complexion of the game changed again on twenty-eight when Danny Houghton was sin-binned for a ‘grab around the head’, Hull were down to twelve and just one minute later and Hull it was eleven when Danny Washbrook was sin-binned for the use of the knees in the tackle.  On thirty-two Grace was thwarted in a break down the left wing but two plays later he was on hand to go through a broken Saints defence to go over for his second of the afternoon. Richardson kicked the conversion and his side had regained a 16-12 lead. Eleven was no match for thirteen as Percival stepped inside and ran the angle through a scrambling Hull defence to score under the uprights giving Richardson a simple conversion for a 22-12 lead. FC weathered the Saints storm until they got their full complement back on the park but the damage had been done. On the half-time hooter Richardson drilled over a drop goal for a 23-12 interval lead. After defences bossed the opening exchanges of the second half, on fifty-two FC’s Scott Taylor twisted and turned as he crossed the line to ground the ball despite the attention of three tacklers. Connor kicked the conversion reducing the Saints lead to five points. On fifty-five Masimbaashe Matongo was sin-binned for a late tackle on Jonny Lomax, the Saints half-back helped from the field. Richardson kicked the resulting penalty to extend the lead to seven points. Hull set up a grand stand finish when they scored through Hakim Miloudi on seventy when he took an Albert Kely cross field kick to drop to the ground and stretch for the line. Connor missed his first of the afternoon and the Black & Whites trailed by three. There was very little between these two sides on the field, and at the final hooter, on the scoreline. Hull FC will rue the three clumsy sin-bins, during which time Saints picked up a total of fourteen points. If Hull had retained their full complement for the entire eighty then the outcome could have been very different. Hull’s sensational cup run is over and after two years, their name will be replaced on the famous old trophy in 2018. Saints will need to perform better than this though if it is to be their name which replaces them. Saints: Barba, Makinson, Morgan, Percival (2T), Grace (2T), Lomax, Richardson (4G), Amor, Roby, Thompson, Peyroux, Taia, Wilkin.  Subs: Fages, Douglas, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Knowles. FC: Shaul, Faraimo, Logan, Tuimavave, Miloudi (T), Kelly (T), Connor (3G), Green (T), Houghton (SB on 28), Taylor (T), Minichiello, Manu, Hadley.  Subs: Washbrook (SB on 29), Fash, Paea, Matongo (SB on 55). Referee: Ben Thaler. Half-Time: 23-12. Full-Time: 25-22. Attendance: .

All views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the RLFANS.COM or its subsites.

Copyright 1999 - 2019 RLFANS.COM

You must be 18+ to gamble, for more information and for help with gambling issues see