Sinning Saints go to Hull and back

Hull 44 - St Helens 6
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Hull did the directors who decided this week to sack Ian Millward no favours whatsoever with a performance that made Saints look like a team with its heart ripped out.

Hull did the directors who decided this week to sack Ian Millward no favours whatsoever with a performance that made Saints look like a team with its heart ripped out.

Saints' first Super League match without their mentor turned into a disaster as a seven-game winning run fell apart in the face of an inspired Hull display, powered by a fired-up pack and superbly directed by Richard Horne.

"They didn't make any excuses,'' said the Hull coach, John Kear, of last night's victims. "They are professional, they are proud people and they will have prepared very well, but that was a very special performance from us tonight.''

Dave Rotheram, the Saints' stand-in coach, also insisted that there had been nothing wrong with his side's effort, although that was not always the way it looked. "The players' resolve was as strong as ever, but we made errors and we were punished,'' he said.

Saints' problems began when Richard Whiting sold a dummy to unmarked men outside him and scored himself and continued when Nathan Blacklock plucked Sean Long's kick out of the night sky and went 90 yards for a brilliant try.

The combination of Horne and Shaun Briscoe then struck twice in quick succession to make it four tries in 15 minutes.

Under Millward, Saints were a side capable of amazing second-half recoveries and late, late rescue missions.

The chances of that receded when Whiting claimed his second after five minutes of the second half, proving more determined than the defenders in chasing Paul Cooke's kick.

Mickey Higham injected some enthusiasm into Saints from dummy half and it was his break that set up Maurie Fa'Asavalu for their only try of the night.

It was a short-lived revival as Shayne McMenemy - whose placing on report for an allegation of biting was the one blot on the night for Hull - Horne and Paul McNicholas completed the punishment.

A high proportion of the supporters who had travelled from St Helens had headed for the exits before the hooter put an end to their misery. There are no prizes for guessing what they were discussing on the long road home.

Hull: Briscoe; Blacklock, Saxton, Yeaman, Raynor; Cooke, Horne; Dowes, King, Thackray, McMenemy, Kearney, Whiting. Substitutes used: Carvell, Brough, McNicholas, Washbrook.

St Helens: Wellens; Albert, Lyon, Gilmour, Gardner; Hooper, Long; Fozzard, Cunningham, Anderson, Wilkin, Bennett, Sculthorpe. Substitutes used: Edmondson, Higham, Mason, Fa'Asvalu.

Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington)

* Leeds ran in 11 tries at the Coliseum to thrash relegation-threatened Leigh 60-4 last night with Mark Calderwood leading the way with three tries.

Comments