Hull FC 0-45 St Helens: Saints whitewash Hull at Magic Weekend
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 21/05/17 1:11pm
Justin Holbrook enjoyed a dream start to life as St Helens head coach after his new charges stormed to an upset 45-0 victory over in-form Hull FC at St James' Park.
Holbrook was expected to have a watching brief before officially taking charge on Monday but was clearly giving the orders for Saints, who ended Hull's five-match winning run in staggering style.
The Airlie Birds had the opportunity to go top of Betfred Super League for 24 hours at least but found their opponents an almost unrecognisable prospect to the side that had shipped 93 points in their previous two matches.
Saints were thrashed 53-10 by Castleford last week to crash out of the Challenge Cup, a defeat that forward Kyle Amor said left him reluctant to leave the house.
But two tries from Alex Walmsley and Regan Grace, plus further scores from Ryan Morgan, Morgan Knowles, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Tommy Makinson turned the form book well and truly on its head.
Hull put 62 points past Catalans Dragons last week but, following a strong start, were strangled into submission and incredibly blanked.
They had been Saints' bogey team in recent times, beating the Merseysiders on five of the last six meetings, including earlier this season when they triumphed 24-14 at the KCOM Stadium.
Having racked up 129 points in their last three matches, it was no surprise to see Hull come firing out of the traps but Saints proved a more resolute prospect in defence than their recent showings at Warrington and Castleford.
After weathering an early barrage, Saints proved clinical at the other end to leave their opponents reeling with three converted tries in the space of eight minutes.
Their first owed to a degree of fortune as the ball was turned over after Hull prop Liam Watts had burst through a gap in Saints' defence, only to be recalled as Scott Taylor's pass was harshly adjudged to have gone forward.
To add insult to injury, Saints broke the deadlock after 15 minutes when Walmsley collected a short pass from dummy half James Roby to power over the line.
With a spring in their step, Saints scored a second try off their next set of six when Matty Smith's bomb was expertly plucked out of the air and touched down by Morgan.
And another high kick from Smith was spilled by Steve Michaels, allowing Knowles to go over.
Hull tried to rally and enjoyed a sustained period of pressure but they found the opposition line impenetrable, with Saints going in at the break 19-0 ahead when Smith sent over a drop goal in the final minute of the half.
It got even better for Saints on the resumption when Walmsley crashed over under the posts before McCarthy-Scarsbrook shook off a couple of challenges for their fifth try - although Mark Percival blotted his copybook as he failed to add the extras for the only time in the game.
Makinson, on his 150th appearance, added further gloss to the scoreline by racing the length of the field to score and Hull's misery was complete when Grace twice crossed in the left corner.