St Helens overcame a dogged Hull FC side to get back to winning ways with a 20-12 victory over the Black and Whites in the Super League on Friday (March 17).
Jonathan Bennison was the star man for the Saints with two tries in a highly physical, tightly contested affair at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Bennison thought he had opened the scoring for St Helens early on when he dived over in the corner but it was disallowed for a forward pass in the build up.
The home side finally went ahead a minute before half time through Ben Davies who gathered in Hull’s short kick off and ran over the first points of the game.
Hull fought back over the break when Scott Taylor burst through a packed Saints defence and touched down, with Jake Clifford adding the extras to put the away side ahead.
Saints were unperturbed and soon went back ahead with Bennison’s first try of the game.
The winger weaved through Hull’s defence to score with Joey Lussick converting to make it 10-6 to the home side.
Jack Welsby then dived over to secure what looked like the game-sealing try after a brilliant offload from James Bell, with Lussick again adding the extras.
The Black and Whites refused to back down and just minutes later Jake Clifford pounced on a loose ball to run in another try for the away side which he duly converted.
Hull were left to rue missed chances as Cameron Scott missed an intercept by inches and Brad Dwyer failed to ground a bouncing ball when he looked destined to score.
Bennison made sure of the win for the Saints, notching their fourth try and his second of the evening when he touched down in the corner.
Saints’ coach Paul Wellens expressed his relief at the win, saying: “It’s fine margins. The game could’ve gone either way today, but I’m much happier with two points in the bag.”
Hull boss Tony Smith echoed Wellens, saying: “I thought we were a bit unlucky. If Cameron Scott puts that ball down, the intercept, he’s within a fingertip.
“He snipped his nails before the game. Had he not, he may have got it!”.
Hull have now lost three consecutive Super League games but the Yorkshire side will take heart from a determined display against the World Champions.
St Helens will look to build on the win, their first at home in the league this season, as they aim to make Super League history by winning five Grand Finals in a row.
(Featured picture taken by Daisy Ruddock)