It was another frustrating night as Hull FC were outclassed by St Helens, losing 12-40 on Friday night.
Here are the Five Things Up the Cream learned.
1.. In the contest
It sounds mad for a side that has just been beat by 28-points but Hull FC were right in that. There were plenty of chances to avenge St Helens’ eventual half time lead of 0-18, but the home side didn’t take them, and that was the issue.
Hull weren’t atrociously bad or anything like that, they were just dumb. They didn’t build any pressure, they weren’t allowed too at times for various reasons, but the errors and lack of patience in Saints’ twenty was telling.
The defeat was somewhat self inflicted. Hull had little control and they were also rattled by decisions from referee Chris Kendall. They tried to throw the ball about without any direction and therefore it was all to no avail. Some credit has to go to St Helens there, but it was a night of frustration. We’re better than that.
2.. St Helens are quality
For all of the praises of Hull FC recently, they were outclassed by St Helens. Their pack was outstanding. Poor Mark Minichiello had a nightmare, but their back rowers, particularly Morgan Knowles, were impressive. Luke Thompson and Matty Lees too were superb. They were more aggressive than their opposition and look better conditioned. That was notable throughout the sides.
They made a few errors themselves, but St Helens are so fast in both attack and defence, and get right in your faces. They’ve got the best player in Super League in Jonny Lomax, and other supreme talents in Lochlan Coote and Theo Fages. There’s class all over the field and they played with such speed, scoring four second half tries in little over ten minutes.
3.. Pitbull impressing
Despite the defeat, it wasn’t all catastrophic. Hull’s best forward on the night was Brad Fash, who has showed up well since coming back into the side.
Fash has played eleven games this season now, and he’s brought some real energy off the interchange. You could argue his progress stuttered a bit last season as he was asked to lead the charge along with many other fringe players of the squad. That was tough for him. He’s not a starting prop, but someone who can come on and make an impact. Right now he’s doing that.
His selection this week, along with Gareth Ellis’ return, kept Chris Green out the match-day line up who hasn’t done too bad since his own return from injury. That shows how much Radford has rated Fash’s performances. It also shows that you have to really perform to keep your spot now. Does that mean they will be changes next week?
4.. Still in a good position
Despite back-to-back defeats Hull FC are still third in Super League, but Wigan are now just two points behind in fourth. Luckily for Hull, Cas lost out to Leeds on Friday.
Hull now have two games against relegation fodder in London and then Leeds. Both of those sides are desperate for points and either game won’t be easy. After back-to-back defeats Hull must get back on track against the Broncos. The side can’t afford to lose their grip on third spot.
The Cup semi-final is also just three weeks away, and Hull will want to enter that in some form, and not in a rut.
5.. Niggly injuries
Hull FC have been as strong now as they’ve been in around eighteen months, but there’s one or two pesky little injuries amongst the squad.
Hull lost Gareth Ellis, who was on his comeback following an Achilles injury, to a nasty head cut during the game, whereas Andre Savelio, who was starting to look the part in a Hull jersey, failed to play.
Jake Connor was also taken off during the game, but the severity of it is still unclear.
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