St Helens 20 – 12 Hull
Ben Davies, Jon Bennison (two), Jack Welsby score tries as St Helens come from behind in the second half to edge to Super League victory at home vs Hull FC; Scott Taylor and Jake Clifford score tries for Black and Whites in defeat
Last Updated: 17/03/23 10:32pm
St Helens winger Jon Bennison claimed a brace of tries as the reigning Super League Champions were forced to dig deep for their first win in three games over Hull FC at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Hull FC had conceded almost 100 points in their last two games in defeats against Salford Red Devils and Catalans Dragons but they gave a battling performance which saw them take a 6-4 lead early in the second half thanks to a converted try by Scott Taylor.
Ben Davies and Jack Welsby also scored tries for Saints, while stand-in goalkicker Joey Lussick kicked two goals from three attempts.
Hull sparked hopes of a late fightback with a try from Jake Clifford which he also converted but Saints got home for a win which would have pleased coach Paul Wellens.
In the 10th minute, Hull winger Adam Swift was denied by a brave tackle by Davies which saw the Saints winger receive treatment and had to wear a head bandage for the rest of the game.
Saints had a golden opportunity in the 24th minute as Swift and Josh Griffin combined to stop Jack Welsby scoring in the corner. From the restart, the ball was shifted to the opposite wing and Bennison dived over only to see it disallowed for a forward pass.
Hull managed to keep Saints at bay until the last minute of the first half when a short drop out kick by Clifford went straight to winger Davies who had a straightforward run to the tryline, bouncing over for the game’s first points.
Hull showed that Saints’ try had failed to dent their resolve as they scored eight minutes into the second half. Scott Taylor barged his way over from close range, somehow managing to ground the ball despite having three defenders wrapped around him. The conversion from Clifford gave Hull a 6-4 lead.
The try certainly sparked Saints and after forcing a drop-out, Tee Ritson almost went in at the corner and moments later, a no-look pass from Welsby to Bennison saw the winger cut infield brilliantly, scoring from 10 metres and Lussick converted.
A third Saints try with 19 minutes remaining looked to have killed off Hull FC’s challenge. A superb offload in the tackle by James Bell saw Welsby in support to score a try on his 22nd birthday. Lussick landed the difficult conversion to open up a 10-point lead.
But back came Hull FC, a huge tackle by Chris Satae and Brad Dwyer saw Curtis Sironen lose the ball and Clifford had a simple task to pick up the ball and race to the tryline. Clifford’s conversion meant Hull only trailed 16-12 with 16 minutes remaining.
Saints made sure of the win with two minutes remaining when Bennison went over in the corner.