A SUPERB second half showing saw a patched up Saints snatch a late 24-24 draw over Hull FC at the KC Stadium.
Missing several first teamers through injury, Royce Simmons’ men came back twice with a stirring performance and nerves of steel to grab a deserved point.
Hull FC blitzed Saints in the opening 30 minutes as they punished errors to lead 18-0.
Kirk Yeaman’s brace sandwiched Tom Briscoe’s try whilst the boot of Danny Tickle was immaculate.
But Saints came back into it in the closing stages and Jamie Foster crossed to reduce the deficit.
In the second half, Saints stepped up a gear and after Jon Wilkin had tested the defence out a couple of times, James Roby crossed.
Seconds later Kyle Eastmond provided a fine pass for Ade Gardner to waltz in.
And then TP bulldozed through the middle to put them ahead.
But Kirk Yeaman brought up his hat-trick to edge Hull ahead once more before Foster levelled it up with a massive penalty from around 40 yards.
Both sides then had late drop goal attempts but had to settle for a point each.
Pre-match, Simmons only had 19 fit players to choose from.
Tom Armstrong took over the full back berth after a solid 60 minutes in that position against Castleford whilst Josh Perry returned from injury on the bench.
Kyle Eastmond also came back into the side following a chest infection to partner with Jon Wilkin.
Nathan Ashe making his first team debut from the bench.
From the kick off, Saints had an early attempt on Hull’s line, but they couldn’t find a way through.
They then forced a drop out but couldn’t grab a repeat set.
But after Tom Armstrong dropped the ball on a high take, Hull were over.
From the scrum and after two solid drives, some fantastic out of the back offloading from Fitzgibbon saw Kirk Yeaman put Hull ahead.
Danny Tickle kicking the extras.
Then after the ball was stripped from Sia Soliola in midfield Tom Briscoe doubled their try tally.
Tickle making it 0-12.
And on the half hour mark it got worse as Yeaman clocked his second as Saints couldn’t stop the offloads.
But Saints got themselves on the board when a fine break from Francis Meli saw Jamie Foster grab his 10th of the season.
Nathan Ashe making the space for Meli to take on the defence and slip Foster in.
And on Saints’ next attack Kyle Eastmond was adjudged to have knocked on in the build up to Tom Armstrong’s ‘score’.
In all fairness, he received a poor pass and the ball was difficult to take in – but it was something to build on.
Half Time: Hull 18 Saints 4
Saints were right on the attack from the kick-off following a massive high kick from Jon Wilkin – but again couldn’t make it pay.
But following a drop out and a strong defensive play from Meli, Saints got right back into the match; James Roby scooting in off the scrum.
Credit to Robes for the score of course, but Meli’s pressure on Whiting was excellent as he chipped through to create the attacking set.
Then, Saints really got themselves into the game. A massive high ball created panic in the Hull defence and after they gave away a penalty, Kyle Eastmond provided a fine pass for Ade Gardner who made no mistake.
And their next set, they grabbed a forty twenty through Wilkin’s boot and Eastmond’s flick pass saw Tony Puletua do the damage.
Foster banging over his third from four.
The video referee ruled out a Hull FC score for a knock on, but from the restart Saints were caught in touch giving the home side another set.
But they just about withstood the pressure.
Yet with less than seven minutes to go Kirk Yeaman grabbed his third although it looked to have come from a clear forward pass.
But with five minutes to go Nathan Ashe was taken out in mid-air from a drop out – giving Foster the chance to level from 40 yards – and he made no mistake.
Danny Tickle missed a drop goal attempt in the final stages for Hull FC whilst Kyle Eastmond had his effort charged down.
Tries: Yeaman (3), Briscoe
Goals: Tickle (4 from 4)
Tries: Foster, Roby, Gardner, Puletua
Goals: Foster (4 from 5)
Hull FC: 5
REF: Steve Ganson
3. Richard Whiting; 2. Will Sharp, 33. Martin Gleeson, 4. Kirk Yeaman, 5. Tom Briscoe; 6. Richard Horne, 30. Sam Obst; 8. Mark O’Meley, 9. Danny Houghton, 23. Sam Moa, 16. Willie Manu, 12. Danny Tickle, 13. Craig Fitzgibbon.
Subs: 11. Joe Westerman, 14. Danny Washbrook, 15. Epalahame Lauaki, 17. Ewan Dowes.
24. Tom Armstrong; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Michael Shenton, 5. Francis Meli, 22. Jamie Foster; 12. Jon Wilkin, 7. Kyle Eastmond; 10. James Graham, 9. James Roby, 15. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 18. Matty Ashurst, 4. Sia Soliola, 11. Tony Puletua.
Subs: 8. Josh Perry, 19. Andrew Dixon, 21. Shaun Magennis, 27. Nathan Ashe.