Roby Brace Brings Win

SAINTS overcame a stubborn Hull FC to maintain their perfect start to the season.

James Roby bagged a brace as they put aside a poor first half to beat the visitors 34-22 on a special night at Langtree Park.

More than 13,000 people paid homage to the great late Steve Prescott MBE in a series of events that brought out a full range of emotions.

And whilst the game didn’t perhaps live up to ‘a classic’, it was a good rough tough Super League clash to send the fans home happy.

The result sent Saints top of the table but they were anything but title contenders in the first half.

Nathan Brown questioned his charges’ attitude at half time as they were lucky to head in to the sheds just four points down.

Led by Richard Horne, the visitors ran the show for long periods and took their chances.

On the other hand Saints looked tentative and only had a James Roby try to show for their endeavours.

In the second half, those jitters were wiped out as Sia Soliola plunged over before Jon Wilkin put Lomax in.

Roby exchanged tries with Gareth Ellis and then Tommy Makinson produced one of his superman diving acts to give Saints a real stranglehold.

Wilkin’s ease of hand saw Mark Percival in for another but the final act came from Danny Houghton.

Saints named an unchanged line up from the team that thrashed Warrington last week whilst Hull FC gave Garreth Carvell his debut.

A moving tribute to Steve Prescott on a big screen and a rousing minute’s applause charged up an already emotional atmosphere and set up a great contest.

And it was Hull FC who scored first – a 50 metre break from Joe Westerman polished off by Mickey Paea – within the first couple of minutes.

It was a hammer blow, but Saints hit back immediately – Lomax’ forcing a drop out from Jamie Shaul’s error.

Saints then kept the ball alive wonderfully for James Roby to go over.

Luke Walsh duly putting the home side ahead with the conversion.

It took around 20 minutes for Saints to get a further foothold in the game and they should have increased the advantage when Mark Percival got over the line after superb work from Jonny Lomax.

But he was adjudged to have knocked on when most thought he’d scored.

The Airlie Birds punished that opportunity when Richard Whiting took a suspiciously forward pass as Saints were called for offside.

It was probably no more than the visitors deserved too as Saints were finding progress forward difficult.

Jordan Turner left the field with a head injury on 33 minutes meaning an early introduction for Paul Wellens.

Brown shuffled his team as a result and initially it caused disruption as Hull continued to attack.

Saints held out though and were thankful to get into the half time break just four points down.

Whatever rocket they were given at half time worked as within two minutes of the second half they were level.

Bullocking runs from Alex Walmsley and Jon Wilkin set up the space for Sia Soliola to plunge over on the angle.

And Walsh continued his conversion accuracy with another two-pointer.

Saints looked deadly on every set and duly went further ahead when a Jon Wilkin produced a reserve chip of real class that Jonny Lomax pounced on.

Roby added his second on 60 minutes to make it 22-10 and Walsh made no mistake.

But back came Hull and boosted by two penalties, Gareth Ellis pulled them right back into it.

Tommy Makinson has a habit of scoring miraculous tries and he pulled another right out of the top drawer – putting down under immense pressure – diving over the defence for the killer score.

Wilkin then fed Mark Percival to put the icing on the cake.

Danny Houghton scoring a late consolation.

Match Summary:

Tries: Roby (2) Soliola, Lomax, Makinson, Percvial
Goals: Walsh (5 from 6)

Hull FC:
Tries: Paea, Whiting, Ellis, Houghton
Goals: Crooks (3 from 4)

Saints: 6
Hull FC: 6

HT: 6-10
FT: 34-22

REF: Richard Silverwood

ATT: 13,488


1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 22. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift; 24. Gary Wheeler, 7. Luke Walsh; 16. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 18. Alex Walmsley, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Willie Manu, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.
Subs: 4. Josh Jones, 11. Sia Soliola, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 17. Paul Wellens.

Hull FC:
20. Jamie Shaul; 5. Tom Lineham, 3. Ben Crooks, 15. Joe Arundel, 34. Fetuli Talanoa; 32. Jordan Rankin, 6. Richard Horne; 8. Mickey Paea, 9. Danny Houghton, 35. Garreth Carvell, 11. Gareth Ellis, 14. Richard Whiting, 13. Joe Westerman.
Subs: 16. Jordan Thompson, 22. Josh Bowden, 26. Iafeta Palea’aesina, 33. Aaron Heremaia.

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