SAINTS returned to winning ways with a 31-10 win over Hull FC at Langtree Park.
Jack Owens bagged a brace and kicked five goals in a victory that put his side six points clear of Catalans in fifth.
At times it was nervy and disjointed but Keiron Cunningham’s side hung on in there to take home their first decision over the Challenge Cup winners this season.
But, it could have been different if they hadn’t responded to Hull FC’s early dominance.
After just four minutes, and following back to back repeat sets and a penalty, Mahe Fonua ghosted through from dummy half.
Curtis Naughton making it 6-0 with his conversion from the touchline.
Saints toiled to get back on level terms but did increase the pressure on Hull FC when Jon Wilkin’s kick forced an error from Jamie Shaul.
But Cunningham’s men couldn’t take advantage of the extra set.
That was the tale of the opening 20 minutes until Wilkin linked with Jonny Lomax for the fullback to fire over lovely ball for Jack Owens’ fourth of the season.
And within the blink of an eye Saints were ahead.
Hull put the restart out on the full and after a strong drive Lomax juggled Fages’ offload to put Matty Fleming over.
It was superb bit of skill from the full back – as was Owens’ defence following a chip through on the half hour mark.
He denied the visitors a certain score by batting an awkward looking kick putting behind for a drop out.
Hull FC had one chalked off for accidental offside two minutes later – a real let off – before Dominique Peyroux made a telling interception to stop another anxious moment.
Saints seemed to have more of a spring in their step in the second half and Fages could’ve counted himself unlucky not to have got more from a chip to the corner following Atelea Vea’s run down the middle.
But the hosts finally made one stick on 50 minutes.
Amor, Roby and Greenwood all went close before Vea burst on to Jordan Turner’s quick ball.
That lifted the nerves around Langtree Park but from the restart Saints handed the ball straight back to their opponents.
The ball went out, forcing Saints to drop out, and Sika Manu rolled his way over near the corner flag.
Owens took the score out to 18-10 with the boot on 58 minutes and then Fleming made a telling tackle on the hour mark to stop another attack.
Adam Swift then produced a worldie of a tackle to put Steve Michaels into touch with the line beckoning.
Defence then turned into attack and Atelea Vea crashed over for his second – latching on to Roby’s grubber.
Turner ultimately made the game safe with a drop goal five minutes before time – before Owens went over for his second of the game.
Tries: Owens (2), Fleming, Vea (2)
Goals: Owens (5 from 6)
Tries: Fonua, Manu
Goals: Naughton (1 from 2)
Hull FC: 7
REF: C Campbell
1. Jonny Lomax; 22. Jack Owens, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 24. Matty Fleming, 5. Adam Swift; 3. Jordan Turner, 19. Theo Fages; 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 15. Greg Richards, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 20. Joe Greenwood, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Atelea Vea, 27. Jack Ashworth, 28. Morgan Knowles.
1. Jamie Shaul; 19. Steve Michaels, 2. Mahe Fonua, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 20. Curtis Naughton; 6. Leon Pryce, 13. Jordan Abdull; 22. Josh Bowden, 30. Danny Washbrook, 15. Chris Green, 21. Sika Manu, 17. Dean Hadley, 16. Jordan Thompson.
Subs: 10. Liam Watts, 14. Iafeta Paleaaesina, 23. Frank Pritchard, 27. Jack Downs.