6th April 2018, 22:53 | super_league

Saints slot away Hull FC

Saints slot away Hull FC

St Helens 26-12 Hull FC

St Helens overcame the absence of talismanic full-back Ben Barba to make it nine wins out of 10 and pull six points clear at the top of the Betfred Super League.

The Australian, who scored 10 tries in his first nine games of the season, pulled out of Friday’s game with a virus but Saints still had too much craft for Hull FC as they carved out a 26-12 victory.

St Helens had a handy replacement in England international Jonny Lomax while Theo Fages slotted in comfortably at stand-off and it provided more game time for veteran half-back Matty Smith, albeit as a makeshift hooker.

The only disappointment for Saints as they completed a clean sweep of their three Easter fixtures was the loss of influential skipper James Roby to injury after 50 minutes.

Zeb Taia scored the only try of the first half and added a second late on in between efforts from Mark Percival and Luke Thompson.

Albert Kelly had pulled Hull back within eight points of their hosts just before the hour mark but they only had Chris Green's try to show for their endeavour in the final quarter.