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Rugby League: St Helens prove too strong for FC

Hull FC 18 – 34 St Helens (Friday July 13)

A brace from Bureta Faraimo wasn’t enough for the Black & Whites as St Helens rallied in the second-half to claim a strong 18-34 victory at the KCOM Stadium.

Hull took the lead after the restart with Albert Kelly bagging two assists and a try in the contest, but the league leaders ran away with the scoreline in the closing stages. Ben Barba and Jonny Lomax both scored braces as the Saints picked up their 12th consecutive victory in all competitions.

The Black & White were boosted by the return of long-term absentee Jordan Abdull. The half-back broke his leg in the April defeat to Catalans but returns from injury sooner than expected to start at half-back alongside Albert Kelly.

Jamie Shaul missed out with a foot injury, while pair Jansin Turgut and Jordan Lane also returned to feature in the forward pack, with Sika Manu serving the second of a three-match suspension.

The Black & Whites flew out of the blocks with a score in the opening minute of the game. Bureta Faraimo raced down Hull’s right edge and battled his way over the try-line to give his side an early advantage.

Hull continued their early dominance and thought they had touched down again just minutes later, but the returning Jansin Turgut was held up over the line.

The league leaders were soon to hit back though, claiming a try the first time they attacked the Hull line. Earning another attacking set in the FC half thanks to a charge down from Dean Hadley, the Saints sent the ball wide to Tommy Makinson who dived over in the corner.

Lee Radford’s men looked to have immediately hit back though with Jake Connor pouncing on a spilled ball to seemingly touch down under the posts, but the referee called the play back for an obstruction.

Saints took the lead for the first time in the contest with ten minutes remaining in the half. Super League top scorer Ben Barba took on the Hull FC line straight from the scrum, and had the strength to force his way over against the Airlie Birds defenders in the corner, Richardson converted.

Hull were dealt a hammer blow before the break though with star half-back Jake Connor being withdrawn from action on a stretcher.

But the Airlie Birds ensured the contest would remain a close one going into the break. A looping pass from Albert Kelly was seemingly heading into touch, but a brilliant take from Faraimo saw him score in the corner with a sensational finish. Miloudi missed the conversion.

Hull began the second-half the stronger side, and pressure on the Saints line culminated in a score for Jansin Turgut on his Black & White return. Collecting another sensational looped pass from Kelly, the back-rower powered his way over with 30 minutes left on the clock.

And it got better for the Black & Whites. After Kelly assisted two scores, he got on the scoresheet himself with a superb effort that saw him dance through the Saints line to score under the posts. Miloudi converted to extend Hull’s lead to eight points.

In an action packed start to the second-half though, Saints were quick to hit back once more with Barba slipping though a gap in Hull’s right edge defence to score his second of the evening.

The drama continued and Lomax scored for the Saints on the hour mark and the Hull defence couldn’t keep hold of the powerful half. Richardson converted to give Saints the lead.

Jack Downs had the chance to put his side back ahead, but spilled the ball over the line thanks to a try-saving tackle from James Roby.

But Lomax crossed again in the next set to bag the crucial score in the contest, dummying his way over to score in the same location as his first try seven minutes earlier.

And Saints sealed the victory with ten minutes left on the clock, with Adam Swift finishing off a breakaway effort in front of the travelling supporters.

Luke Thompson put the cherry on the cake for the visitors with a score in the closing stages, breaking free of the would-be Hull tackle to run 40 metres and score.

Hull FC: Hakim Miloudi, Bureta Faraimo, Jake Connor, Carlos Tuimavave, Jack Logan, Albert Kelly, Jordan Abdull, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Chris Green, Jansin Turgut, Mark Minichiello, Dean Hadley.

Hull FC Bench: Mickey Paea, Masi Matongo, Jordan Lane, Jack Downs.

Hull FC Tries: Faraimo (2, 38), Turgut (49), Kelly (52) Hull FC Goals: Connor (0/1), Miloudi (1/3)

Attendance: 11,130

(Report courtesy of www.HullFC.com)