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Saints secure League leaders’ shield

Mark Percival and Regan Grace both bagged braces as Saints beat Hull FC 38-12 to lift the League Leaders’ Shield.

Saints wrapped up the trophy with two games to spare in a comfortable performance at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Justin Holbrook’s side led 12-0 after 15 minutes – and then sealed victory in the second half.

Mark Percival crossed for his 23rd try of the season in the tenth minute when Jonny Lomax took a short pass, broke through and drew the full back.

Danny Richardson converted and within a couple of minutes he was adding on another after Morgan Knowles showed great strength to plough over.

But Hull FC drew level when Jordan Lane and Brad Fash scored to make it 12-12.

Saints hit back just before half time through Luke Thompson and extended their lead early in the second half with a Richardson penalty.

That eight-point gap gave Saints some breathing space against a committed Hull FC – and they then turned the screw.

Firstly, Percival’s second came after soft hands from James Bentley.

The debutant sent his centre away before Percy produced a dummy to fool the full back – and leave the whole of the Totally Wicked Stadium applauding.

Saints were rampant and on their next foray into the Hull 20 metre area Barba and Grace exchanged passes, twice, for the winger to cross.

Grace then added his second as he ran 60 metres from Percy’s pass and ducked under the full back for a superb try.

Jack Ashworth went close as the game came to an end but Saints had done more than enough to secure their 24th Super League win of the season.

Justin Holbrook said the League Leaders’ Shield shows Saints consistency throughout the season – but the bigger prize lies ahead.

Saints beat Hull FC 38-12 to land the trophy on Friday night.

“It was a good performance from us and it was good to win the Shield,” he said. “It is a good achievement to be rewarded as the most consistent side over 30 rounds. It is something I am proud of the boys for achieving. We all know it’s Old Trafford that counts but I don’t want to downplay it.  It is nice to be rewarded as the most consistent side.

“The whole season is built on the end of the year, but it is nice thing to collect on the way through the season and we have managed to do that with a couple of games to go.

“But we know we have a few more games to go yet.”

He continued: “We had a young side out tonight – we were forced to do that but every club goes through that. We had every eligible player out there and it was great for the young boys to do that and play well.

“Our first half performance didn’t reflect the scoreline but we did that in the second half and it was a really pleasing performance.

“It was good to play the way we wanted to play and score some nice tries.

“I was also pleased for James Bentley – to play 80 minutes in his first game was fantastic.”

Semi Final Tickets on sale Saturday – click here.

Match Summary:

Tries: Percival (2), Knowles, Thompson, Grace (2)
Goals: Richardson (7 from 7)

Hull FC:
Tries: Lane, Dash
Goals: Faraimo (1 from 1), Connor (1 from 1)

Penalties Awarded:
Saints: 5
Hull FC: 9

HT: 18-12
FT: 38-12

REF: C Kendall

ATT: 9,348


23. Ben Barba; 2. Tommy Makinson, 30. Matty Costello, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Luke Thompson, 24. James Bentley, 21. Jack Ashworth, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 14. Luke Douglas, 20. Matty Lees, 22. Jake Spedding, 31. Jack Welsby.

Hull FC:
28. Hakim Miloudi; 2. Bureta Faraimo, 30. Cameron Scott, 4. Josh Griffin, 5. Fetuli Talanoa; 35. Liam Harris, 14. Jake Connor; 29. Masimbaashe Matongo, 17. Danny Washbrook, 8. Scott Taylor, 11. Dean Hadley, 26. Jordan Lane, 21. Sika Manu.
Subs: 16. Jordan Abdul, 20. Brad Fash, 22. Jez Litten, 36. Lewis Bienek.


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