SAINTS second pre-season friendly went the way of Widnes Vikings who retained the Karalius Cup with a 30-16 win. Two tries in the opening five minutes of the second half did the damage before Jordan Turner’s second threatened a comeback. It didn’t materialise as Keiron Cunningham’s side were guilty of overplaying in the final stages – leaving plenty to work on as the season approaches. That said, there were promising performances from Jordan Turner, who bagged a brace, Theo Fages and Dominique Peyroux who looked assured at centre. Saints got off to the best possible start when Jon Wilkin’s 40:20 resulted in a fine Mark Percival score. Walsh, Travis Burns and Jack Owens were involved, each combining for the winger to go over in the corner. Ten minutes in, Widnes replied – and it was a tad fortuitous. James Roby was adjudged to have knocked the ball on when he clearly took it off his boot, giving Widnes another set. And Patrick Ah Van went over in the corner although he didn’t seem to have full control. From the restart Saints were penalised for offside and Joe Mellor, seizing his opportunity, took a tap and scampered 70 metres. Saints hit back when they forced a knock on right in Widnes territory. Atelea Vea produced a strong run but on the last a high kick from Walsh saw Turner pluck it out of midair. Walsh with the extras to make it 10-10. The parity was short-lived as on 28 minutes Rhys Hanbury burrowed over the line. He looked held up, but the referee had other ideas. Walsh intercepted on 37 minutes but couldn’t take advantage and then Widnes blew a chance over on the right hand side. The second half began with a scuffle on the far side of the pitch as tempers overflowed. But it was Widnes who took advantage of the discord through Hanbury who extended his side’s lead thanks to a nice overlap. And it got worse as seconds later as Lloyd White scooted down the far side. Saints faired better after the tries; controlling the game well but failing to make any in-roads in the Vikings’ half. They finally did cross on 67 minutes thanks to a heap of pressure and a nice Turner run. Saints threatened on a couple more occasions as the clock counted down but they couldn’t find the killer touch. And Paddy Flynn sealed the Vikings’ win with a try right at the death. Match Summary: Saints: Tries: Percival, Turner (2), Goals: Walsh (1 from 2), Owens (1 from 1) Vikings: Tries: Ah Van, Mellor, Hanbury (2), White, Flynn Goals: Thompson (3 from 4), Hanbury (0 from 1) Penalties: Saints: 7 Vikings: 5 HT: 10-16 FT: 16-30 REF: J Cobb ATT: 3,691 Teams: Saints: 22. Jack Owens; 21. Matty Dawson, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Mark Percival; 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 14. Lama Tasi, 12. Jon Wilkin, 11. Atelea Vea, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook. Subs: 2. Tommy Makinson, 15. Greg Richards, 16. Andre Savelio, 17. Luke Thompson, 19. Theo Fages, 20. Joe Greenwood, 28. Morgan Knowles, 30. Calvin Wellington. Vikings: 1. Rhys Hanbury; 2. Corey Thompson, 3. Chris Bridge, 17. Stefan Marsh, 5. Patrick Ah Van; 7. Joe Mellor, 6. Kevin Brown; 8. Eamon O’Carroll, 9. Lloyd White, 18. Gil Dudson, 15. Setaimata Sa, 14. Chris Dean, 13. Hep Cahill. Subs: 10. Manase Manuokafoa, 16. Paddy Flynn, 19. Macgraff Leuluai, 21. Tom Gilmore, 22. Matt Whitley, 34. Sam Brooks, 42. Danny Walker.
SAINTS haven’t lost a home Challenge Cup tie against Hull FC since 1926 and have won their last four home meetings in comp since then.Hull FC have won on their last three Super League visits to Langtree Park however including a 17-16 win back in April.Previous Challenge Cup Meetings:2008 (FINAL) Hull FC 16 St Helens 28 (at Wembley Stadium)2005 (Semi-Final) Hull FC 34 St Helens 8 (at Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield)2004 (Quarter Final) St Helens 31 Hull FC 261997 (Round 5) St Helens 54 Hull FC 81990 (Round 2) Hull FC 12 St Helens 241984 (Round 2) St Helens 24 Hull FC 141981 (Round 2) St Helens 5 Hull FC 31976 (Round 1) Hull FC 3 St Helens 51969 (Round 1) Hull FC 3 St Helens 131961 (Semi-Final) Hull FC 9 St Helens 26 (at Odsal Stadium, Bradford)1936 (Round 1) Hull FC 16 St Helens 61926 (Round 2) St Helens 7 Hull FC 102016 League Meeting:St Helens 16, Hull FC 17 (SLR9, 1/4/16)Head to HeadSaintsHull FCTries5461Goals4852Metres1612817058Breaks6280Tackles40304179Penalties99103Point-Scoring Run:Luke Walsh has the longest scoring streak in the game, having registered points in St Helens’ last 26 matches.His scoring streak began with five goals and a field goal in a 35-34 home win against Huddersfield on July 10 2015.Walsh last failed to score in Saints’ 46-18 defeat at Leeds on July 3 2015.First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers) 142 = Jodie Broughton (Catalans Dragons), Corey Thompson (Widnes Vikings) 134 = Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Junior Sa’u (Salford Red Devils) 116 = Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Tom Lineham (Warrington Wolves), Kevin Penny (Warrington Wolves), Stefan Marsh (Widnes Vikings) 1010 = Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons), Jamie Shaul (Hull FC), Joe Greenwood (St Helens), Ryan Atkins (Warrington Wolves) 9Goals:1 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 522 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 483 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 474 = Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 446 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 437 Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings) 408 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 319 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 2910 Gareth O’Brien (Salford Red Devils) 26Goals Percentage:1 Jordan Lilley (Leeds Rhinos) 88.46 (23/26)2 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 84.61 (44/52)3 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 81.03 (47/58)4 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 80.00 (52/65)5 Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 78.57 (44/56)6 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 78.18 (43/55)7 Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) 77.77 (14/18)8 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 73.84 (48/65)9 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 73.80 (31/42)10 Michael Dobson (Salford Red Devils) 73.07 (19/26)Points:1 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 1322 Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings) 1123 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 1114 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 1045 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 1006 Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 927 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 918 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 729 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 7010 Gareth O’Brien (Salford Red Devils) 60