St Helens boss Kristian Woolf pinpoints key factor in bounce-back win against Hull FC

Hull, boasting three wins on the trot, were put to the sword in an enthralling end-to-end encounter at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

<p>St Helens' Jack Welsby (right) is tackled by Hull FC's Jack Brown. Picture: PA.</p>

St Helens' Jack Welsby (right) is tackled by Hull FC's Jack Brown. Picture: PA.

Any thoughts that Saints would suffer a backlash from their Betfred Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to the Wigan Warriors five days earlier were erased in resilient fashion at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday night.

Hull FC, boasting three wins on the trot, were eventually put to the sword in an enthralling end-to-end encounter, leaving head coach Kristian Woolf as proud as punch at the final 24-10 scoreline.

Woolf said: “I was delighted by our staying power and the way we kept our line intact when reduced to 12 men with James Bell in the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle.

“I thought it was a good game of footy,” Woolf said. “Hull are a very good side and came with a really good intensity.

“It was exactly the kind of game we needed after last week. We needed a game that excited us, a game where we had to show our character which we did.

“We’re a very good second-half team, we back our fitness and our intensity to go for 80 minutes.

“I thought our defence was back to being close to its best . We had probably fallen away from that the last couple of weeks.

“That can happen but I thought we got back to that tonight and I felt we did a really good job with 12 men.”

Hull suffered a blow after only three minutes when prop Brad Fash knocked himself out in a tackle on Saints’ front-rower Matty Lees and the Airlie Birds’ head coach Brett Hodgson revealed later the player had been sent to hospital.

“The doctor wants to make sure there is no serious issue,” he said. “He is struggling, it was a substantial concussion.”