SAINTS lead Hull 16-12 in a game that has so far seen a huge improvement on their previous two encounters.

With the pack more than holding its own in the middle and the team’s kicking game, most notably from Lee Gaskell, causing the visitors some problems Saints dominated large parts of an entertaining first half.` Howevber it was Hull who scored first, with quick hands opening Saints up on their left with Jason Crookes crossing in the corner.

Daniel Holdsworth added the difficult conversion to make it 6-0 after five minutes.

Saints rallied, a a great high kick from Gaskell, and a determined chase from the Saints pack, saw Shannon McDonnell spill.

Jon Wilkin came up with t he ball and after the ball had passed through a few pair of hands, Saints cashed in when James Roby turned the ball inside for Anthony Laffranchi to run a good angle to touch down.

Gaskell’s conversion levelled it and it was another one of his bombs that caused Hull more problems. After saints goot the ball back, big men Tony Puletua and Laffranchi took two drives apiece before the ball was flashed wide for Francis Meli to power over on 17 minutes.

Saints added to that lead on 29 minutes, when from a penalty, the ball was shifted from left to right where Jordan Turner was able to power past a Hull defender on the line for his first try in the red vee.

But Hull were not done and finished the half brightly with McDonnell cashing in on a static defence in chasing Holdsworth’s shrewd grubber.

Hull had a bit of pressure towards the end of the half, but Saints held firm.

tSaints: Wellens; Makinson, Turner, Jones, Meli; Gaskell, Lomax; Puletua, Roby, Laffranchi, Soliola, Wilkin, Manu. Subs: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Flanagan, Greenwood, Walmsley.

Hull: McDonnell; Crookes, Crooks, Yeaman, Briscoe; Holdsworth, Horne; O’Meley, Houghton, Lynch, Galea, Westerman, Whiting, Pitts, Johnson, Heremaia.

Ref: Ben Thaler