EACH week we look back at a Saints game against the day's opponents.
Today we look back at Saints' trip to Hull on March 24, 2006.
Hull’s KC Stadium had been the scene of some real horror days and nights for Saints since it first opened in 2003, with a record of four defeats.
But sitting pretty at the top of the pile coach Daniel Anderson played down the significance of the stadium being a bogey ground for his side.
He said: “I am sure Hull will be up for us – but we are playing a confident brand of rugby at the moment and if Hull want to beat us they are going to have to be good.”
He was right – Saints were white-hot in rattling in 46 points without reply to bury that hoodoo and see off poor John Kear from his job seven months after guiding the Black and Whites to a Challenge Cup victory.
Key to victory was a tremendous first quarter display from front rowers Jason Cayless, Paul Anderson and Keiron Cunningham. They then received good back up off the bench from the explosive Maurie Fa’asavalu and the solid-as-a-rock James Graham.
Given that this was the area where the Hull props like Jamie Thackray and Garreth Carvell had the ascendancy in the previous year’s miserable Challenge Cup semifinal, the triumph was doubly symbolic for Saints.
As the nil part of the scoreline suggests, this game was not just about silky Saints scoring skills, but the grunt and fire that saw three defenders consistently rock the Airlie Birds back on their heels.
With that aspect of their game sorted, Saints attack clicked into gear as they gained in confidence and relished the room earned by the pack’s effort.
Leon Pryce’s second try on the hour mark summed up the self belief and willingness to keep the ball alive – with the ball going left, right and centre through nine pairs of hands before the Saints stand off brushed past Hull full back Sean Briscoe to touch down.
But for one perplexing decision from the video ref who somehow spotted a knock on in the build up to a Lyon ‘try’ Saints would have racked up a half century.
So another bogey was laid to rest, and a crescendo of boos rang around the KC from disgruntled home fans, with Saints’ jubilant 1,100 travelling army taunting ‘Are you Wigan in disguise?’
The basis of that chant lay in the sight of Saints’ old foe from the other side of the lump languishing at the bottom of the Super League pile.
(Reproduced from Mike Critchley's As Good As It Gets, Saints 2006.)