SAINTS hammered out another statement that they mean business this year with an emphatic 40-12 drubbing of third-placed Hull FC to keep an eight-point cushion at the Super League summit.

Anyone looking at the highlights package will have been wowed at the silky skills and hot-potato passing that led to some breathtaking tries.

But the 80-minute performance was much more complete than that and across the board it was a strong display with the middles and unsung players doing all their bit to lay the platform.

Hull can be a formidable opposition on their own midden, roared on by some of the loudest fans in the game, but Saints had their number.

After the initial softening up process, in which Alex Walmsley and Luke Thompson both stood up well, Saints nudged their noses in front when Morgan Knowles ran a good line from a Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook pass to steam over, and Theo Fages was alert to a knocked down kick to double it.

Saints still had to battle, but then produced a try out of the top drawer with Lachlan Coote touching down after a shrewd inside kick from Tommy Makinson, a follow up tackle from Kevin Naiqama, coughed up the ball for the alert full back to give them an 18-0 lead at the break.

Hull were always going to come out strong in the second half, to try and change the momentum, but Saints would not wilt.

And when they got the opportunity to turn it on they did so with style.

For a spell Saints’ left-hand gang were unplayable with Regan Grace crossing in the corner after a fine passage of play - and being left with a bloodied nose for his trouble.

Jack Ashworth profited from good work from James Bentley, and further scores sparked up the left from Coote’s and Lomax made it 40-0 before they eased off allowing two late consolations from Jamie Shaul and Ratu Naulago.

At times it was hard to believe this was 1 v 3, Saints were a class apart.

Hull FC: Shaul; Faraimo, Griffin, Connor, Naulago; Kelly, Sneyd; Taylor, Houghton, Paea, Minichichiello, Manu, Westerman. Subs: Tuimavave,Bowden, Fash, Ellis.

Saints: Coote; Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace; Lomax, Fages; Walmsley, Bentley, Thompson, Peyroux, Knowles, McCarthy-Scarsbrook. Subs: Paulo, Amor, Lees, Ashworth.