St Helens coach Kristian Woolf praises his players' honesty heading into Hull FC challenge

Saints coach Kristian Woolf
Saints coach Kristian Woolf

Head coach Kristian Woolf has praised the honesty of his players in the wake of the19-0 defeat they suffered against Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell Jones stadium last week.

The Australian boss said: ''Obviously we are not happy at the loss and our performance but I have to give the blokes credit for their honesty in the way they reflected on the result and how they evaluated their own display.

''There was no or excuses or finger pointing why we weren't up to scratch so it gives us an opportunity to show what we are better at and that starts now.''

They could hardly face a tougher test than the trip to Hull FC on Sunday where the home side will be seeking their third success win and cement top spot in the table.

Woolf is fully aware the threat posed by the Airlie Birds and expects as tough a test as Warrington provided

''Hull are a good side and have a powerful-looking set of forwards and we will need to win the little battle in the middle and then have a better look at their halves.''

Saints will definitely be without injured trio, Mark Percival, Lachlan Coote and skipper James Roby, but are hoping Tommy Makinson, Kyle Amor and Morgan Knowles will be available for selection.

''Our leaders are on their way back and hopefully will guide us around the field,'' said 22-year-old prop forward Matty Lees who, if selected, will be making his 50th appearance for the club.

He added:''It's a case of picking ourselves up against a tough Hull side. We will be studying the videos and take it from there.''

Liam Moore will be in the man in the middle for Sunday's fixture. It will be the Wigan referee's second match involving Saints this season, having officiating at the club's opener against Salford Red Devils.

The U19s will face Wakefield Trinity at Blackbrook on Saturday, weather permitting. The match kicks off at 1pm.

Hull FC v St Helens - the stats

St Helens will be hoping to extend their impressive record against Hull FC on Sunday and at the same time bounce back from the 19-0 drubbing they suffered at Warrington last week.

Saints have won nine of their past 10 meetings, including one victory in the Magic Weekend at Newcastle.

The Airlie Birds' only win in this period against their cross-Pennines rivals was an 8-6 triumph at the Totally Wicked Stadium in 2017 and they will be keen to turn the tables in front of their own fans.

Last 10 meetings:

Hull FC 6, St Helens 22 (SLR29, 13/9/19)

Hull FC 12, St Helens 40 (SLR21, 5/7/19)

St Helens 62, Hull FC 16 (SLR12, 22/4/19)

St Helens 38, Hull FC 12 (SLS8-R5, 14/9/18)

Hull FC 18, St Helens 34 (SLR21, 13/7/18)

St Helens 25, Hull FC 22 (CCQF, 3/6/18)

St Helens 26, Hull FC 12 (SLR10, 6/4/18)

St Helens 6, Hull FC 8 (SLS8-R2, 11/8/17)

St Helens 19, Hull FC 12 (SLR21, 7/7/17)

Hull FC 0, St Helens 45 (SLR14, 20/5/17)

(at St James' Park, Newcastle)

Super League summary

Hull FC won 17

St Helens won 35 (including a win in the 2006 Grand Final and victories in 2001 and 2006 play-offs)

3 draws

Hull FC highest score: 44-6 (h, 2005,and also widest margin)

St Helens highest score: 74-16 (h, 1999 and also widest margin)

MARC Sneyd needs one appearance to reach 200 in Super League - 128 for Hull FC (2015-2020); 26 for Castleford Tigers (2014); 45 for Salford City Reds (2010-2013) (including play-offs & Super League Super 8s)

ADAM Swift requires two tries to reach 100 for his career - 0 for Hull FC (2020); 86 for St Helens (2012-2019); 2 for Leigh Centurions (2019, dual-registration);3 for Sheffield Eagles (2018, dual-registration); 4 for Rochdale Hornets (2013-2014, dual-registration); 3 for Whitehaven (2013, dual-registration).

JAMES Roby needs two tries to reach 100 in Super League - 98 for St Helens (2004-2019) (including play-offs & Super League Super 8s).