Yates' view: Swift shows his value and the strength of Saints' squad

Adam Swift claimed a hat-trick against Hull FC on Easter Monday
Adam Swift claimed a hat-trick against Hull FC on Easter Monday

Saints faced their first test of the season on how they would cope when fielding an understrength team against Hull FC at the Total Wicked Stadium on Easter Monday - and emerged with flying colours.

Until then, head coach Justin Holbrook had been given the luxury of naming virtually an unchanged squad from round one but the question being asked by many fans ahead of the clash with the Airlie Birds was: How will they perform in the absence of first team regulars, Mark Percival, Theo Fages, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Zeb Tia?

Not too bad is the answer and don't forget their 62-16 thumping of the Humbersiders in front of more then 11,000 ecstatic supporters was also achieved without Luke Thompson for much of the game..

The key prop forward hobbled off in the first half after Saints had been rocked on their heels by going 10-0 behind almost in the blink of an eye.

At the same time, it must be acknowledged that Lee Radford's side were also beset by injuries but didn't have the depth of young talent Saints were able to call on, such as Joe Batchelor, Jack Welsby, Matty Lees and Jack Ashworth.

Neither could Hull pluck a player from their ranks like vastly experienced winger Adam Swift.

Injury-plagued Swift, who was making his first Super League start since August last year, took his chance with both hands and responded with a stunning hat-trick.

The 26-year-old - making his 124th appearance for his home town club - said: ''From a personal point of view, I'm glad to be back in the squad and it's great to score a hat-trick, but it is the result which really matters at the end of the day.

''Both sides brought a lot to the table and it was a question who was going to crack first. Luckily, it wasn't us.''

Swifty's three-try burst took his total to 85 from 124 appearances since his Super League debut against Widnes Vikings in April 2012.