Hull FC came up short against St Helens at the KCOM Stadium, suffering a 32-18 loss.

Here, we look at some of the talking points to emerge from the game.

A learning curve

The talk before the game was about the potential of FC matching up to last season’s Grand Final winners after their impressive start to the campaign.

Saints had stuttered prior to arriving at the KCOM Stadium, but there was no hesitancy as they flicked through the gears at the start of the second half in a 15-minute period which simply blew Hull away.

Three games into the season is too early to learn anything about silverware credentials, but this result certainly shows that Hull are nowhere the near the finished article.

They’ll reflect and study the clash, but they have to learn lessons from it, too.

FC weren’t helped

As they were last season, Hull were their own worst enemy at times against Saints, but they didn’t receive much help from the officials either on the day.

Liam Moore was the man in the middle and with Saints threatening to take control of the game in the second half, he made two mistakes which proved costly for the home side.

The Black and Whites were frustrated as replays showed Jack Welsby appearing to knock the ball on in the build-up to Luke Thompson’s try, before he missed a glaring obstruction which allowed Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook to touch down under the posts.

Referee Liam Moore
Referee Liam Moore

The human error will likely level itself out throughout the season, but with the game on a knife edge, had those offences been spotted at a pivotal point in the game, it might well have been a different outcome.

Sao shines again

Ligi Sao’s signing may have gone under the radar in comparison to the likes of Mahe Fonua or Manu Ma’u, but he’s already a candidate for the recruit of the season.

He was unable to prevent the result going Saints' way, but the forward produced another eye-catching display through the middle of the park.

Hull FC's Ligi Sao runs at the St Helens defence
Hull FC's Ligi Sao runs at the St Helens defence

The Samoan is a menace with the ball in hand, driving forward with such strength, while defensively he is fierce.

His moment of the game came close to half-time as he simply shrugged off an attempted hit from Matty Lees with ease, bouncing him back before getting the pass away.

Injuries stacking up

With Bureta Faraimo, Joe Cator, Andre Savelio and Manu Ma’u already out, the last thing Hull needed was more injuries.

Josh Bowden dropped out of the warm up before the game had even started, while Ratu Naulago, Carlos Tuimavave and Danny Houghton picked up issues throughout the course of the day.

Lee Radford was unable to provide an update on the fitness of the quartet, but he’ll have everything crossed that he receives good news from his medical staff throughout the campaign.

Carlos Tuimavave of Hull FC breaks free to go over for a try
Carlos Tuimavave of Hull FC breaks free to go over for a try

Wigan challenge  

Hull’s tough start to the campaign was apparent as soon as the fixtures came out on November 5.

The Black and Whites have navigated their way past Leeds Rhinos and Hull KR, two tricky clashes on paper, but ultimately they’ve come up short against the first side they will deem potential Grand Final challengers this year.

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Next week they travel to Wigan Warriors, another side more than capable of reaching Old Trafford and they have to show themselves in a better light.

Injuries might ensure Radford is forced into changes but getting back to winning ways against Adrian Lam’s Wigan is key, even at this early stage.