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After their stunning comeback win against the Rhinos in round eight, the Huddersfield Giants set their sights on the champions St Helens as they travelled to the Totally Wicked Stadium for a Thursday evening encounter which could see them move level with three other teams in second place in the league table.

The Giants were the underdogs as Ian Watson’s side took on Paul Wellens troops with the bookies giving the visitors a ten point start on the handicap coupon.

The Saints won big last time out against lowly Hull FC but that victory came on the back of two consecutive losses, but a win of any description would send the red vee back to the top of the pile, at least until the rest of the weekend games take place.

The early pressure was all on the Saints line and the dam finally broke on five minutes when Kevin Naiqama found space after a tap back of a high kick to run the angle and ground close to the right corner flag.  Jake Connor added the touchline conversion for an early 6-0 lead.

On eleven the Giants were in again as they broke from their own half with Adam Swift taking a Connor pass before swatting Tommy Makinson out of the way to break downfield, put in a chip kick which he chased and grounded brilliantly under pressure from the chasing Saints defenders. Connor added the conversion again from wide for 12-0, the Saints support silenced.

Saints were on the board on twenty-six, but it was more luck than skill as Tommy Makinson charged out of the defensive line and intercepted a lofted Tui Lolohea pass on his own forty and went sixty metres to score under the sticks. Mark Percival added the conversion, Saints back within six.

With thirty seconds left on the first half clock Adam Clune attempted a drop goal but it fell short of the posts and the half time hooter saw the Giants take a six-point lead into the break.

Hostilities broke out of forty-seven when Mark Percival hit Elliott Wallis in the air as he took a high bomb, the ball came loose and was picked up by Saints, but the referee sent the decision to the video referee as a ‘NO TRY’ and the fourth official agreed.

Saints were making all of the second half running and Huddersfield defended like their lives depended on it. But on sixty-one, while Jake Connor was again petulantly questioning the referee, Saints went in for their second try with Daryl Clark scooting from acting half back to go in from ten metres against weak defence. Percival added the conversion, the sies all square with seventeen minutes to play. There only looked like being one winner.

When Wallis spilled the ball in the tackle on sixty-six Saints exploited the overlap, and Waqa Blake went for the grounding in the corner, but the ball slipped from his grasp in the act of scoring.

A Moses Mbye kick was charged down on seventy-nine but went to Saints hands and the ball was worked to Jonny Lomax who slotted the ball between the uprights from forty metres to win the game.

Saints dominated the second half, but for a couple of moments of madness the Giants would have kept them at bay and taken the win. The Giants were left ruing chances that they should have taken in the first half when they should have gone into the interval with a larger lead. In the end the quality of the hosts shone through and they return to the top of the table thanks to a hard won two points.

St Helens: Bennison, Makinson (T), Hurrell, Percival (2G), Blake, Welsby, Lomax (DG), Mata’utia, Mbye, Lees, Whitley, Batchelor, Knowles. Subs: Clark (T), Bell, Sironen, Delaney. 18th Man: Davies. 

Huddersfield Giants: Connor (2G), Swift (T), Bibby, Naiqama (T), Wallis, Lolohea, Clune, Wilson, Milner, Greenwood, Cudjoe, Rushton, Yates.  Subs: Golding, English, Halsall, Ikahihifo. 18th Man: Russell.

Half-Time: 6-12.

Full-Time: 13-12.

Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 0-10, 0-12, 4-12, 6-12: HT:  10-12, 12-12, 13-12 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Huddersfield – Square – St Helens.

Referee: Liam Moore.  

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 25th Apr 2024 9:49 PM | Views : 6472 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES