Giants Stun Saints

St Helens picked up their first back to back losses of 2018 after Simon Woolford's Huddersfield side put in a resolute winning performance against the league leaders to see the game out at 16-12.

Justin Holbrook was forced to watch the first 5 minutes of the game with his head in his hands, St Helens knocking on a short kick off attempt, then losing the ball inside their own 10 metre line on their next set.

The Giants would put St Helens to the sword for their mistakes, a pass touched by a Saints man refreshing the tackle count at close range, Huddersfield making the most of the possession as they moved the ball through the hands for Darnell McIntosh to dive over on the left for the underdogs, Danny Brough slotting the tricky kick from the touchline, 6-0 Huddersfield with 4 minutes on the clock.
The mistakes were present in both St Helens' attacking game and their defending, moving the ball out to the left in search of Mark Percival but the pass thrown behind him and into touch, quickly followed by a knock on by Ben Barba from a towering kick by the Giants.

Huddersfield punishing that knock on with more points, an opportunistic Alex Mellor put through a hole in the line from 5 metres out with a perfectly timed flat pass, Brough making easy work of his second kick of the night to push the Giants out to a 12-0 lead after 10 minutes.

Ben Barba would make yet another mistake at the back that would cost his side, Brough putting the star fullback to the test with another spiraling bomb, Barba failing the test and the Giants moving the loose ball to the left hand side for Darnell McIntosh's second try of the game, Brough unable to convert as Huddersfield raced out to a 16-0 lead within 19 minutes.

St Helens' error rate was gradually climbing and undoing the hard work been done to try and put them back into the game, Morgan Knowles forcing the ball loose 15 metres from the Giants line for Saints to knock on in the second tackle of the set.

In the 35th minute, St Helens would finally break the Giants, Lomax spying a gap and putting Barba through to score under the posts, halftime looming as St Helens closed the gap to 10 points with Richardson's conversion, St Helens unable to close the gap any further as the sides went into the half at 16-6.

The message from the coaches at halftime will have been massively different, Woolford's message one of maintenance and composure, Holbrook's one of improvement and desire to perform.

It would once again be a fast and pressuring start from the Giants, 7 minutes into the half, Brough chipping in behind the Saints line and forcing a goal line drop out, the league leaders this time holding firm.

The best chance of the half so far would be squandered by St Helens once more, Ben Barba breaking the line with some quick feet before trying to put Lomax through to score, the pass not sticking and the chance coming to nothing.

Back to back sets on their own line would take their toll on the Giants, a goal line drop out followed by two silly penalties setting Saints up on the Giants line for an uninterrupted  15 tackles, St Helens calling on the big man to find points as Luke Thompson steam rollered his way over the Giants line, Richardson making it 16-12 with 20 minutes left to play.

St Helens were truly hammering at the door now, James Roby deemed to be held up as Jon Wilkin set him loose close to the line, the Giants defenders just getting under the livewire stalwart.

The Giants looked to have pressed the self destruct button in the latter stages of the game, 3 back to back penalties once more setting up Saints for what looked to be another Luke Thompson try, Richardson's pass read by the Giants and the pressure somehow relieved on the Giants line.

The Giants defensive heroics would give them the win in the end, Adam Swift breaking down the left for a certain try, Jermaine McGilvary forcing the Saints winger over the touchline to bag his side the win as the Giants held out 16-12.


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