A SUPERB late try from Ade Gardner wasn’t enough as Huddersfield Giants beat Saints 17-16 at the Galpharm Stadium.
Danny Brough had lobbed over a one pointer to give his side a 17-12 lead heading into the final stages.
But the former Barrow winger’s try in the corner left the game on a knife-edge.
Yet, Jonny Lomax couldn’t slot the conversion off the touchline and the Giants did just enough to repel borders at the end as Saints threw everything to find the killer score.
Royce Simmons men led 12-4 at the break to give themselves a solid platform for the second 40.
Tries from Lee Gaskell and Jonny Lomax cancelled out Luke George’s opener as the visitors thoroughly deserved the advantage.
Lomax in particular was lively at half back and when Hohaia came on at hooker to replace the injured James Roby Saints’ attack and kicking game was much more effective.
In the second half, George benefitted from an error to bring the Giants back into it before he brought up his hat-trick as his teammates turned defence into attack.
But Ade Gardner’s first of the season just wasn’t enough on his return to the side as Saints were handed their second defeat in a row.
Saints had early pressure when a great break from Tony Puletua saw him flip a pass out of the backdoor to Wellens.
Gaskell then won a repeat set and after another Giants error another six tackles.
But Anthony Laffranchi pushed the pass to James Roby and the ball was knocked on.
On the ten minute mark Saints went for it on the last but Jermaine McGillvary smothered Francis Meli’s threat.
After 15 minutes, Michael Lawrence did well to slip Meli and then win a penalty. And from there, the ball was driven in, and pushed left for Luke George to score in the corner.
It was a questionable try as it looked for all the world that a dummy runner went straight through Shenton.
Brough missing the tricky conversion.
But Saints hit back just before the half hour mark when a fantastic move saw Clough link up with Roby for Lee Gaskell to scoot through a gap.
Lomax converting with a swinging bending kick.
He then put Saints ahead with a great piece of opportunism.
His hopeful chip through seemed to be going dead but he pounced on Cudjoe’s lethargy and put down with less than an inch to spare.
With the boos still ringing Lomax added his second conversion of the afternoon.
Huddersfield won a penalty right from the kick off but Saints intercepted as the Giants looked to get the ball wide.
But when a high ball was knocked on the Giants made Saints pay; Luke George grabbing his second.
Brough making it a two point game.
Saints were being penalised for innocuous stuff by the referee and it was taking its toll – the Giants spending most of the early stages of the half in their opposition territory.
And when Simmons’ men got into the Giants’ half, poor pass selection didn’t help.
Brough should have levelled on 60 minutes but he spread his penalty attempt wide.
The Giants then did break the Saints resistance though and it was a real slice of class… and luck. Gaskell’s kick on the last was gathered and the home side returned it 100 yards.
Brough added a drop goal as the game entered its final stages but Saints gave themselves hope after a wonderful team move saw Gardner get over in the corner.
Saints had a couple of sets to break down the Giants’ defence but couldn’t find the last tackle option to sneak the win.
Tries: George (3)
Goals: Brough (3 from 4)
Tries: Gaskell, Lomax, Gardner
Goals: Lomax (2 from 3)
REF: Phil Bentham
29. Greg Eden; 5. Jermaine McGillvary, 3. Leroy Cudjoe, 17. Joe Wardle, 20. Luke George; 7. Danny Brough, 1. Scott Grix; 8. Eorl Crabtree, 9. Luke Robinson, 24. Adam Walker, 18. Jason Chan, 2. Michael Lawrence, 6. Kevin Brown.
Subs: 4. Lee Gilmour, 13. David Faiumu, 14. Shaun Lunt, 15. Larne Patrick.
1. Paul Wellens; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Michael Shenton, 5. Francis Meli, 2. Ade Gardner; 20. Lee Gaskell. 7. Jonny Lomax; 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook, 12. Jon Wilkin, 4. Sia Soliola, 11. Tony Puletua.
Subs: 6. Lance Hohaia, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Paul Clough, 19. Andrew Dixon.
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