FOR 35 minutes the Saints were in total command of this game and looking to increase their point’s difference and the gap over fourth placed Warrington.
But a combination of a missed chance and an incorrect knock on decision resulted in the Giants closing to within 6 at the break. More importantly, however, the momentum had shifted and the Giants went from strength to strength in the second period to win 31-30.
The story of the first half was of strong defence down the middle stopping the Giants in their tracks and forcing errors.
One such resulted in the opening try after six minutes. The Giants coughed up possession on their own line and from the scrum the Saints were held short twice. On the third, a high bullet pass from Dom Speakman at dummy half was expertly caught in his fingertips way above his head by Chris Webster on the charge.
Webster was involved again as Lewis Galbraith scored the first of his four for the afternoon increasing the lead on the quarter hour. His 30 metre break down the middle split the Giants then quick hands down the right from Dan Abram and Adam Saunders put Galbraith away, the winger beating two to the corner.
A succession of penalties culminated in the Giants opening their account with a soft try from dummy half. This should have served as a warning for later but the Saints didn’t need to worry at this stage.
Galbraith’s second came after a great break from Danny Abram. On the fifth tackle the full back arced around the cover down the right. Having options from Danny Yates inside he chose to go right and the speedy Galbraith beat three players on his way to the line.
He completed his hat-trick on the next set as a penalty piggy-backed the Saints to the Giants line. James Tilley and Matty Fleming were stopped short before Abram again put Galbraith into the corner.
The turning point came when Lewis Charnock threw a massive four player miss pass which just drifted forward on its way to Galbraith. Had he been able to take it then the Giants may well have wilted but on the next set a blatant knock was missed and some poor tackling let the Giants in and gave them a lifeline.
Within 25 minutes of the second half the Giants had built a 10 point lead courtesy of three breakaway tries but as desperation was just about to set in the Saints dragged themselves back into contention.
Finally getting a repeat set Connor Dwyer charged onto a short ball to score under the sticks. Dave Hewitt’s conversion brought them to within four and when the saints forced yet another error on the second tackle anything was possible.
Adam Saunders was stopped short down the right and from the play the ball Galbraith scored his fourth forcing his way over in the corner. Hewitt’s touchline conversion was just wide, but with 90 seconds left and the ball from the kick off the Saints were confident of being able to go for the win.
All the plans fell by the wayside as James Tilley knocked at the restart and three tackles later the Giants were doing exactly what the Saints had planned dropping for victory.
This was hard to swallow for Tilley as he had again led from the front on a swelteringly hot day and Galbraith who had finished brilliantly on his wing.
This was a bad defeat and one which could and should have been avoided if the Saints had just played for 60 minutes instead of 40.
Tries: Jarrod Simpson, Josh Hunt, Jake Shoel, Jake Connor, Caanan Smithies.
Goals: Jack Miller 5.
Drop Goals: Tom Battye.
Tries: Lewis Galbraith 4, Chris Webster, Connor Dwyer.
Goals: Lewis Charnock 2, Dave Hewitt.
Half Time: 20-12
Full Time: 30-31
1. Jarrod Simpson; 5. George Croisdale, 4. Tom Battye, 3. Jake Shoel, 2. Josh Hunt; 6. Jake Connor, 7. Jack Miller; 8. Jack Blagborough, 9. Caanan Smithies, 10. Tyler Dickinson, 11. Will Carlos, 12. George King, 13. Mikey Wood.
Subs: 14. Zac McComb, 15. Shaun Pick, 16. Elliot Morris, 17. Kruise Leeming.
20. Dan Abram; 2. Lewis Galbraith, 3. Adam Saunders, 4. Matty Fleming, 5. Ben Parry; 6. Lewis Charnock, 7. Danny Yates; 8. Chris Webster, 9. Dom Speakman, 10. James Tilley, 11. Olly Davies, 12. Jack Ashworth, 13. Connor Dwyer.
Subs: 14. Matty Fozard, 15. Adam Hesketh, 18. Dave Hewitt, 21. Tom Calland.