Brave Saints Felled By Giants

BRAVE Saints produced a fine performance at Huddersfield under difficult circumstances but ultimately succumbed to a late Leroy Cudjoe drop goal.

Alex Walmsley was sent off in the first half and despite defending like their lives depended on it went down 17-16.

Nathan Brown’s side asked a lot of questions when down to 12 men and had two drop goal attempts of their own.

The latter was charged down and was the difference between the two sides – coming after Saints had denied one of the Giants two efforts.

Saints weathered the best of what the Giants threw at them in the first half to lead 10-0.

James Roby was the architect setting up one and scoring another.

But once Walmsley was sent off for a tackle deemed late and high it was backs to the wall.

In the second half Shaun Lunt and Cudjoe gave the Giants the lead, but Lance Hohaia dummied his way over.

Mark Percival then showed maturity beyond his years with the conversion.

Saints were on top at that point but couldn’t quite set up for the winning drop goal meaning all eyes are on Catalan v Castleford to decide the final league placings.

Brown made two changes from the side that lost to Warrington – Gary Wheeler and Mark Percival returning to allow Paul Wellens to slot back in at fullback.

Matty Dawson selected ahead of Adam Swift.

Huddersfield were missing Danny Brough, Eorl Crabtree and Scott Grix but that didn’t stop them making a solid start.

A high ball into the corner caused problems and then the ball was lost right in Saints 20.

Saints forced their way back into it with a couple of good clearing kicks and then Mose Masoe  and Willie Manu went close.

But a penalty and an error handed the advantage back to the Giants only for Saints to come up with superb goal line defence.

After soaking up all the pressure Saints hit back with a classic counterpunch.

Roby got away at half back, offloaded to Turner who found Manu in space.

He simply fed Mark Percival who weighed up his options before putting Makinson over in the corner.

Less then a minute later Saints increased their lead – and it was another free flowing move down the centre of the field that saw Roby crash under the posts.

On 27 minutes the game turned as Alex Walmsley was sent off for an apparent late tackle on Luke Robinson.

The Giants were held up over the line as they pushed home their man advantage but Saints held out.

Galvanised, Saints shut up shop for the next ten minutes before they were harshly penalised for offside.

And they then succumbed to Jake Connor’s chip through.

Saints needed to be strong, solid and brave in the second half – and certainly didn’t need to concede on their first set.

But that’s what happened.

Ukuma Ta’ai ripped the middle of the park to shreds and then Shaun Lunt stretched over to level matters.

Connor putting his side ahead with the boot.

On Huddersfield’s next attack Matty Dawson took the ball high but was clattered by Jermaine McGillvary and stretchered off.

It was another blow but Saints kept on pressing and probing and almost broke through thanks to the excellent James Roby.

Chances were few and far between though and ultimately they had to make one count – as when the Giants had one they did.

Flanagan forcing a pass which allowed Cudjoe to collect and increase the lead.

Saints hit back almost immediately when Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook broke the line after a wonderful Roby pass and Hohaia dummied his way to the line.

Percival ice cool with the conversion.

Saints charged down a drop goal attempt but couldn’t get near Cudjoe’s 71st minute effort.

Hohaia missed with an effort of his own minutes later and then in the final stages Jordan Turner had one charged down.

Saints reclaimed the ball but the referee pulled them up for offside – when it should have been play on – and the Giants celebrated.

Saints now have to rely on Catalan beating Castleford on Saturday to win the League Leaders Shield.

Match Summary:

Tries: Connor, Lunt, Cudjoe
Goals: Connor (2 from 2)
Drop: Cudjoe

Tries: Makinson, Roby, Hohaia
Goals: Percival (2 from 3)

Giants: 7
Saints: 3

HT: 10-6
FT: 16-17

REF: Richard Silverwood

ATT: 7244


5. Aaron Murphy; 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 3. Leroy Cudjoe, 4. Joe Wardle, 19. Jodie Broughton; 27. Jake Connor, 7. Luke Robinson; 20. Antonio Kaufusi, 9. Shaun Lunt, 23. Josh Johnson, 11. Brett Ferres, 15. Larne Patrick, 14. Michael Lawrence.
Subs: 10. Craig Kopczak, 13. Chris Bailey, 16. David Faiumu, 17. Ukuma Ta’ai.

17. Paul Wellens; 2. Tommy Makinson, 22. Mark Percival, 4. Josh Jones, 26. Matty Dawson; 6. Lance Hohaia, 24. Gary Wheeler; 16. Kyle Amor, 8. Mose Masoe, 9. James Roby, 13. Willie Manu, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 3. Jordan Turner.
Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Sia Soliola, 15. Mark Flanagan, 18. Alex Walmsley.

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