Walsh Lands Saints Win

THERE will not be many better debuts than the one Adam Quinlan made this evening.

A hat-trick within 20 first half minutes laid the foundation for an outstanding performance – that was just about overshadowed by the bonkers nature of Saints 35-34 victory over Huddersfield.

Five time the champions led only to be pegged back each time before Luke Walsh capped a superb game with a drop goal two minutes from time.

Whilst the focus will undoubtedly be on the 22-year-old debutant, the scrum half was back to his best too alongside a vibrant Travis Burns and the excellent Mark Percival.

It was Huddersfield who did all the early running and probably should have been the team that took hold of the match.

They put Saints under pressure through Jack Hughes’ run and a penalty within the first couple of minutes.

Walsh had to be on his toes to collect loose balls twice and then Quinlan took a high Brough ball.

It was eight minutes before Saints got into Giants 20 through Jordan Turner and then Adam Swift had to pull a wonder tackle on Jermaine McGillvary to deny a certain score.

But when Joe Wardle knocked on on 15 minutes Saints profited.

Mose Masoe went close before Walsh and Burns combined to put McCarthy-Scarsbrook to within inches.

On the next carry Roby’s chip took a kind deflection and it was scooped up by Quinlan for the perfect debut.

The Giants hit back on 23 minutes through Jack Hughes – but it came after Alex Walmsley was harshly penalised for interference.

Saints were building pressure and following a drop out Quinlan was in for his second of the night.

Wonderful handling from Walsh and Burns set Swift free; he came back inside, found Jones, who duly had Savelio on his shoulder.

The youngster then offloaded, somehow, to the debutant.

Saints failed to deal with the restart though and within seconds McGilvary had collected a stabbed kick through.

The home side weren’t going to take that lying down though and on their next set James Roby broke through at full pace and found Quinlan on his right hand side for the fullback’s hat-trick.

Huddersfield didn’t lie down and as the hooter went Percival had to make a wonder tackle to stop a certain try – and leave Saints 18-12 up.

Saints needed to start the half better than they did the first – but they conceded on the Giants’ first set,

Brough’s bomb won then another set and then Cudjoe got on the outside of Saints’ defence.

On 50 minutes Saints went ahead again – thanks to the work of Walsh and Dawson.

The half back’s kick on the last was batted down by the winger into the hands of Percival who skipped twice and went over.

The topsy turvy nature of the game continued five minutes later when Huddersfield scored again – this time through McGillvary.

Four times Saints had the lead and four times the Giants had drawn level!

And that continued as on the hour mark a short Roby pass caught Greenwood on an angle for the homester’s fifth try.

The nature of the game dictated that the Giants should score next – but it was Saints who forced an error with some tenacious D before an excellent pass put Percy over for his second.

It broke the you score, we score momentum of the game and quelled the nerves of the Champions – for a few minutes at least.

Because with 10 minutes to go Greenwood was pinged for interference and Crabtree barged over following a nice pass.

Ellis kicking his fifth goal from five.

Aaron Murphy scored on the Giants’ next set following a penalty – and as the restart went out on the full – Danny Brough had the chance to put them ahead.

But he missed the conversion from the half way line.

It was always heading into drop goal territory and Walsh struck from 30 yards out, on an angle, to ping Saints ahead.

The home side then got the ball back from the restart and that sealed a dramatic and tense game.

Match Summary:


Tries: Quinlan (3), Percival (2), Greenwood

Goals: Walsh (5 from 6)

Drop: Walsh


Tries: Hughes, McGillvary (2), Cudjoe, Crabtree, Murphy, 

Goals: Ellis (5 from 6), Brough (1 from 1)


Saints: 4

Giants: 8

HT: 18-12

FT: 35-34

REF: Ben Thaler

ATT: 11164



37. Adam Quinlan; 22. Matty Dawson, 17. Mark Percival, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh; 10. Kyle Amor 9. James Roby, 8. Mose Masoe, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 21. Joe Greenwood, 4. Josh Jones.

Subs: 14. Alex Walmsley, 15. Mark Flanagan, 19. Greg Richards, 25. Andre Savelio.


1. Scott Grix; 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 3. Leroy Cudjoe, 5. Aaron Murphy, 18. Jodie Broughton; 6. Danny Brough, 20. Jamie Ellis; 8. Eorl Crabtree, 7. Luke Robinson, 10. Craig Huby, 4. Joe Wardle, 12. Jack Hughes, 17. Ukuma Ta’ai.

Subs: 14. Michael Lawrence, 15. Craig Kopczak, 16. Kyle Wood, 25. Nathan Mason.

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