On This Day: Saints beat Huddersfield in 2008

Each day whilst we are all in Lockdown we will recall a famous Saints moment from the current day thanks to Saints Heritage Society.

29 JUNE 2008

Super League round 19: St. Helens 46-16 Huddersfield Giants at Knowsley Road.

St Helens (28) 46
Tries: Cunningham, Meli, Fa’asavalu 2, Gardner, Talau 2, Long, Roby

Goals: Long 4, Sculthorpe

Huddersfield (6) 16
Tries: Hemingway, Kirmond, Jones

Goals:Hemingway 2

St Helens closed the gap on Leeds at the top of the table with a convincing win, despite fielding six players who featured for England on Friday.

Saints showed no sign of fatigue as we took a 28-6 half-time lead with tries from Keiron Cunningham, Francis Meli, Maurie Fa’asavalu, and Ade Gardner.

Willie Talau, Sean Long and a brilliant James Roby try extended Saints’ lead as the Giants struggled to keep pace.

Danny Kirmond and Stuart Jones grabbed consolation scores for Huddersfield.

Saints boss Daniel Anderson picked Paul Wellens, Ade Gardner and James Graham in the starting line-up and Jon Wilkin, James Roby and Maurie Fa’asavalu on the bench after all had been on duty in Toulouse on Friday.

But it made little difference as Saints won our 12th consecutive game and cut the gap on Leeds to just two points.

Cunningham broke the deadlock after 18 minutes with a trademark try from dummy-half, and Huddersfield’s cause was not helped by the 12 straight penalties they gave away.

Youngster Kyle Eastmond put Meli over the line with a magnificent long pass, but a sloppy pass from Lee Gilmour allowed Giants stand-off Tom Hemingway to collect and sprinted 40m to score.

Huddersfield’s Rod Jensen was sin-binned for obstruction and the powerful Fa’asavalu came off the bench to score with his first touch.

Gardner went over from dummy-half for his 22nd try of the season and Fa’asavalu’s unstoppable charge stretched Saints’ lead going into the break.

Talau and Long crossed early in the second half as the penalty count mounted for Huddersfield, and Roby added the finishing touch to a mesmerising move.

When Talau scored again in the 56th minute, Huddersfield were staring down the barrel of a humiliating defeat but they showed great character to go over through Kirmond’s first score for the club while Jones crossed to further reduce the areas.

St Helens coach Daniel Anderson on forward Maurie Fa’asavalu:

“Maurie’s a beast and he was brilliant for us – he loves it.

“We were very sharp for 60 minutes but then a little bit of fatigue kicked in. Sean Long went off but I am very happy with our performance overall.”

Huddersfield caretaker coach Keiron Purtill:

“I’m disappointed with the penalty count but the referee has a job to do and we need to smarten up in that area.

“But we showed in the last quarter we have our pride and won’t give up. We will keep fighting.”

St Helens: Wellens; Gardner, Gidley, Talau, Meli; Eastmond, Long; Graham, Cunningham, Hargreaves, Gilmour, Clough, Sculthorpe.

Wilkin, Roby, Fa’asavalu, Thompson.

Huddersfield: Hodgson; Aspinwall, Wild, Whaturia, Lawrence; Hemingway, Robinson; Mason, Hudson, Griffin, Jones, Lolesi, Raleigh.

Replacements: Crabtree, Snitch, Jensen, Kirmond.

Referee: A Klein (London)

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