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Saints see off hard-working Giants

Saints battled off a second half fight back by Huddersfield Giants to maintain our 100% winning start to the season and unbeaten run in 2021.

Mark Percival was back in the starting 13 as was Sione Mata’utia, whilst Kevin Naiqama moved to the wing and Jack Welsby retained his place at centre.

Saints came out of the blocks strongly and took a lead after just four minutes through Theo Fages, who got his first of the season. Lachlan Coote kicked a high ball to the corner and a great chase and claim by Jack Welsby was enough to beat the defender, before he offloaded to Fages to go over. Coote added the extras to make it 6-0.

Despite minimal threat on the Saints back line, Huddersfield defended well against the relentless pressure. Kyle Amor was convinced he’d got his first of the season, but video referee Ben Thaler agreed with the on-field decision that he was held up on the line on 30 minutes.

Saints’ relentless pressure paid off with three minutes of the half to go; Mark Percival, on his return, going over after he latched onto a pass out wide from Jonny Lomax. Coote made it two from two, giving Saints a 12-0 lead going into half time.

Giants started the second half the stronger team as Saints were a little sloppy. Jack Cogger kicked a 40/20 and that led to the Giants eventually going over on their third set as Chris McQueen found space in behind Welsby. Aidan Sezer missed the conversion, making it 12-4 after 47 minutes.

The game remained in the balance and well fought, but it was Saints who responded after 63 minutes. Regan Grace started it off with a characteristic run through the back line which put Saints in a good position before Lewis Dodd, off the bench, broke from dummy half and found Lomax with a lovely short pass and Jonny had his first Try of the season. Coote made it three from three, extending the lead to 18-4.

Giants refused to be beaten and came back once more, Jermaine McGillvary going over in the right corner after Cogger had found the space. Sezer converted this time, making it 18-10 with eight minutes to play, but Saints held out for the win.

Match Summary:

Huddersfield 13: Lee Gaskell, Joe McGillvary, Chris McQueen, Sam Wood, Darnell McIntosh, Jack Cogger, Aidan Sezer, Jack Ashworth, James Cunningham, James Gavet, Ken Edwards, Luke Yates, Josh Jones.

Interchanges: Matty English, Adam O’Brien, Michael Lawrence, Oliver Wilson.

Tries: McQueen (46), McGillvary (71)

Conversions: Sezer

Saints 13: Lachlan Coote, Kevin Naiqama, Jack Welsby, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Joel Thompson, James Bentley, Sione Mata’utia.

Interchanges: Kyle Amor, Agnatius Paasi, Lewis Dodd, Jake Wingfield.

Tries: Fages (4), Percival (37), Lomax (63)

Conversions: Coote (3)

Half time: 0-12

Full time: 10-18

Referee: Robert Hicks

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