Huddersfield Giants v Saints
This was not only a game for the purist but it was a game for the purist who existed in the late ‘80’s well before Summer Rugby, writes Graham Henthorne.
The game was “played” in torrential rain and in a howling gale both of which combined, not surprisingly, to turn the pitch into a quagmire.
Consequently, whilst not condoning it, neither side expected anything other than the huge numbers of mistakes made by both sets of players.
Inevitably in these conditions the ball and the play tends to be concentrated down the middle in the pack. Fortunately for the Saints we have a handy one of those and a rejuvenated Matty Lees to lead it.
However, as with most situations games are won by the side with the best defence and in this respect the Saints were simply awesome holding out for four consecutive sets in our own twenty at one point.
This relentless defence coupled with a side which steadily makes yardage out of its own half can easily demoralise the opposition and lead a side to concede penalties. This was exactly what happened today.
Whilst the Saints weren’t able to pierce the Giants line the constant pressure saw them continually yield penalties. This, when you’ve as trusty a boot as that of Brad Billsborough behind you, means a constant accruing of points, gradually easing you away from the opposition. All of which is confidence sapping to the Giants.
The Giants did manage to pierce the Saints line late on but by that time the Saints were 10 points ahead with enough space to hang on for the win.
Assisting Lees in taking the game to the hosts was a back to his best Jorge Lewtas along with Evan Bullen and Josh Eaves. Both wingers John Hutchings and Tom Nisbett along with Cam Brown and Kev Brown from full back continually took the ball away from their own line giving valuable rest to the forwards.
Not only was Billsborough’s kicking a difference from the opening game against Leeds but his ability to control the game aided Elliot Jenkins in moving the Saints around the ploughed field.
Tries: Billy Hayes
Goals: Issac Farrell
Goals: Brad Billsborough 5.
Half Time: 0-6
Full Time: 6-10
1. Tyler Mellor; 2. Alex Young, 3. Harry Maders, 4. Jack Richardson, 5. Oliver Jamieson; 6. Josh Pinder, 7. Issac Farrell; 10. Jon Luke Kirby, 9. Jamie Greenwood, 8. Matthew English, 12. Sam Hewitt, 11. Alfie Cooper, 15. Billy Hayes.
Subs: 14. Ethan Salm, 16. Lucas Hallas, 17. Ross Whitmore, 19. Reece Boxhall Hunt.
1. Kevin Brown; 2. John Hutchings, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Jordan Gibbons, 5. Tom Nisbett; 6. Brad Billsborough, 7. Elliott Jenkins; 8. Matty Lees, 9. Josh Eaves, 10. Jordan Olmez, 11. Alex Eckley, 12. Owen Smith, 13. Callum Hazzard.
Subs: 14. Brad Pinder, 15. Jorge Lewtas, 16. Evan Bullen, 17. Joe Sharratt.
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