Huddersfield Giants v Saints
The Saints resumed their league programme after the mid-season break looking rusty for their three weeks off.
It’s never easy to play the Giants home or away so any win is a good one but there is much more to come from the Saints, writes Graham Henthorne.
The teams traded missed opportunities in the opening few minutes. The Giants would have taken the lead after only three minutes but for a forward pass then the Saints spurned their own as Alex Eckley dropped the ball over the line.
As the drizzle cleared it was the Saints who opened the scoring. A penalty and a repeat set had kept the Saints camped in the Giants red zone. On the fourth the ball was worked left for Jack Welsby to show his vision spotting the winger creeping inside and his three person miss pass to the returning Kev Brown saw the winger in for the score.
The Saints doubled their lead 10 minutes later scoring a rare penalty try. The referee adjudged that Jorge Lewtas was impeded in his chase of Jake Wingfield’s grubber and stopped from scoring a certain try. Callum Hazard’s second conversion made it 12.
But as often happens the tide turned. Chris Follin was harshly penalised for walking off the mark, the Giants started to take advantage of the Saints inability to slow the ruck and it took some resolute defence to keep them out.
Tom Nisbet and Welsby combined to save a try holding the man up in-goal but with two minutes to go to the break the pressure tolled as the Giants scored on the overlap on the left.
The Saints started the second half the brighter but poor handling resulted in the pressure being released.
In fact on the hour the Giants narrowed the gap to one try as they took advantage of a Saints forward pass in our half to score again in the corner but this time down the right.
The Saints responded well with Welsby making a break down the middle but on reaching the fullback he seemed in two minds as to what to do and the chance petered out with Josh Simm being held up.
With five minutes to go some quick thinking gave the Saints a bit of breathing space. Down the left wing on the last Jake Wingfield spotted the winger off his touchline so threw a fine miss pass direct from the play the ball to Brown. The winger knocked it down but Brown reacted quickest picking up the loose ball and diving over.
Eight points clear the Saints just needed to shut up shop but sleeping at the short kick off allowed the Giants to retake possession and pulverises the Saints line.
The defence held out until the final minutes when a Giants knock-on was swooped on by Welsby who went 90 metres to score under the posts converting his own try to complete the scoring.
The best that can be said is that the Saints are back on the horse after the lay-off but will need to up their game before next Friday’s visit of the Broncos.
Tries: Ben Tibbs (38), Dominic Young (62).
Goals: Jacob Wardle 0 from 2.
Tries: Kevin Brown (15 & 74), Penalty Try (25), Jack Welsby (80).
Goals: Callum Hazard 2 from 2, Jack Welsby 1 from 1.
Half Time: 4-12
Full Time: 8-22
1. Louis Senior; 5. Dominic Young, 3. Innes Senior, 4. Jack Richardson, 2. Ben Tibbs; 6. Jacob Wardle, 7. Oliver Russell; 8. Jon Luke Kirby, 9. Jack Flynn, 20. Thomas Hugill, 11. Lucas Hallas, 12. Sam Hewitt, 19. Connor Murphy.
Subs: 10. Ben Bamber, 14. Finley Bruce, 16. Thomas Mayoh, 17. Callum Cameron.
1. Tom Nisbet; 5. John Hutchings, 3. Sean Croston, 4. Josh Simm, 22. Kevin Brown; 6. Jack Welsby, 18. Ryan Horne; 8. Alex Eckley (C), 9. Jake Wingfield, 10. Callum Hazard, 11. Kye Siyani, 12. Chris Follin, 13. Sam Royle.
Subs: 14. Paul Nash, 15. Ben Sims, 16. Jorge Lewtas, 17. Chris Kellett.
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