Grace hat-trick fires Saints into Challenge Cup semi final

A Regan Grace hat-trick was enough to edge out Huddersfield Giants in a hard-fought 23-18 victory which sent Saints through to the semi finals of the Betfred Challenge Cup.

Tommy Makinson was forced off with an injury just three minutes into the game, before the Giants capitalised on a penalty against an over-eager defensive Saints line, as Aidan Sezer kicked a a grubber through and Michael Lawrence went over. Sezer added the extras to give Huddersfield an early 6-0 lead in the first six minutes.

Regan Grace got his eighth of the season in the 17th minute after a great pick up from a loose ball after Theo Fages had threaded a grubber kick through to the flying Welshman. Lachlan Coote was unable to convert, meaning the Giants led 6-4 half way through the first half.

Saints thought they had taken the lead on 29 minutes after Jonny Lomax touched down, but James Child said the ball had been grounded by a Giants player.

Saints did take the lead in the 33rd minute though after a great cut-out pass from Lomax who found Mark Percival and he twisted and turned through a number of Giants defenders to go over. Coote added the extras this time, giving Saints a 10-6 lead.

On the stroke of half time, Huddersfield got their second of the game after a diving effort from Darnell McIntosh in the left corner. Sezer kicked the extras from the touchline to give Giants a 12-10 lead at half time.

Coote brought Saints level with a penalty six minutes into the second half, after Kristian Woolf’s men started the early stages of the second half strongly.

Saints got themselves back in front with a great play on the last, as Coote threw a long ball in search of Grace, who stepped inside and forced his way over brilliantly. Coote added the extras to give Saints an 18-12 lead after 54 minutes.

Minutes later Coote kicked a clever reverse kick across the face of the sticks which was attacked by Theo Fages, but Sezer got back to kick the ball dead.

Saints continued to throw everything at the Giants and Fages extended our lead by kicking a drop goal in the 62nd minute, making it 19-12.

Two minutes later, Coote thought he’d got himself a try, but James Child penalised Percival for a knock on when trying to offload to his supporting full back.

Against the run of play, Huddersfield pulled a try back with 12 minutes left to play. A high kick by Sezer was dropped by Kevin Naiqama who looked like he had been taken out in the air and the ball was played out to McIntosh who went over for his second. Sezer converted again from the touchline, narrowing Saints’ lead to one point.

But Saints confirmed their place in the Challenge Cup semi final five minutes from time as Grace bagged his hat-trick and 10th of the season.

The men in the Red Vee were awarded a second set of six, before the ball was worked out wide and Coote found Grace with a cut-out pass and the Welsh wizard dived in the corner to secure the win. Coote missed his conversion, but Saints were through after a hard-earnt 23-18 victory.

Match Summary

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

Interchanges: Kyle Amor, Agnatius Paasi, Jack Welsby, Aaron Smith.

Tries: Grace (17, 53, 75), Percival (33)

Conversions: Coote (2)

Penalties: Coote (46)

Drop goals: Fages (62)

Huddersfield 13: Lee Gaskell, Jermaine McGillvary, Chris McQueen, Ricky Leutele, Darnell McIntosh, Jack Cogger, Aidan Sezer, Luke Yates, James Cunningham, Michael Lawrence, Ken Edwards, Josh Jones, Joe Greenwood.

Interchanges: Matty English, Adam O’Brien, Sam Wood, Owen Trout.

Tries: Lawrence (5), McIntosh (39, 68)

Conversions: Sezer (3)

Half time: 10-12

Full time: 23-18

Referee: James Child

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Huddersfield Giants Line up

1Lee Gaskell
2Jermaine McGillvary
3Chris McQueen
4Ricky Leutele
5Darnell McIntosh
6Jack Cogger
7Aidan Sezer
8Luke Yates
9James Cunningham
10Michael Lawrence
11Ken Edwards
12Josh Jones
13Joe Greenwood
14Matty English
15Adam O'Brien
16Sam Wood
17Owen Trout

Last updated 7 May 21 22:14:23

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80'

FT: 🔴⚪ SAINTS 23-18 GIANTS 🐮🔔

A Grace hat-trick sends us through to the Challenge Cup semi-finals!

#COYS

79'

Fages with another lovely kick through, but the referee calls obstruction. The Giants on the attack. One minute to go.

🔴⚪ SAINTS 23-18 GIANTS 🐮🔔

77'

Coote misses the two. Three minutes left…

🔴⚪ SAINTS 23-18 GIANTS 🐮🔔

76'
Try
Regan Grace for Saints

HAT-TRICKKKKKKKK! Lomax finds Grace with a lovely cut-out pass and he flies over in the corner! GET IN THERE!!!!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 23-18 GIANTS 🐮🔔

📸 Big Al – @engywalmsley! 👊

72'

Cooote drops Roby’s pass before Paasi gives away a penalty after a high shot.

🔴⚪ SAINTS 19-18 GIANTS 🐮🔔

71'

Saints this time get the penalty for offside before the Giants are penalised for back-chat. Coote kicks for touch and we have a full set in the Giants half! Batchelor is off for Paasi!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 19-18 GIANTS 🐮🔔

69'
Goal
Aidan Sezer for Huddersfield Giants

Sezer adds the two form the touchline. It’s a one point game…

🔴⚪ SAINTS 19-18 GIANTS 🐮🔔

68'
Try
Darnell McIntosh for Huddersfield Giants

The kick goes up, Naiqama challenges for it. The ball comes loose and McIntosh is there to touch down for his second. Referee Childs chooses to give it rather than go upstairs.

🔴⚪ SAINTS 19-16 GIANTS 🐮🔔

📸 Can @tfages work his magic…?

🔴⚪ SAINTS 19-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

66'

The ball finds Percival who goes for the line, before offloading mid-air to the supporting Cooote to go over. But the video ref says Percy knocked on.

🔴⚪ SAINTS 19-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

65'

We win another penalty in the Giants half and have another chance to extend our lead…

🔴⚪ SAINTS 19-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

63'
Drop Goal
Theo Fages for Saints

Sustained pressure from Saints results in Fages kicking the one pointer! Smith is off as Batchelor comes back on…

🔴⚪ SAINTS 19-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

📸 Another lovely finish from @regangrace5 earlier captured brilliantly by @plattyphoto! 👏

#COYS

59'

A lovely dart from Az Smith now at hooker, with Robes playing 13. He sets the move alive before Cooote’s lovely reverse kick is hit dead and we will come again!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 18-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

58'

BIG Al is back on for Paasi as Saints see the set out well with another good defensive showing. We have it back!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 18-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

55'

Amor knocks on in our own half and the Giants have a chance to hit straight back…

🔴⚪ SAINTS 18-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

54'
Goal
Lachlan Coote for Saints

Cooooooooote with a BIG kick to extend our lead!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 18-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

53'
Try
Regan Grace for Saints

REEEEEEGZ!!!! We are in at the corner as Cooooote’s cut-out pass finds Grace and he darts through two defenders to go over! GET IN!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 16-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

51'

Good defence from Saints and we have it back before Percical wins the penalty for offside. Mata’utia then wins another and we will have a set in the Giants 20…

🔴⚪ SAINTS 12-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

48'

Great defence from the Saints forces the Giants back in their own goal and we will come again! Only for referee James Childs to give the Giants a penalty…

🔴⚪ SAINTS 12-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

46'
Goal
Lachlan Coote for Saints

Coooote does add the two and we are all square!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 12-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

46'

Percival steels the ball off Gaskell one-on-one and we win a penalty! Great work from Percy! Coote will go for the two…

🔴⚪ SAINTS 10-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

43'

We start on the front foot, but Percival can’t grab Lomax’s pass with Fages free on his outside. We go again!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 10-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

41'

We are back underway here at Emerald Headingley! COYS!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 10-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

40'

HT: 🔴⚪ SAINTS 10-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

Despite tries from Grace and Percival, we narrowly trail at the break.

40'
Goal
Aidan Sezer for Huddersfield Giants

Sezer adds the two on the hooter.

🔴⚪ SAINTS 10-12 GIANTS 🐮🔔

39'
Try
Darnell McIntosh for Huddersfield Giants

The ball is moved to the Giants left, they have the numbers and Darnell McIntosh goes over.

🔴⚪ SAINTS 10-10 GIANTS 🐮🔔

📸 @markpercival22 somehow gets the ball down!

#COYS

37'

It looks like Smith is on at loose forward. The Giants have it on half way…

🔴⚪ SAINTS 10-6 GIANTS 🐮🔔

36'

Aaron Smith is on for Big Al…Less than five to go before the break!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 10-6 GIANTS 🐮🔔

35'
Goal
Lachlan Coote for Saints

Coooooote nails his kick this time to extend our lead!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 10-6 GIANTS 🐮🔔

34'
Try
Mark Percival for Saints

PERCYYYYY! We take the lead as Lomax feeds Percival who powers over in the corner! Get in!!!!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 8-6 GIANTS 🐮🔔

32'

We are into the final 10 minutes of the first half here at Emerald Headingley as the Giants are penalised for a forward pass. Batchelor makes way for Amor…

🔴⚪ SAINTS 4-6 GIANTS 🐮🔔

📸 Naiqama has been our stand-out so far!

#COYS

29'

We come again following the drop out and LMS goes for the line, but takes a bang on the head before knocking on when trying to play the ball. LMS goes off for a head assessment. Paasi is on.

🔴⚪ SAINTS 4-6 GIANTS 🐮🔔

29'

Naiqama kicks the ball over the Giants defence. It’s fumbled under pressure from Fages and Jonny is there to touch down, but the referee says a Giants player grounded the ball first.

🔴⚪ SAINTS 4-6 GIANTS 🐮🔔

27'

Both sides have exchanged sets with Saints keeping the Giants in their own half. We have it back with a full set from half way…Naiqama has taken a knock to the head…

🔴⚪ SAINTS 4-6 GIANTS 🐮🔔

📸 @regangrace5 gets over for our first try of the game!

#COYS

22'

Saints win the penalty and Coote will kick for touch. We have the ball on half way…Come on boys!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 4-6 GIANTS 🐮🔔

19'

Cooote’s kick narrowly misses.

🔴⚪ SAINTS 4-6 GIANTS 🐮🔔

17'
Try
Regan Grace for Saints

REEEEEEGGGZ! Fages’ kick rebounds off a Giants defender and Grace does brilliantly to grasp the loose ball and force his way over! It goes upstairs and it’s given! Get in!!!!!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 4-6 GIANTS 🐮🔔

15'

Cooote’s high kick is clutched out of the air by Percival, but his offload can’t find the hands of Fages and the Giants come away with it…

🔴⚪ SAINTS 0-6 GIANTS 🐮🔔

📸 @louiems13 starting a prop today!

#COYS

10'

Huddersfield on the attack. Sezer’s high kick goes up, Percival challenges for it alongside former Saint, Josh Jones, but he knocks on and we have it back!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 0-6 GIANTS 🐮🔔

7'
Goal
Aidan Sezer for Huddersfield Giants

Sezer adds the two.

🔴⚪ SAINTS 0-6 GIANTS 🐮🔔

6'
Try
Michael Lawrence for Huddersfield Giants

Huddersfield lead early as Sezer’s grubber is touched down by Michael Lawrence.

🔴⚪ SAINTS 0-4 GIANTS 🐮🔔

4'

Some bad news for Saints early as Makinson has hobbled off. Jack Welsby is on at centre and Kevin Naiqama will go to the wing.

🔴⚪ SAINTS 0-0 GIANTS 🐮🔔

1'

Our quarter-final tie is underway! COYS!

🔴⚪ SAINTS 0-0 GIANTS 🐮🔔

Kick off is next…..

Kick off is next…..

J-LO!

👊

💪

Getting set for Cup action! 💪

#COYS

JT 🔙

Go get em Joel! 👊

™️ 🔙

Woolf on Welsby starting on the bench: “Jack is going to play a multi-role today. The great thing about Jack is he can play anywhere in the back line or loose forward if we need him to. So it’s great to have him there.”

The boss on his team: “Morgan Knowles is not quite ready to go. We were hoping to push it forward this week but it’s not a smart decision to risk it so early in the season. He’s only a week or so off.”

The boys are in the house! We will have some words from the boss up next in regard to his team selection…

This is how your Saints will line up this evening!

Team news will be with you in around 30 minutes time…⏳ Who do you want to see make the 17?

Whilst you wait, why don’t you have a read of today’s Matchday E-Programme! You can read words from the boss, Regan Grace and all the facts and stats ahead of tonight’s game! Just scan the QR code below to read!

The skipper knows the importance of today’s game!

Head over to our homepage for all the pre-match news ahead of tonight’s huge clash!

We are here nice and early as we catch a glimpse of the earlier quarter-final as Catalans face Warrington. Our game follows this one and is live on Sky Sports Mix this evening from 8pm!

Hello and welcome to Emerald Headingley as Saints host the Huddersfield Giants in the quarter-final of the Betfred Challenge Cup with kick off at 20:15! 👋