12 May 2019
GIANTS FALL TO NARROW SAINTS DEFEAT
Huddersfield Giants 16-22 St Helens
Lee Gaskell returned to the Giants side after a 4 week absence for the visit of St Helens in the Coral Challenge Cup and Joe Wardle and Matty English also returned after concussion.
Saints started strongly and took the lead on 11 minutes after a penalty and a spell of continuous pressure Regan Grace going over on the left with the Giants defence stretched, Lachlan Coote missing the conversion attempt. The Giants had been starved of possession but when the Saints conceded a penalty the Giants took full advantage and Joe Wardle cut through the defence to touch down by the posts, Lee Gaskell’s conversion putting the Giants in the lead. Consecutive penalties conceded by the Giants however gave field position back to the Saints and from the second of these Lachlan Coote kicked a goal which levelled the scores on 23 minutes.
A high kick to the Giants in-goal area was then spilled by Darnell McIntosh but the defence held out and on 27 minutes the Giants regained the lead Aaron Murphy touching down in the right corner after a flowing move the video referee confirming the score. Lee Gaskell’s conversion attempt went narrowly wide but the Giants had a 4 point advantage. On 36 minutes the lead changed hands again; another kick caused problems for the Giants, Theo Fages touched down with Lachlan Coote adding the extras. As the interval approached a Costello kick led to a Giants goal line drop out but excellent defence held the Saints out and half time came with the Giants 2 points in arrears but firmly in the game.
Defence was the order of the day when the second half got underway with the Giants withstanding 2 consecutive sets of 6 tackles but a high kick eventually proved too much and Lachlan Coote touched down in the right corner, his conversion attempt hitting the post. A Makinson run threatened another score but Innes Senior pulled off a fine tackle.
A Coote drop goal attempt failed as the Saints kept up the pressure. Then on 57 minutes Joe Wardle swung the game back the Giants way with a fine try by the posts, Lee Gaskell’s conversion levelling the scores again. The next score was likely to be decisive and yet again the high kick proved to be the Giants achilles heel when they failed to deal with a kick to the ingoal area and Naiquama got the touchdown on the confirmation of the video referee.
Lachlan Coote added the extras. The Giants then withstood a goal line drop out but on attack were unable to break open a resolute Saints defence and came up 6 points short after a valiant effort. No Cup glory this season then with the Giants back in Super League action this coming Friday 17 May at the John Smith’s Stadium when Hull KR are the visitors, kick off 7.45pm.