22 Apr 2021

Valliant Giants fall narrowly to the Champions

Huddersfield Giants 10-18 St Helense

Huddersfield Giants (0) 10

Tries: McQueen, McGillvary

Goals: Sezer (1/2)

St Helens (12) 18

Tries: Fages, Percival, Lomax

Goals: Coote (3/3)

Huddersfield: Gaskell; McGillvary, Wood, McQueen, McIntosh; Cogger, Sezer; Gavet, Cunningham, Ashworth; Yates, Edwards; Jones

Interchange: O'Brien, English, Wilson, Lawrence

St Helens: Coote; Naiqama, Welsby, Percival, Grace; Lomax, Fages; Walmsley, Roby, LMS; Thompson, Bentley, Mata'utia

Interchange: Amor, Paasi, Dodd, Wingfield 

Huddersfield Giants

Giants coach Ian Watson faced a selection headache prior to the game, with both his starting centres, Leroy Cudjoe and Jake Wardle, unavailable through injury, Watson was forced to improvise, selecting Sam Wood and Chris McQueen in the centre positions. Elsewhere, Luke Yates moved to the second row after playing each of the last four games at Prop, while James Gavet was recalled to the starting line-up.

The Giants would once again start slow, with Theo Fages breaking the deadlock after a competitive bomb directed at Lee Gaskell was caught by both the Giants full-back and the St Helens challenger, with Fages fasted to the scene to accept the offload and cross over. Coote converted, and within 4 minutes the Giants were down six points. 

Despite that, the Giants competed well after conceding and stayed in the game throughout the first half. A disciplined kicking game from Jack Cogger and a tight Giants defence prevented the Champions from making any advance for the the majority of the half. 

It would take a further 32 minutes for the Giants resolve in defence to crack, however, with Mark Percival crossing through a gap after a six-again set, and after a conversion by Lachlan Coote, the deficit would remain 12-0 as the two sides went to the sheds. 

The Giants came out for the second half and immediately put the pressure on the Champions defence, forcing quick back-to-back sets. They would get their reward for their pressure through an edge ball to Chris McQueen, although Sezer would pull the conversion wide to leave the deficit to eight. The Giants promising start to the second stanza continued straight from the kick-off, as Kenny Edwards caught the ball with his foot over the whitewash to bring the Giants to the halfway line. 

Saints inflicted a large amount of pressure on the Giants, and they held firm for a significant period, but the resistance broke with about 12 minutes left in the game, with Jonny Lomax crossing over from a Dodds pass to give the visitors a 14 point lead. The Giants would reduce the deficit a few minutes later courtesy of Jermaine McGillvary, and Aidan Sezer converted from the touchline, but despite an encouraging performance, the Giants fell to their fourth loss of the Betfred Super League season.