13 Aug 2023

St Helens | Match Report (A)

Huddersfield Giants were narrowly edged out 32-18 by St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

The home side hit the front early on, as some smart play from Jonny Lomax saw the ball shifted out wide, and Tommy Makinson crossed in the corner for the games first score.

Makinson would then score again on the set after, extending the Saints’ lead early on.

An attacking chance came and went for the Giants, as a walk-in try for Sam Halsall wasn’t capitalised on, Jake Bibby passing the wrong way in a crucial moment in the match.

St Helens were awarded a penalty in front of the Giants posts, and Mark Percival added on the two to make it 14-0.

Joe Greenwood was then sent from the field, a red card awarded as it was adjudged, he led with the elbow in the tackle.

Some inventive play on the last tackle saw us momentarily get back into the game, Sam Halsall taking a high Jake Connor kick and sending Matty English in for a try.

Tommy Makinson would complete his hat-trick on the hooter though, as he broke through again, as he did at Magic Weekend.

After the break, Saints were awarded another penalty in front of the Giants’ posts, and Mark Percival once again elected for the two, taking the scores to 20-6.

The game would then enter a tough period, with both teams struggling for field possession, the Giants playing with 12 men after Greenwood’s earlier red card.

Remarkably, Huddersfield would stage a second half comeback, that was started when Ash Golding took a superb cut-out pass from Jake Connor to race over in the corner.

The latter would then add the extras from the side-line, with the Giants starting to turn the screw.

Tee Ritson raced out of the Saints line with the Giants in possession, as he looked to intercept a Jake Connor pass, but knocked on and gifted Ian Watson’s men with another set, just inside the home sides half.

We would make it count, as Tui Lolohea saw a reverse pass come off and send Kevin Naiqama through the St Helens defensive line and round Jack Welsby to score.

The turning point, and probably the moment that saw us not able to complete the comeback was when Tui Lolohea kicked in-behind for Chris McQueen, but it rolled dead.

This gave St Helens seven tackles, and they made it pay, as a high ball wasn’t taken and Sione Matu’utia took it and sent in Lewis Dodd who sealed the two points for the Saints, Jack Welsby rounding off the scoring in the last minute.

It was a valiant effort from the 12-Man Giants, who fought till the very end and came within two points of victory with five minutes to go.

Final Score | St Helens 32 – 18 Huddersfield Giants

HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS – Jake Connor, Ashton Golding, Jake Bibby, Kevin Naiqama, Sam Halsall, Olly Russell, Tui Lolohea, Chris Hill, Adam Milner, Olly Wilson, Chris McQueen, Leroy Cudjoe, Matty English.

Interchanges – Nathan Peats, Joe Greenwood, Seb Ikahihifo, Sam Hewitt. 18th Man, Esan Marsters.

TRIES

Matty English, Ashton Golding, Kevin Naiqama

GOALS

Olly Russell 1/1 Jake Connor 2/2

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