10th August 2018, 22:45 | super8
Huddersfield Giants got off to a scorching start to beat St Helens 16-12 and keep alive their top-four hopes.
The visitors led 16-0 after 20 minutes thanks to two tries from the Giants’ in-form winger Darnell McIntosh and one from second-rower Alex Mellor before Saints staged a spirited fightback which set up a nerve-jangling finale.
Ben Barba twice fumbled high kicks from Danny Brough in the early stages and both errors were punished as Huddersfield worked the ball out to the left for McIntosh to finish and take his tally to 10 tries in seven games.
Brough sent Mellor in for another try in between times and added two conversions to put his side in command, but Barba cut the deficit six minutes before half-time.
Luke Thompson charged over for Saints’ second try on 58 minutes and Danny Richardson’s second conversion cut the gap to just four points, but James Roby and Morgan Knowles were both hauled down short of the line as Huddersfield hung on.
Coach Justin Holbrook said Saints' defeat was a legacy of their Challenge Cup exit: “There were too many tired bodies, too many guys couldn’t get up for it,” Holbrook said.
“Sunday’s game was always going to knock us around. We came with the right intentions but there are a lot of mentally and physically tired boys and that’s when you make dumb errors.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Huddersfield, who deserved to win. I didn’t think they looked that great in the second half but they didn’t need to.”
Huddersfield coach Simon Woolford said: “We did get the job done. We didn’t play our best footy tonight, particularly from an attack point of view.
“We made it hard for ourselves. Once we scored those three tries, our attack was all over the shop and midway through the second half I thought we were ready to break.
“But full credit to the guys for the way they were able to find an extra gear. That win was based on pure effort and want to win."