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Huddersfield Giants 12-14 St Helens: Highlights, player ratings and talking points

Once again Huddersfield Giants showed that they can compete with the very best in Super League but like last week they came up short by the exact same scoreline.

Highlights:

Injury 25 seconds in
Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook was named on the bench ready to make his 350th St Helens appearance and he only had to wait 25 seconds after Sione Mata’utia stayed down after an early tackle before going off with for a Head Injury Assessment.

Huddersfield go from one end of the field to the other
St Helens very nearly scored the opener when they had a real good look at the Giants line following a penalty for a strip on Konrad Hurrell. They came close but some brilliant defence denied them. Then on the next set a miss timed pass was picked up by Sam Halsall who linked nicely with Will Pryce to get the Giants down field. Then a chance was made for Innes Senior but he was unable to kick ahead and dropped the ball.

Pryce piercing through
Will Pryce was having a brilliant start to the game and some more magic footwork saw him carve through the Saints defence helping the Giants get a repeat set but this time the Saints stood firm.

Saints soak up the pressure and strike
Huddersfield were the better side for the first 25 minutes. They were more than matching the Saints down the middle and playing the game at a better pace than them. But that pace did seem to slow when they were attacking the Saints line and at times they squandered breaks. Then the Saints rolled down field and showed the class of Champions. After a lovely run by Jonny Lomax, Jack Welsby’s short ball sent Konrad Hurrell over.

Saints at the double
It was all of a sudden unravelling for the Giants. They kicked the kick off out on the full and then the Saints went to the same side and this time Tommy Makinson squeezed in at the corner.

Golding gifts Giants hope
After their first half display had come to pieces a touch, Ash Golding came up with a sneaky try scouting over on the last. Golding has spent some time play at nine and this time on the wing he burrowed over.

Giants squander huge chance
The Giants had three sets of six on the Saints line at the start of the second half and did look dangerous but eventually squandered the possession when Seb Ikahihifo went on a brilliant run and offloaded it but there was no one waiting. Interestingly after that Jake Connor was introduced. However, he had his work cut out for him when a Saints penalty took the score out to 14-6.

Scrum move sees Giants score
A lovely scrum move involving man of the hour Jake Connor feeding Will Pryce out the back who found Innes Senior saw the winger cross in the corner despite a desperate tackle from Jack Welsby. The video referee checked in touch and the grounding and the try was given. This came after plenty of repeat sets on the Saints line.

Saints hold on
The Saints ultimately showed the steal of Champions to just about hold on and its two defeats in a row for the Giants by the same scoreline against last year’s top two.

Talking Points:

Giants start the better
Huddersfield showed that they can compete with anyone this year when they more than matched St Helens physically in the first 30 minutes. They also played the game at electric pace with Will Pryce shining.

Pryce vs Hurrell
This was an interesting battle between a fullback who was ducking and darting his way beyond a big centre however Hurrell showed his own class when he had the ball when he battered through. His try was only the tip of the iceberg in terms of his quality.

Hill a Giant amongst men
Chris Hill was excellent with his go forward busting tackles, finding gaps and even the odd offload. He is still one of the best props in Super League and he was helped along by the likes of Owen Trout, Seb Ikahihifo and Jack Ashworth.

The Giants tryline problem
Huddersfield could be one of if not the best team in the league for about 80 metres of the field but once they get close to the opposition tryline they just don’t seem to have the skills to unlock their opponents. The pace I mentioned earlier all but stalls. Something Jake Connor can perhaps fix and he very nearly did tonight but in the end the Giants came up short because of their inability to score at present.

Saints discipline nearly costs them again
St Helens have been the best defensive side in Super League for years and they needed that today to hold out the Giants who had plenty of attacking possession largely due to the penalties they gave away. It is something that has crept into their game recently and needs changing.

Player Ratings:

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