St Helens 23-18 Huddersfield Giants: Player ratings and major talking points

St Helens and Huddersfield produced a classic cup tie at Headingley as the Saints went marching on to the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup. The game went down to the wire as both sides battled for the win. However, it was the Super League Champions who just had that little bit more.

Major Talking Points:

1. Will St Helens 13 year wait for the Challenge Cup finally come to an end

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a team dominate Super League whilst waiting to end a long wait for the Challenge Cup. Leeds’ Golden Generation – arguably Super League’s greatest ever side – dominated the Super League whilst waiting 15 years for a Challenge Cup. This Saints team is enduring something similar. The back-to-back Champions have been there or there abouts over the last 13 years and have been easily the best team since 2018. But the cup has always alluded them. However, the kind of gutsy, dramatic wins they’re producing in the cup leads me to believe their wait could soon be over. This could become one of the most memorable cup runs ever for the Saints.

2. The Giants we’ve been waiting to see

After months pre-season hype, we finally saw a glimpse of the Giants team we were promised in 2021. They gave as good as they got against the Champions and on another day would’ve won. There were plenty of good signs. Perhaps 2021 is saveable for Ian Watson and his men.

3. Regan Grace is on another level in 2021

Why isn’t he English? He’d be a shoe in for the World Cup team. Unfortunately for English fans he could very well be tormenting them in this year’s tournament. Based on form the Welsh wizard is Super League’s best winger and scored a brilliant hat-trick tonight. In the end he was the difference.

Player Ratings:

St Helens

1 Lachlan Coote – 7
2 Tommy Makinson – N/A
3 Kevin Naiqama – 8
4 Mark Percival – 7
5 Regan Grace – 9
6 Jonny Lomax – 8
7 Theo Fages – 7
8 Alex Walmsley – 7
9 James Roby – 9
15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook – 6
11 Joel Thompson – 6
14 Sione Mata’utia – 7
20 Joe Batchelor – 8

Substitutes

16 Kyle Amor – 7
17 Agnatius Paasi – 7
18 Jack Welsby – 7
19 Aaron Smith – 7

Huddersfield Giants

6 Lee Gaskell – 7
2 Jermaine McGillvary – 6
4 Ricky Leutele – 7
17 Chris McQueen – 7
5 Darnell McIntosh – 8
16 Jack Cogger – 7
7 Aidan Sezer – 8
8 Luke Yates – 8
19 James Cunningham – 6
10 Michael Lawrence – 7
11 Kenny Edwards – 7
13 Josh Jones – 7
15 Joe Greenwood – 7

Substitutes

9 Adam O’Brien – 7
14 Matty English – 8
25 Owen Trout – 7
27 Sam Wood – N/A

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