St Helens have maintained their unbeaten run in 2021 with an 18-10 victory away against Huddersfield Giants last night.
Theo Fages, Mark Percival and Jonny Lomax scored to secure the Saints’ fourth Super League win in as many games, whilst Joe McGillvary and Chris McQueen stepped up for Huddersfield.
Though Huddersfield have won only once this season, Ian Watson’s side seem to be improving week on week and proved a tough challenge for the on-form Saints.
As expected from the league leaders, St Helens were strong from the off, going ahead within four minutes with a try from Fages. Lachlan Cootes delivered the conversion to put the Saints 6-0 up.
Huddersfield held off the visitors efforts for much of the remainder of the half, but a charge from Percival doubled St Helens’ lead going into half-time, again converted by Cootes.
A weaker start to the second half allowed the Giants to steal a 48th minute try from Chris McQueen. The confidence boost for Huddersfield made tough opposition, but the Saints managed a third try and conversion from Lomax and Cootes to make it 18-4.
Desperate to turn their poor season around, Huddersfield refused to give up and grabbed a final six points in the closing minutes of the game. Despite a strong effort right up to the whistle, it wasn’t enough to turn the score around and St Helens held on for the win.
Huddersfield a match for messy St Helens
“As we knew Huddersfield were going to do, they came to play,” said Saints head coach Kristian Woolf in praise of their opponents. “They worked really hard and that made it tough. It made a real good, tough game of footy.”
“I thought we dropped a little bit in the start of the second half,” Woolf added. “We were a bit looser in what we were doing defensively and had a couple of really uncharacteristic errors.”
“It was a step in the right direction tonight,” said Huddersfield boss Watson. “We were under massive amounts of pressure in the first half but stood up well.”
The Giants will be looking to build on their improving form to get off the mark with a victory in the coming rounds, whilst the test for St Helens will be maintaining their as-yet unbeaten strength.
The teams will soon have a chance to test each other again, as they face off in the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup in May.
In the sixth round, St Helens will face Salford Red Devils, whilst Huddersfield will take on the Warrington Wolves.
Featured image courtesy of St Helens RFC / Platy Photos.