Clinch secures first Giants win

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The Independent Online

Gavin Clinch ran in Huddersfield-Sheffield's final try before kicking a drop goal to get them off the mark in Super League with a 35-34 victory over Wakefield yesterday.

With six minutes remaining Jeff Hardy was brought to the ground but he released the ball for Clinch to dive over. Matt Crowther was successful with the conversion to level the scores and then Clinch won the game with his 20-yard effort.

Hardy went over in the corner to give the Giants an early advantage but four minutes later Paul Sampson touched down for the first of four tries in the first period for the visitors.

After the Giants' Karl Lovell lost possession Steve Prescott kicked into the corner and Sampson rushed through to get the vital touch.

In the 12th minute Prescott was involved again helping Adam Hughes through the middle with a dummy.

Willie Poching added to Trinity's tally when he collected Ryan Hudson's short pass to go between the sticks, with Steve McNamara adding the extra two points and then Gary Price, who had just come on, cruised through a static rearguard.

The home side began to find their feet and Clinch scored his first try on the half-hour. Was Sovatabua was next over after collecting a long punt from the left by Clinch.

The Giants piled on further pressure just after Neil Law had intercepted to race 50 yards to the goal-line and Bobbie Goulding kicked a penalty. Lovell was put through by Chris Thorman and then Martin Gleeson avoided the close attentions of Martin Masella and Paul Jackson to score.

Law added his second for Wakefield to put the visitors back into the lead but Clinch and Crowther clinched the overdue win.

St Helens scored nine tries in their 52-20 win over Halifax at Knowsley Road, their fourth victory in a row under their new coach Ian Millward.

They were given a fright when Halifax, 10-0 down after only six minutes, came back to level the scores but from midway through the first half there was no stopping the reigning Super League champions. Saints went ahead after two minutes when Keiron Cunningham's inside pass enabled Kevin Iro to put Sean Long over for the first try. Long kicked the first of his eight goals with Iro notching the second try.

Andrew Dunemann's clever chip sent Daryl Cardiss over for his first try and Halifax were on level terms when the player-coach Gary Mercer sent Martin Pearson over.

Saints ran in three more tries before the break from Tommy Martyn, Cunningham and Paul Wellens and scored a further four in the second half through Apollo Perelini, Martyn, Cunningham and Steve Hall.