Brough and Crabtree cash in on Saints' injury woes

Huddersfield 40 St Helens 18
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The Independent Online

Huddersfield put their recent patchy form behind them with a dominant display against the depleted Saints. Danny Brough led the way with a glorious long-range try, a role in a couple of others and six goals from seven attempts, whilst the biggest Giant of all, Eorl Crabtree, bagged a rare brace of tries.

This was a convincing team performance that went a long way towards re-establishing Huddersfield as credible Super League challengers. The Giants could be expected to be on their mettle after the warning shot from Batley in the Challenge Cup last weekend. There were no tactical omissions for this game against a Saints side digging even deeper into their resources to cover for an injury list which their coach, Royce Simmons, calls the worst of his career, although Huddersfield did lose Luke O'Donnell to an injury in the warm-up.

It was still the Giants who warmed up the quicker when the game started, going close through Leroy Cudjoe and Luke Robinson. After seven minutes they were ahead, Robinson supplying the pass from dummy-half that saw Crabtree shrug off a couple of tackles for his first try of the season. Brough added the conversion and it was his long kicking game that gave the Giants a massive strategic advantage that they were surprisingly slow to turn into further points. Brough himself knocked-on with the line open from Lee Gilmour's pass, Michael Lawrence was close in the corner to touching down Robinson's angled kick and Robinson was denied a try for an obstruction. In the middle of all that, Saints' one real chance was from a storming run by James Graham, at the end of which he could not find the right pass to a supporting player.

The game got a more representative scoreline with a breathtaking try from Brough. A feint, a side-step and a burst of acceleration and he was away for a 70-metre spectacular. This time there was no mistake and the extent of Huddersfield's superiority was starting to show.

There was no disputing Saints' courage, however. They came out for the second half with the air of a team determined to have a go and within three minutes they had halved the lead when Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook dived on to James Roby's kick. That only encouraged the Giants to lift their game again, attacking in waves until Robinson and Brough sent Kevin Brown over.

Their next try was a more brilliant affair, courtesy of Gilmour's initial break and Cudjoe's extraordinary one-handed pass to Lawrence. Crabtree romped over for his second from another Robinson pass before Joe Wardle joined in the fun as Saints' wide defence failed again.

Matty Ashurst got one back for the visitors, followed by one from Ade Gardner. Brave gestures, but no more than that and it was the Giants' Scott Grix who had the last word.

Huddersfield Grix; MacGillvary, Wardle, Lawrence, Cudjoe; Brown, Brough; Crabtree, Robinson, Griffin, Gilmour, Ferguson, Kirmond. Substitutes used Faiumu, Cording, Lunt, Patrick.

St Helens Wellens; Gardner, Meli, Shenton, Foster; Wilkin, Ashe; Graham, Roby, Perry, Soliola, Flannery, Magennis. Substitutes used McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Ashurst, Armstrong, Hale.

Referee T Alibert (France).