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Rugby League

Match Report: Leroy Cudjoe tries help to leave Saints in a Brown study

St Helens 4 Huddersfield 40

Huddersfield made it a miserable first game as Saints' boss for their former coach, Nathan Brown, as they won at St Helens for the first time in 35 years.

Brown's switch to one of the so-called Big Four was the subtext to the match, but his old team were far too good for his new one, building a 22-point lead in the first half. It was a triumph for his former assistant and ex-Saint, Paul Anderson, who saw his Giants side snuff out any traditional Saints comeback as they made the scoreline even more embarrassing.

The Brown regime did not start auspiciously for Saints, with Willie Manu, their big winter signing, losing the ball trying to smuggle it out of the tackle. The Giants took the opportunity to move the ball right, and Jermaine McGillvary scored from Leroy Cudjoe's pass.

Still inside the first 10 minutes, Jordan Turner was penalised for holding on to Stuart Fielden. Again the Giants pounced, scoring through Brett Ferres. The final pass came from Danny Brough, who also added his second goal, closely followed by his third when Jon Wilkin interfered in the tackle. With a 14‑point lead in as many minutes, Huddersfield were dominant.

Pinned back by the Giants' kicking game, Saints were lacking in any composure and they would have been even further behind if Brough had not hit the post with another penalty.

Saints desperately needed some territory, but even when they had a few minutes in the Huddersfield half they lacked the sharpness to take advantage.

By contrast, the Giants showed exactly how to do it, with some old Saints-style handling, especially from Brough and Scott Grix, to release Cudjoe for their third try, followed before half-time by two more goals. It was not the reunion Brown had in mind.

Saints' history and reputation still suggested the possibility of a fight-back, but not after Luke George scored from Brough's long pass four minutes after the interval.

Brough went off with a thigh injury, but the Giants scored almost immediately when Larne Patrick touched down from an unlikely crossfield kick by Jason Chan.

Shaun Lunt was the next to cross before Cudjoe's second and a late face-saver from Mark Flanagan.

"I'll take that, but a lot of things went our way," a cautious Anderson said afterwards. "I won't lose sight of where we're at."

Brown admitted that his new team had been "physically dominated", adding: "We've not got to lose our nerve."

St Helens Wellens; Makinson, Turner, Jones, Meli; Gaskell, Lomax; Perry, Roby, Laffranchi, Soliola, Manu, Wilkin. Substitutes used McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Flanagan, Hohaia, Puletua.

Huddersfield Grix; George, Cudjoe, Wardle, McGillvary; Brough, Robinson; Fielden, Lunt, Kopczak, Chan, Ferres, O'Donnell. Substitutes used Patrick, Faiumu, Crabtree, Cording.

Referee R Silverwood (Mirfield).