Stuttering Saints find Giants to be the ideal therapy

St Helens 50 Huddersfield 10
Click to follow
The Independent Online

St Helens took the opportunity to play themselves back into some semblance of form against opponents who, for much of the match, looked ready for the end of the season in this Super League fixture last night.

St Helens took the opportunity to play themselves back into some semblance of form against opponents who, for much of the match, looked ready for the end of the season in this Super League fixture last night.

Saints are undergoing one of their periodic traumas, following the sale of Martin Gleeson and the 70-point humiliation at Leeds last week, but they found a leg-weary Huddersfield side to be the ideal therapy.

They took firm control in the first half with Keiron Cunningham and James Roby, two players at the opposite ends of the experience scale, playing leading roles. Roby, the teenage scrum-half filling in for the suspend Sean Long, played a crucial role in the first three tries with his deft handling skills.

Darren Albert scored the first after six minutes, Cunningham linked with Roby to set up John Stankevitch for the second and Roby and Jason Hooper created the space for Cunningham to plough over for the third. Cunningham was having a whale of a time at dummy half with the Giants unwilling or unable to stop him running at their defence.

It was his work that set up the position for Keith Mason to go over for their fourth try, after which Huddersfield exerted a little pressure, although Brandon Costin's knock-on and Paul Smith's intercepted pass saw their best chances go begging.

It was another interception, thrown by Ben Roarty to be picked off by Willie Talau that sent Saints in with an overwhelming half-time lead, increased by Hooper's four goals from five attempts.

Huddersfield improved after the break, actually opening the scoring through Paul Smith's try from Paul March's crisp pass. It took 20 minutes for Cunningham's surge to set up Talau for his second. Hooper then picked up a difficult pass to go over for a try before Marcus St Hilaire got a second for the Giants from Roarty's ambitious lofted pass. But Saints were running riot again in the last few minutes, with tries from Ade Gardner and Stankevitch again.

It was not Saints back to their dazzling best, but it was a big improvement on their effort against Leeds last week.

St Helens: P Wellens; Hardman, D Albert, W Talau, A Gardner; J Hooper, J Roby; N Fozzard, K Cunningham, M Edmondson, J Stankevitch, M Bennett, L Gilmour. Substitutes used: K Mason, J Wilkin, D Feaunati, M Fa'asavalu.

Huddersfield: P Reilly; S Donlan, J Evans, J Bailey, M St Hilaire; B Costin, P March; D Fleary, P Joseph, E Crabtree, P Smith, S Jones, B Roarty. Substitutes used: S Penkywicz, J Gannon, I Morrison, J Grayshon.

Referee: A Klein (London).

Comments