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Huddersfield Giants blown away 40-16 in Super 8s showdown at St Helens

Late tries are not enough to spare head coach Rick Stone's side a humbling defeat

Huddersfield Giants' Oliver Roberts runs into St Helens' Luke Douglas. Picture by John Rushworth

Huddersfield Giants were blown away 40-16 in their penultimate outing of the 2017 Super League season.

Two quick fire first-half tries put Saints in the driving seat against a lethargic Giants outfit.

Efforts from Jonny Lomax and Mark Percival just before the break gave Saints a commanding lead which has left Huddersfield with all the running to do in the second period.

The Saints were not at their sparkling best – but they didn’t have to be.

It took Giants head coach Rick Stone’s side over half an hour to get points on the board after they posted an anaemic display.

The Giants found themselves two tries down after only ten minutes as Lomax touched down on four minutes, soon followed by Regan Grace who had the simple task of running in a simple four pointer after Ben Barba had unlocked the visitor’s defence.

The Giants thought they got one back shortly after that score as Lee Gaskell looked to ground a coughed up Brough kick but the Grace recovered in time to field it before the ex-Saints man Gaskell.

They did get the try they were searching for on 31 minutes as Danny Brough sent in the hardworking Oliver Roberts for a barge over score.

Saints replied in stunning fashion as Grace clicked into gear with a 60 metre dash to eventually set up Lomax and then immediately after Percival powered over to make it 24-6 at half time.

Things went from bad to worse after the break for the Giants as Saints smelt blood.

Barba ran in for a solo effort on the left edge and then his fellow Australian, Ryan Morgan, benefitted from quick hands on the opposite side.

At 34-6 the game was over as a contest and it was about damage limitation for the Giants.

To be fair to Rick Stone’s side, the players didn’t throw the towel in but it was a performance that was way off the head coach’s high standards. Roberts, Lee Gaskell and Brough persevered but they lacked cutting edge.

An example of that came with 15 minutes remaining as the Giants had Saints on the rack for a set of six in good territory, but the link up play between Jordan Turner and Darnell McIntosh was poorly executed.

The tries kept rolling in for Saints and this time it was Barba scorching over for a walk in on the left hand side after he beat three Giants defenders for footwork.

His fellow countryman, Ryan Morgan, was next on the try scoring list as Saints spread the ball to Huddersfield’s outnumbered left edge.

The dogged determination of the Giants leader Danny Brough kept the visitors in the game and he had a hand in two tries before the referee, Gareth Hewer, could put them out of their misery.

Ryan Hinchcliffe burst onto a short ball to force his way over for a well-worked try and ten minutes later Jordan Rankin sneaked in at the corner.

Saints’ prop Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook had the final say, however, as he hammered his way over for St Helens’ seventh and final try of the night.

The Giants now face a home finale against Leeds with a need to end the season in winning style.

RESULTS

Super 8s: Leeds Rhinos 44 Salford Red Devils 2, St Helens 40 Huddersfield Giants 16

Middle 8s: Hull KR 19 Catalan Dragons 20, Leigh Centurions 40 Halifax 6

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