A NIGHTMARE first half ruined the Huddersfield Giants hopes of producing a morale-boosting performance and keep their hopes of mounting a Super League play-off shot alive.
A ninth defeat in the last 10 top-flight starts was already confirmed after 27 painful minutes as in-form Saints raced into a 28-6 lead.
The Giants did manage to rally slightly after that, but with the damage done the game was already effectively over as a contest.
In patches, Huddersfield did show spirit and scored two well-taken tries, with Danny Brough playing an influential role.
But overall it was another bitterly disappointing display and the Giants must wonder where their next win is coming from.
Anderson made a number of changes to the side which lost 35-14 at home to Wakefield seven days before.
The most notable was in the back row where Brett Ferres made his debut following his move from Castleford Tigers.
There was also a switch to the wing for Leroy Cudjoe to allow the returning Michael Lawrence – he missed the Wakefield game in order to rest a couple of niggles – to come back in at centre.
And Luke Robinson was back in at hooker, meaning Scott Grix slotted in at stand-off and Greg Eden took his full-back slot.
David Faiumu was another to return after struggling in recent weeks with a dislocated finger and he started from the bench.
The early signs were far from promising as it took St Helens only four minutes to hit the front as the ball was swept smartly to the right for Tommy Makinson to squeeze in at the corner.
The winger was given the nod by video referee Phil Bentham, although the try-scorer was then unable to land his conversion from out wide.
Bentham was then called into action for a second time three minutes later, although primarily, to decide how to re-start play following another dangerous looking Saints attack, while a forward pass denied Michael Shenton with 11 minutes on the clock.
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At that stage, it was all one-way traffic and it was certainly no surprise when the home side did finally extend their lead three minutes later when Jonny Lomax and Chris Flannery combined superbly for Lomax to stroll over under the posts and for Makinson to land his first successful goal.
And it got even worse for the visitors two minutes later when Jon Wilkin sent up a bomb on the sixth tackle, which his teammates re-gathered with relative ease to see Francis Meli finish strongly in the corner.
Makinson’s excellent touchline conversion made it 16 points in as many minutes.
But on the Giants first attack two minutes later, they showed they could be a threat.
From a clever scrum move, Danny Brough kicked for the corner for Luke George to collect and be halted fractionally short of the try-line. On the next play the ball was worked to Keith Mason to crash over and score against his former club.
Brough converted and there was briefly a ray of hope. Unfortunately, Mason immediately turned from hero to villain, knocking on close to his own line and giving Saints possession from which Lance Hohaia took full advantage to charge through and score.
Then, on St Helens’ next attack they were over again as Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook collected the ball five metres out on the last tackle and used all of his big bulk to touch the ball down under heavy pressure.
Makinson added both conversions and it was already 28-6 after 27 minutes.
However, in a game that was starting to resemble rugby league nines, with tries flowing almost at will, the Giants struck back straight away when Brough kicked to the right and the ball bounced perfectly for Lawrence to collect and feed the supporting Grix to stroll over under the posts.
Brough again goalled and at 28-12 at the break, there was still a slight glimmer of hope.
Good Huddersfield defence kept Saints at bay in the early second half exchanges, while an exciting Chan charge kept spirits up.
But mid-way through the half another period of home pressure paid off as Anthony Laffranchi stormed over at pace from close range.
Makinson converted, and it was 34-12 with the game definitely over.
With 15 minutes remaining, James Roby took the hosts to 40 with a great 40m charge and Paul Wellens extended the advantage with seven minutes remaining with another close-range effort to make it 46-12 and put the final nail in the Giants coffin.
Huddersfield’s Under 20s suffered a heavy 54-6 Valvoline Cup defeat to St Helens in a curtain-raiser to last night’s Super League clash.
Much of the damage was done in the opening half as the hosts stormed into a 40-0 lead and, from then on, it was always going to be a case of damage limitation.