Huddersfield 40-18 St Helens

Eorl Crabtree
Crabtree's brace were his first tries for a year

Huddersfield ran in seven tries to ease past St Helens and end their hoodoo against the Merseysiders.

Saints, who had won the last five meetings, trailed only 12-6 early in the second half when Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook replied to first-half scores from Eorl Crabtree and Danny Brough.

But four tries in nine minutes by Kevin Brown, Michael Lawrence, Crabtree and Joe Wardle stretched the Giants clear.

Matty Ashurst and Ade Gardner replied for Saints before Scott Grix sealed it.

Huddersfield's victory against injury-hit opponents lifted them back to second in Super League and was a welcome return to form after two defeats in their previous three matches.

Saints, who were without 10 first-teamers because of injury, gave a debut to 19-year-old back-row forward Scott Hale, but little went right for them from the moment loose forward Chris Flannery limped out of the warm-up.

Huddersfield also lost Australian forward Luke O'Donnell in the warm-up but took the lead after only eight minutes when Luke Robinson put Crabtree in for his first try for 12 months.

With Brown and Brough pulling the strings, the only surprise was that it took the Giants until seven minutes before the break to extend their lead with Brough's 70-metre solo effort.

But Saints were on the scoreboard soon after the interval when McCarthy-Scarsbrook reacted quickest to touch down James Roby's deflected grubber kick.

Yet, rather than signal the beginning of a Saints fightback, it instead sparked a decisive try-scoring burst by the Giants.

Brown dummied his way over to restore their 12-point advantage, before Michael Lawrence took a flick pass from Leroy Cudjoe to touch down.

Robinson again set up Crabtree for his second and centre Wardle held off Francis Meli to score his first Super League try.

The tries from Ashurst and Gardner stemmed the tide but they proved nothing but consolations as Brown sent full-back Grix over for try number seven, Brough adding his sixth goal to finish with a personal tally of 16 points.


Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown:

"Joe Wardle has made his way into the team on form and everyone saw today why he's in there. He's moved an international centre over to the wing.

"I thought for 60 or 65 minutes we were good. In the first half defensively we did really well and, although we led 12-0, we created another three genuine chances but we're certainly not going to get carried away.

"Credit to St Helens because that's the best we've played for a while and they pushed us for a long period of that game."

St Helens coach Royce Simmons:

"We had 17, they had 17, so there are no excuses. I can take a fair bit of blame for today.

"There were quite a few changes and I tried to make things a lot simpler but I probably should have stuck to the way we were going to play. We probably played a bit negative.

"We started the season with 29 players and they've all played first grade now. I thought Scotty Hale went good for a young bloke who was thrown in late. He showed me he's got a future.

"I thought James Roby was magic again today. He's like a clock, you just have to wind up him and let him go. He's unbelievable."


Huddersfield: Grix; McGillvary, Wardle, Lawrence, Cudjoe; Brown, Brough; Crabtree, Robinson, Griffin, Gilmour, Ferguson, Kirmond.

Replacements: Lunt, Faiumu, Patrick, Cording.

St Helens: Wellens; Gardner, Shenton, Meli, Foster; Ashe, Wilkin; Graham, Roby, Perry, Soliola, Flannery, Magennis.

Replacements: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Ashurst, Makinson, Hale.

Attendance: 7,843.

Referee: Thierry Alibert (France).