Huddersfield 12-14 St Helens: Matty Lees mammoth effort helps Saints win

Drew Darbyshire
Matty Lees St Helens News Images

Photo: Craig Thomas/News Images

Following a 14-12 win for St Helens over Huddersfield in the Thursday night televised Super League clash, here are our five takeaways from the John Smith’s Stadium.

St Helens opened the scoring in the 27th minute through Konrad Hurrell before Tommy Makinson went over on the half hour mark.

Ash Golding pulled one back for Huddersfield just before the break, but it was Saints who led 12-6 at half-time.

Makinson stretched Saints’ lead with a penalty goal in the second half but a spectacular finish from Innes Senior set up a pulsating final quarter.

The champions had the kitchen sink thrown at them in the final 15 minutes, but they hung on for a 14-12 win in Huddersfield.

Mammoth effort from Matty Lees

What a performance. Wow.

It was as close to a 10/10 display we’ll ever see from a front-rower. Lees made an incredible 68 tackles in 80 minutes.

Just let that stat sink in. He’s a front-rower, playing a full 80 minutes, as well as making 68 tackles in the process.

His lungs would’ve been burning, but he helped get his side on the front foot and he gained a lot of metres with his powerful carries. He’ll sleep tonight!

Matty Lees, take a bow.

Pryce is right

Will Pryce started the game at full-back for the Giants and he certainly didn’t disappoint.

He’s brilliant to watch when he’s got the ball in hand, isn’t he? His sidesteps are lethal and defences struggle to contain him.

It’s hard to believe he’s only 20 years of age. The sky is the limit for Pryce.

Mata’utia blow

St Helens were dealt a blow when forward Sione Mata’utia failed a head injury assessment in their match at Huddersfield.

The former Australia and Samoa international left the field just 27 seconds into the game at the John Smith’s Stadium for a head injury assessment.

Mata’utia didn’t return to the field after failing his HIA, meaning he will also be unavailable for next Friday’s home game against Wakefield due to the return to play concussion protocol.

Milestone man LMS

Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook made his 350th appearance for St Helens.

You’d think he’d played all his career in the Red V with those stats – but he played almost 100 games for Harlequins before he moved up north!

It’s an astonishing achievement to reach such a milestone for anyone, but to do it for the world champions is an almighty feat.

Connor comeback

Jake Connor made his return following a lengthy injury lay-off, and it was great to see him back in action, without forgetting to mention it was his second debut for Huddersfield.

The Combined Nations All Stars representative with up with a couple of nice touches in the second half and played a part in Innes Senior’s try.

It’ll be interesting to see what position he plays in at the Giants long-term, but he’ll add plenty of quality across the park for Ian Watson’s side this year.

How it happened

  • 1′ Sione Mata’utia leaves the field for a head injury assessment after a collision just 27 seconds into the game. He didn’t return after failing his HIA.
  • 27′ St Helens open the scoring as Konrad Hurrell wrestles his way over from close range. Tommy Makinson converts. (0-6)
  • 32′ Hurrell with the assist to Makinson who does well to stay in the field of play and score. Makinson converts from the touchline. (0-12)
  • 38′ Ash Golding pulls one back for Huddersfield just before the break. Olly Russell converts from out wide. (6-12)
  • HALF TIME: Huddersfield 6-12 St Helens
  • 52′ Makinson extends Saints’ lead with a penalty goal. (6-14)
  • 64′ Huddersfield’s giant winger Innes Senior produces an outstanding finish in the corner. Russell converts from the touchline. (12-14)
  • FULL TIME: Huddersfield 12-14 St Helens

How they lined up

Huddersfield: Pryce; Golding, Halsall, Naiqama, Senior; Marsters, Russell; Hill, Peats, Trout, McQueen, Livett, Yates. Subs: Connor, Ikahihifo, Rushton, Ashworth. 18th man: Cudjoe.

Tries: Golding, Senior Goals: Russell 2

St Helens: Welsby; Makinson, Hurrell, Hopoate, Bennison; Lomax, Dodd; Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Mata’utia, Sironen, Bell. Subs: Lussick, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Paasi, Royle. 18th man: Ritson.

Tries: Hurrell, Makinson Goals: Makinson 3

What they said

Post-match comments to follow.

READ NEXT: St Helens forward set for “few weeks” on sidelines