Huddersfield 40-18 St Helens

Eorl Crabtree scored twice as Huddersfield powered up to second place in the Engage Super League with a convincing win over St Helens.

The Giants ran in seven tries – including a stunning solo effort from Danny Brough – as they overpowered a thin Saints side struggling against a tide of injuries.

Royce Simmons has watched in disbelief over recent weeks as increasing numbers of his squad have been forced into the treatment room.

When Chris Flannery was forced to withdraw during the pre-match warm up, Saints simply ran out of options.

However, Simmons insisted: “We had 17 and they had 17 so there are no excuses.”

He admitted: “I can probably take a fair amount of the blame for today.

“I tried to make things simpler with so many changes, and we probably played a bit negatively.”

Brough’s sensational dash brought the Huddersfield crowd to their feet midway through the first half.

He had earlier missed two opportunities to get on the score-sheet, having first been unable to gather Leroy Cudjoe‘s kick in field before then spilling Lee Gilmour‘s offload on Saints’ line.

But he made amends with a sensational 70-metre dash down the left after Huddersfield created an overlap in their own half.

Brough’s acceleration got him past the initial line of the defenders, before a strong step off his left foot reducted St Helens‘ full back Paul Wellens to chasing shadows.

Rampaging prop Crabtree had given the hosts the perfect start, powering past two defenders from Luke Robinson‘s flat pass to open the scoring.

The Giants were good value for their 12-0 half time lead and could easily have been out of reach.

Michael Lawrence was only inches short from touching down Robinson’s grubber kick, Jermaine McGillvary missed Kevin Brown‘s pass with the line at his mercy and Robinson saw his effort chalked off after he ran behind Crabtree on his way to the line.

Huddersfield boss Nathan Brown said: “I thought the first 60, 65 minutes were very good.

“We came into this game knowing it would be hard because when you look at St Helens‘ team they still have 11 internationals in there.

“But that’s the best we’ve played for a long time and they pushed us for long periods of the game.

“We know the next time we play St Helens their halves will be different so we’re not getting carried away.”

Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook got Saints back in it straight after the break, but Brown, Lawrence, Crabtree and Joe Wardle all touched down in a 10-minute burst to seal the points for Huddersfield.

Saints refused to give in, with Matty Ashurst and Ade Gardner crossing, but Scott Grix dived over from Brown’s reverse ball to complete a dominant Huddersfield display.

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