Result: Huddersfield Giants 17-16 St Helens

Danny Brough inspired Huddersfield to a second half fight back to beat St Helens 17-16.

Brough controlled the second half, and despite a tense final five minutes, Huddersfield held on to secure a vital two points.

Brough may get all of the plaudits from a thrilling contest, but Luke George scored a memorable hat-trick which ended as a contender for try of the season. 

Incidentally, Brough’s conversion for George’s final try may go down as conversion of the season.

After a tough opening 17 minutes it was Huddersfield who opened the scoring. Jermaine McGillvary was held down too long by the St Helens defence 20 metres from his own line.

This gave Huddersfield critical field possession, and they were able to capitalise with George diving in at the corner.

Saints pressured the Huddersfield line but could only cross the Giants’ whitewash with just over 10 minutes to go. From first receiver Lee Gaskell stepped off this left foot head first into a wall of defenders. 

But Gaskell was stronger than several of the Giants’ defenders combined, and was able to touch down.

Saints finished the half much stronger, and showed their typical never say die attitude to extend their lead. Jonny Lomax’s grubber kick into the in-goal looked to be going dead, but Lomax reacted quickest and managed the ground the ball just before it went dead. 

Huddersfield got off to the better start in the second half. Having re-gathered possession deep in the Saints’ half, George scored his second try of the game in similar fashion to his first. 

The Giants created a huge overlap for the youngster to score in the corner again. This time Danny Brough managed to kick the touchline conversion.

Two consecutive high tackle penalties gave Huddersfield field possession, but Brough opted to kick for the two points rather than use the advantage and put Huddersfield ahead. Brough missed the kick at goal, and Saints were soon in possession threatening the Giants’ line.

The advantage failed to pay off, and Huddersfield soon capitalised scoring the best try of the game.

Danny Brough made a 50 metre break starting close to his own goal line before passing the ball wide to Scott Grix close to the half way line. Grix had George in support, who beat the Saints’ winger Makinson to complete the length of the field move and his hat-trick.

Brough’s conversion was an astonishing feat of good fortune. The ball ricocheted off the right post and onto the left, before bobbling onto the crossbar and falling onto the right side of the posts.

Brough’s drop goal gave the Giants a 17-12 advantage, and they looked comfortably in control of the game.

But Saints’ never say die attitude appeared once again. Five points down, Ade Gardner swallow dived in the left corner. Lomax missed the crucial conversion, and Saints were behind by a single point.

The scores remained 17-16 at the final hooter, leaving Saints having suffered narrow defeats in consecutive weeks.

Huddersfield tries: Luke George (3). Goals: Danny Brough 2/4. Drop goals: Danny Brough 1/1.

St Helens tries: Lee Gaskell, Jonny Lomax, Ade Gardner. Goals: Jonny Lomax 2/3

Huddersfield: Eden; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, George; Brough, Grix; Crabtree, Robinson, Walker; Chan, Lawrence, Brown. Subs: Faiumu, Lunt, Patrick, Gilmour.

St Helens: Wellens; Makinson, Shenton, Meli, Gardner; Gaskell, Lomax; Laffranchi, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook; Wilkin, Soliola, Puletua. Subs: Clough, Dixon, Flanagan, Hohaia.

Referee: Phil Bentham

Attendance: 9,194

Half time score: 4-12

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