St Helens 15-2 Huddersfield

A quickfire start from St Helens proved enough to see off Huddersfield in their opening play-off encounter.

Mick Potter’s men went in to the game on the back of four defeats in their last five matches, including August’s Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to the Giants, but they gained revenge in this match to send them through to the semi-finals.

Saints took the lead inside two minutes when Liam Fulton was forced in to a panic play on the last tackle, and Tony Puletua snaffled the departing Australians loose offload and raced away for a try which was converted by Kyle Eastmond.

Brett Hodgson got what proved to be Huddersfield’s only points of the match on ten minutes when he slotted over a long-range penalty, but they found themselves 10-2 down moments later when Leon Pryce sliced through the defence.

Eastmond had a fine game alongside Pryce and Sean Long and it was his good work in both defence and attack which set up a try for Francis Meli.

In the second half, Huddersfield battled bravely to find a way back in to the match and dominated field position at times, but they couldn’t break down the resolute Saints defence.

Long sealed the win ten minutes from time with a drop goal as Saints put the demons of their poor end to the regular season behind them.

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