HUDDERSFIELD Giants handed Saints a 40-18 defeat at the Galpharm Stadium on Saturday.Nathan Brown’s side took advantage of Saints depleted ranks to run in seven tries – four coming in the space of 10 second half minutes.But Saints rallied late on to emerge with some credit from yet another tough encounter.Saints were 12-0 down in the first half but showed enough to suggest they weren’t out of it.They lost Chris Flannery in the warm up and held their own despite tries from Eorl Crabtree and Danny Brough.In the second half, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook latched on to a James Roby chip, before the Giants pulled away and secured the points with four tries in the space of around 10 minutes.With the troops very slowly coming back, only Paul Wellens made a welcome return to Saints’ depleted ranks, whilst Chris Flannery, who was also a surprise inclusion after being omitted from the 19 man squad, limped off in the warm up.That meant a late call-up for Tom Armstrong with Tommy Makinson filling his slot as substitute.Nathan Ashe and Jon Wilkin took up the half back berths – and there was a debut for forward Scott Hale off the bench.Huddersfield also lost a player in the warm-up – Luke O’Donnell, forcing Nathan Brown to call up Jamie Cording.Both sides adopted lengthy kicking games to keep each other at bay early doors, but Huddersfield opened the scoring when Earl Crabtree used all his strength to stretch over.Danny Brough with the extras.It was a blow Saints could have done without, obviously, but they regrouped and began to put some pressure on the Giants.But Huddersfield were making too many yards on their sets and Saints had both Ashe and Makinson to thank in quick succession in keeping scoreline tight.Scott Hale came on for his debut on 28 minutes and put in some good hits and runs.But on 34 minutes, Danny Brough outpaced Saints’ rearguard to stretch their lead.Half Time: Huddersfield 12 Saints 0Saints needed half time to regroup and begun on the front foot with a strong set.And on their next set a piece of brilliance from Roby saw them get over.Right on the last, he chipped through – initially for himself – but Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook was ever alert and touched down. Foster with the extras.Rocked, Huddersfield twice looked like restoring their 12 point advantage – but Saints held firm.Yet, when Thierry Alibert penalised Francis Meli for a high tackle, Kevin Brown took full advantage.Brough adding his third of the night.Michael Lawrence then scored a spectacular try to increase the lead further.And when Crabtree added his second then Joe Wardle got on the outside of Meli it was game over.Saints were resilient though and Matty Ashurst pulled one back with around 15 minutes to go before Ade Gardner racked up his eighth of the season.Foster goaling both.Scott Grix added Huddersfield’s seventh score in the final ten minutes to complete a comprehensive home victory.Saints will move on from this match – and the kids that played will grow too – and the cavalry is coming…Match Summary:Huddersfield:Tries: Crabtree (2), Brough, Brown, Lawrence, Wardle, GrixGoals: Brough (6 from 7)Saints:Tries: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Ashurst, GardnerGoals: Foster (3 from 3)Penalties:Huddersfield: 3Saints: 4HT: 0-12FT: 18-40REF: Thierry AlibertATT: 7844Teams:Huddersfield:1. Scott Grix; 20. Jermaine McGillvary, 29. Joe Wardle, 2. Michael Lawrence, 3. Leroy Cudjoe; 6. Kevin Brown, 7. Danny Brough; 8. Eorl Crabtree, 9. Luke Robinson, 10. Darrell Griffin, 4. Lee Gilmour, 37. Dale Ferguson, 17. Danny KirmondSubs: 13. David Faiumu, 14. Shaun Lunt, 18. Larne Patrick, 26. Jamie Cording.Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Michael Shenton, 5. Francis Meli, 22. Jamie Foster; 27. Nathan Ashe, 12. Jon Wilkin; 10. James Graham, 9. James Roby, 8. Josh Perry, 4. Sia Soliola, 18. Matty Ashurst, 21. Shaun Magennis.Subs: 15. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 24. Tom Armstrong, 27. Thomas Makinson, 29. Scott Hale.
SAINTS were battered, bruised and had players banged up but came within a whisker of beating Wigan to reach their first Challenge Cup Final since 2008.They were edged 18-12 despite producing a stirring second half comeback when 18-2 down to almost pull off the impossible.Although bitterly disappointed, Royce Simmons praised his charges afterwards and said their character shone through.“I thought we were very courageous,” he said. “The blokes showed a lot of character. We went into the game with a fair few blokes carrying a lot of bumps and bruises. At our first training session we had eight who couldn’t train, then for the second one we had four.“We put a side together the day before but we still had a couple of senior players carrying severe injuries into the game. It all adds up doesn’t it?“At the end of the day we had a fair bit of possession but we tended to get excited and went from sideline to sideline.“We are a better side when we play direct. James Roby was chasing the ball all over the park and that isn’t good. We needed to punch forward and then go to the edges.“It would have been good to get across the line to say we have played some good field position, controlled it well and it would have been good to get a reward, but their defence was too good.”He continued: “In the second half we didn’t have as much ball but I thought Brett Finch was pretty good in his performance in putting on the pressure and getting the results he wanted.“It’s disappointing but every time there was a decision to be made hands went in the air. There were a couple of things around their third try and hands were waved everywhere and the referee hadn’t even made the decision.“Finchy kept doing that for the whole half and got the result.“We were courageous but at the end of the day Wigan have won and it just wasn’t enough. It’s unfortunate but we put up our dukes and fight again. We have Huddersfield on Friday and then the lads will get a short break to recharge the batteries mentally and physically after that.“I am very proud of the boys today.”Saints are next up on Friday August 12 (8pm) when Huddersfield Giants come to town for Super League action.Kicking off at 8pm, tickets are now on sale from the Club Shop in St Helens Town Centre, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on to www.saintssuperstore.com
FINAL preparations are being made for Saints Academy’s Tour of Australia.27 players and 10 staff will travel overseas next Sunday in a three week trip which will see them take on St George, Central Coast, Wests Tigers and Penrith as well gaining vital life experience.They will be following in the footsteps of four other successful tours – which have them undefeated in all but one game – and more than 30 players who have gone on to play Super League.They are a vital part of the players’ pathway as Mike Rush, Saints Chief Executive, explains: “This year we handed debuts to eight Academy products and a huge part of their development began when they went on tour to Australia.“The likes of Jonny Lomax, Josh Jones, Tommy Makinson and Paul Clough have all toured and, like the players who have been selected to travel to Australia in 2013, will cherish the experience for the rest of their lives.“They will be training in a full time environment and will get a glimpse of what it is like to be a full time professional. It won’t be easy, it will test their mental and physical toughness, but will continue their player pathway.“Of the 2011 touring party, Greg Richards, Duggie Charnock, Luke Thompson, James Tilley and Mark Percival have all made their first team debuts this season, with 2009 tourists Anthony Walker, Joe Greenwood and Jordan Hand also making their first team debuts“For those who don’t progress into the first team at Saints it will help them move forward in their future careers.“The tour is also about making friends and contacts and learning from them. We will be meeting Daniel Anderson, Mick Potter and Royce Simmons this year and paying a visit to the Sydney Swans AFL side.“The relationship we have with Penrith has seen them come to the UK and play games against us too.“It is not only a vital part of the player’s but the club’s development too.”Over the tours in 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2011 more than £460,000 has been raised by the players, parents and staff and this year the cost of the trip this year alone is £100,000.Tour Itinerary:October 13: Saints v St GeorgeOctober 16: Saints v Central CoastOctober 18: Official Team Photograph and Sydney Swans visitOctober 20: Saints v Wests TigersOctober 26: Saints v PenrithTourists:Daniel Abram, Philip Atherton, Ricky Bailey, Tom Calland, Liam Cooper, Jonah Cunningham, Oliver Davies, David Eccleston, Lewis Fairhurst, Matthew Fleming, Liam Forsyth, Lewis Hatton, Kieron Herbert, David Hewitt, Morgan Knowles, Ross McCauley, Joseph McLoughlin, Ben Morris, James Nicholl, Daniel Richardson, Joe Ryan, Adam Saunders, Aaron Smith, Connor Smith, Jake Spedding, Bobby Williams, Chris Worrall.We will be introducing the players during the next few days so keep an eye on www.saintsrlfc.com