|22nd Feb 2009|| Super League||AWAY ||11338 ||(HT:12:2)|
|Age in brackets is at time of match - Total average age for this team is 25. - ** non-playing sub|
COACH : Mick potter
(2008-01-01 : 2010-12-31 )
MATCH REPORT : A SOLID defensive performance saw Saints secure a 23-6 win over Huddersfield Giants at the Galpharm Stadium. On the back foot for the majority of the second half, they held firm then sealed victory with a Tony Puletua try five minutes from time. The big man was at the heart of everything Saints did and his score was just desserts for a superb all round performance. Saints were 12-2 up at the break thanks to three nicely worked scores from Paul Wellens, Ade Gardner and Lee Gilmour. But the Giants applied all the early pressure in the second half and Paul Whaturia brought them right back into the game. The home side continued to come but their discipline let them down and Puletua’s score saw them through. Sean Long kicked a drop goal with seconds remaining. Missing James Graham and Jason Cayless through injury, Mick Potter went with the starting prop partnership of Puletua and Bryn Hargreaves. That meant a spot at loose forward for Paul Clough as Chris Flannery took up a place in the second row. Gardner also made his 200th appearance for the Club. With new signing Brett Hodgson, Huddersfield look a very capable side and no doubt Scott Moore would have wanted to put in a good performance against his ‘parent’ club. Michael Korkidas is no slouch either and he took his place on a strong looking bench.
Ade Gardner led the team out to signify his 200th appearance, but it the Giants who got on the board first with a Hodgson penalty. Moments later Huddersfield were awarded another penalty and Saints held out. On 14 minutes, Saints were awarded a penalty and within three tackles were finding a way to the line. Gilmour providing good work for Paul Wellens to put down. Long wide with the extras. Two minutes later Long broke through the centre and fired it to Leon. Pryce passed the ball back inside and despite it going to ground, the attacking line was set for the next phase. Next up it was out to the right, to Gidley and then Ade Gardner for his 126th of his Saints’ career. Long wide once more. Saints’ next score came after a nice bit of work from James Roby. He broke through, flipped it to Long, then Pryce and into the hands of Gilmour. It put Saints 12-2 to the good against a Giants’ side that seemed to be struggling with Saints’ pace through the middle. Moments later, Maurie Fa’asavalu was adjudged to have been held up over the line.
Half Time: Huddersfield 2 Saints 12
Huddersfield applied all the early pressure and should have perhaps scored when Martin Aspinwall took the ball two yards from the line. But an excellent covering tackle by Paul Wellens and James Roby put the former Wiganer into touch. Yet, on the Giants’ next six, the ball was chipped over and Paul Whaturia found a way to plunge over. Hodgson short with the extras. Moments later Saints dropped out under their own sticks for the third time in the half and held out as their defence proved too strong down the middle. And another penalty on 66 minutes gave the Giants another crack at the Saints’ line. Shaun Lunt provided the platform with a great run then Wellens and Pryce saw off Hodgson over the line. It was a timely tackle to preserve their lead. Saints then fielded a high kick to repel borders once more. And with six minutes to go, Saints finally got the chance to press. Leon fed Fa’asavalu who rampaged down the left. The Giants lay on, giving Saints another set and Tony Puletua was in under the sticks. Sean Long then added a drop goal to go alongside his first conversion of the game to seal the win and clock up his 1000th career goal. Gary Wheeler’s second try for the club came as the icing on the cake.
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