Huddersfield Giants 17 St Helens 16: Roby injury fears as George hat-trick hands Giants win

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Huddersfield’s hero was winger Luke George, who scored his second hat-trick of the season to help the Giants to a fourth win from five games which takes them to within a point of leaders Warrington.

George’s third try, a 90m spectacular created by man of the match Danny Brough, was the highlight of a dramatic second half in which both teams had their chances to take the points.

St Helens, who led 12-4 at half-time, scored their third try through Ade Gardner to close the gap to a point but Jonny Lomax failed with the touchline conversion. Saints have now taken just a point from their last three matches.

“It was a real good game, one you would expect from two teams who are going to be competing at the top end of the table come the end of the season,” said Huddersfield assistant coach Paul Anderson. “Broughy came up with some good plays but I can’t give both teams enough credit because everybody contributed to the spectacle.

“We’ve played three of the top four teams and we’re reasonably happy with how we’re travelling but we’re well aware there is a lot of room for improvement.

“It was by no means perfect but we showed a lot of grit and determination and a lot of desire to work for each other.”

England hooker James Roby is facing the first lengthy lay-off of his career after picking up a leg injury in St Helens’ defeat.

Roby fell into a heap following a tackle from Huddersfield winger Jermaine McGillvary 27 minutes into the Super League match. He bravely attempted to play on but was forced to hobble off a couple of plays later and was replaced by Lance Hohaia.

“He’s got a leg muscle injury which seems pretty nasty,” said St Helens coach Royce Simmons.

“We’ll probably get a scan and see where we go from there but it doesn’t look too good. It’s probably a few weeks job.

“You don’t know until the scan comes back but he doesn’t come off too easy so you’re going to find some problems there.”

Simmons refused to use the loss of Roby as an excuse for a second consecutive defeat.

After watching his side concede 70 points in their previous two matches, Simmons was delighted with their improved defence but he claimed it came at a price.

“We worked really hard on our defence this week and I thought we defended very well for long periods of the game,” he said.

“The penalty count was 9-2 so we had to, and that probably affected our attacking game which has been tremendous all year.

“We’re getting the least number of penalties awarded to us so it’s something we’re doing a little bit wrong and we’re going to have to fix it up.”

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

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

Referee: P Bentham (Warrington).