Huddersfield 12 St Helens 26: McGillvary’s return fails to inspire Giants

Danny Brough celebrates his equalising try against St Helens.
Danny Brough celebrates his equalising try against St Helens.
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St Helens continued their perfect start to the Super League season with a 26-12 win at Huddersfield as Jermaine McGillvary was kept quiet on his first appearance since the World Cup final.

Huddersfield more than matched Saints in the first half but went into the break 14-6 behind after conceding soft tries to Jon Wilkin and James Roby either side of Danny Brough’s effort.

Zeb Taia and Mark Percival crossed after the restart and St Helens cruised to a third straight success despite Oliver Roberts’s powerful finish.

McGillvary had an outstanding World Cup but sat out the first two rounds with a niggling knee injury and he struggled to make an impact as Huddersfield suffered their second defeat of the year.

The Giants almost enjoyed the perfect start when Jordan Rankin had a try chalked off for offside. Instead it was Saints who took the lead as Wilkin touched down next to the posts following a one-two with Kyle Amor after another penalty had taken the visitors close to the Huddersfield line.

St Helens were starved of possession in the period that followed and they eventually caved on 20 minutes, Brough twisting his way over.

The experienced half-back converted his own try to make it 6-6, only for Danny Richardson to nudge Saints back ahead from a penalty.

Brough levelled the scores again when Alex Walmsley was guilty of a similar offence but an error by Jake Mamo gave Saints one more opportunity before half-time that they would not pass up.

Mamo made a mess of Richardson’s restart and Roby made the Australian full-back pay by diving over from dummy half.

Saints underlined their attacking prowess in the early stages of the second half.

Back-rower Taia unlocked Huddersfield’s defence by running a good line to take Jonny Lomax’s pass and cruise in before the Saints stand-off’s high kick was pouched and finished by Percival when Mamo looked to have it under control.

Roberts gave Huddersfield a glimmer of hope when he powered his way over from close range but St Helens never looked in danger of relinquishing their lead in a scoreless final quarter.

Huddersfield: Mamo, McGillvary, Gaskell, Turner, Murphy, Rankin, Brough, Ta’ai, O’Brien, Clough, Roberts, Ferguson, Hinchcliffe. Substitutes: Leeming, Walne, Smith, Ikahihifo.

St Helens: Barba, Swift, Makinson, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Richardson, Amor, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, Wilkin. Substitutes: Fages, Walmsley, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas.

Referee: L Moore (RFL).