St Helens 66 Huddersfield 4: Depleted Giants suffer record defeat to leaders

St Helens' Ben Barba (left) takes on Huddersfield Giants' Sam Wood.
St Helens' Ben Barba (left) takes on Huddersfield Giants' Sam Wood.
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Jonny Lomax grabbed a hat-trick of tries as St Helens bounced back from their surprise defeat at Wakefield with a 66-4 trouncing of injury-hit Huddersfield.

Inspired by classy full-back Ben Barba, Saints ran in 12 tries in all to register their biggest win over the Giants in the summer era and consolidate their place at the top of the Betfred Super League.

Huddersfield’s heaviest defeat of the season leaves them still looking for a first win under interim head coach Chris Thorman and in deep trouble near the foot of the table.

The Yorkshiremen had nine regulars missing following the late withdrawal of Lee Gaskell and Seb Ikahihifo who were both injured in training. They were also without talismanic half-back Danny Brough through suspension and were totally outclassed by their hosts.

Saints gave a debut to centre Matty Costello and he made his mark after 12 minutes, taking Morgan Knowles’s offload to race into space and get Lomax over for the opening try.

Five minutes later, Jon Wilkin released Barba deep inside his own half and the Australian breezed through the visitors’ defence to score his first try.

Huddersfield never got near the Saints line in the first half and needed some stout defence, particularly from centre Aaron Murphy, to keep the rampant leaders in check.

However, the game went away from the Giants in the second quarter as Lomax went over for his second try and carved out another for Barba while substitute forward Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook twice made mincemeat of the visitors’ defence to crash over from short range.

Danny Richardson converted five of the six tries to make it 34-0 at the break and it took Saints just six minutes of the second half to extend their lead.

Twice Barba put centre Ryan Morgan over for identical tries.

Jordan Turner ensured Huddersfield would not be nilled as he took Kruise Leeming’s pass to cross for a 64th-minute try but Jordan Rankin could not add the goal and normal service was quickly resumed.

Richardson ran in a solo try, Lomax added his third, before tries from Regan Grace and prop Kyle Amor.

St Helens: Barba, Makinson, Morgan, Costello, Grace, Lomax, Richardson, Amor, Smith, Thompson, Peyroux, Knowles, Wilkin. Substitutes: Fages, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas, Lees.

Huddersfield: Simpson, McIntosh, Turner, Murphy, I. Senior, Wood, Rankin, Roche, Leeming, Clough, Roberts, Ta’ai, Smith. Substitutes: Hinchcliffe, Walne, O’Brien, Mellor.

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas (RFL).