Table-toppers St Helens strolled to victory against Huddersfield Giants to maintain their perfect start to the Super League season.
The first half was frenetic and could have gone either way with both sides playing great rugby.
Huddersfield, who scored two impressive tries in the first forty, twice levelled the scores as Jermaine McGillvary and Jordan Turner cancelled out tries from Luke Thompson and Morgan Knowles and were on the ascendency as the half-time hooter approached, but Mark Percival scored Saints third try just two minutes before the break.
Despite the Giants best efforts, the second half was much more one-sided as the visitors ran riot, scoring four further tries without reply to secure another convincing win.
Huddersfield went into the game on the back of a brilliant win over Wigan but Saints’ class shone through in the end and they now have six wins from six, one better than their start to 2018.
As good as Justin Holbrook’s Saints were in the second half, Huddersfield were competitive in the first and deservedly fought back twice to stay in the arm wrestle.
Missing eight first team members before kick-off, injuries to Joe Wardle, Matty English and Suaia Matagi took their toll on the Giants while the visitors ramped up the pace.
After Percival claimed his second try of the game, Regan Grace, who signed a contract extension earlier in the week, Dominique Peyroux and Jonny Lomax crossed over the whitewash to give the scoreboard a one-sided look that the hosts didn’t deserve.
Saints are clinical
After being the best side of the regular season in 2018, Saints are well and truly back on form after an indifferent end to last year. Six wins from six means they already have breathing space at the top and if they keep creating and taking as many chances as they currently are, it will another season of silverware for the Liverpool-based club.
Huddersfield have heart
Many teams roll over when St. Helens take the lead but Huddersfield were not about to do so. Brilliant fighting spirit saw them well and truly in the game at half time and, if not for injuries, they could have pulled off a shock victory.
St. Helens go through the gears at will
Despite Huddersfield’s dogged determination, there was always a sense that Saints had something left in the locker and boy did they. They ramped up the pace in the second half and won at a canter. It could have been more.
The Giants are good enough to stay up
They may sit at the foot of the table but the West Yorkshire side have shown that they have the ability and togetherness to survive this season. With tries now coming throughout the side, better luck with injuries is all that stands between the Giants and survival.
Huddersfield Giants 12
Tries: McGillvary, Turner
Goals: Gaskell (2)
Drop Goals: n/a
St. Helens 40
Tries: Thompson, Knowles, Percival (2), Grace, Peyroux, Lomax
Goals: Coote (6)
Drop Goals: n/a
Huddersfield Giants: McIntosh, McGillvary, Turner, Senior, Uate, Gaskell, Frawley, Ikahihifo, Leeming, Ta’ai, Wardle, Mellor, Lawrence.
Interchanges: Matagi, Roberts, Hewitt, English.
St Helens: Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Thompson, Roby, Walmsley, Peyroux, Taia, Knowles.
Interchanges: Paulo, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lees, Ashworth.