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Page last updated at 21:22 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 22:22 UK

St Helens 12-10 Huddersfield

St Helens (4) 12
Tries: Gardner, Gidley, Meli
Huddersfield (10) 10
Tries: Lunt, Cudjoe Goals: Cudjoe

Francis Meli
Meli was the match-winner for Saints

Super League leaders St Helens came from 10-0 down to defeat a second-string Huddersfield.

With next week's Challenge Cup final in mind, the Giants left out 11 regulars from the starting line-up but still managed to lead 10-4 at half-time.

Hooker Shaun Lunt went over first before Leroy Cudjoe added a second.

Winger Ade Gardner reduced the deficit, before fine individual tries from centre Matt Gidley and winger Francis Meli handed the Saints victory.

Huddersfield, who slipped to fourth place in the table following Hull KR's 14-10 win over Salford, took command of the match inside the first eight minutes.


Danny Kirmond regained possession from the kick-off and found Lunt, who went through a gap in the home defence from dummy half.

Cudjoe added the conversion and then went over in the corner for the second try after being fed by 18-year-old debutant full-back Elliott Hodgson.

Saints were reeling at this point before Gardner gave them a lifeline when he took Sean Long's lofted kick to touch down midway through the first half.

They reduced the deficit further after the break after Hodgson was deemed to have knocked on near his own line. From the scrum, Gidley forced his way through the Giants defence to touch down at the corner.

Jonny Lomax missed yet again with the conversion but set up Meli, who crashed over 14 minutes from time.

Lomax could not land the extras but Saints held on to end their run of two straight defeats.

Saints coach Mick Potter:
"We were a bit scratchy in the first half and didn't execute some plays. We tried to over-play if anything.

"But we played at their end a lot more in the second half, built some pressure and got some points."

Giants assistant coach Paul Anderson:
"It was a great effort. We were expected to be the fall guys but they gave everything asked of them.

"They took it to a champion team and took it to the wire. Our scramble defence was good and it had to be."

St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Meli, Pryce, Long, Cunningham, Graham, Gilmour, Wilkin, Flannery, Puletua, Lomax. Replacements: Roby, Clough, Ashurst, Emmitt.

Huddersfield: E. Hodgson, Cudjoe, J. Griffin, Lawrence, A Brown, Hemingway, Moore, D Griffin, Lunt, P Jackson, Finnigan, Kirmond, Aspinwall. Replacements: Raleigh, Carlile, Larne, Sculthorpe.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).

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see also
Hull KR 26-10 St Helens
16 Aug 09 |  Rugby League
Huddersfield 18-28 Bradford
16 Aug 09 |  Rugby League
Rugby League on the BBC
15 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Rugby league commentaries
03 Apr 10 |  Rugby League

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