St Helens 40-16 Huddersfield: Ben Barba stars for Saints
Last Updated: 15/09/17 11:58pm
Australian star Ben Barba turned on the magic as St Helens kept their play-off dreams alive by brushing aside Huddersfield 40-16.
Justin Holbrook's side had to beat the Giants if they had any chance of keeping their Super League season going, and thanks to a vintage Barba display the Saints were a cut above.
Barba was the tormentor-in-chief as he chimed in from full-back at perfect intervals and scored one of his side's seven tries.
Jonny Lomax crossed twice while Regan Grace, Mark Percival, Ryan Morgan and Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook also touched down.
The Saints were not at their sparkling best but they did not have to be.
Rick Stone's Giants found themselves two tries behind after only 10 minutes as Lomax touched down after four minutes, soon followed by Grace who had the simple task of running in after Barba had unlocked the Huddersfield defence.
The Giants thought they got one back shortly after as Lee Gaskell looked to ground a loose ball that Grace had failed to deal with but the Welsh winger recovered just in time.
They did get the try they were searching for after 31 minutes as Danny Brough sent in the hardworking Oliver Roberts for a barge-over score.
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St Helens replied in stunning fashion as Grace clicked into gear with a 60-metre dash to eventually set up Lomax and then immediately after that Percival powered over to make it 24-6 at half-time.
The tries kept rolling in for Saints and this time it was Barba scorching over on the left-hand side after he beat three Giants defenders for footwork.
His fellow Australian Morgan was next to score a try as Saints spread the ball to Huddersfield's outnumbered left edge.
The visitors, to their credit, did not throw in the towel and they were marginally improved in the second period and deserved their two consolations.
The dogged determination of Brough kept the Giants going and he had a hand in their two second-half tries.
Ryan Hinchcliffe burst onto a short ball to force his way over for a well-worked try and 10 minutes later Jordan Rankin sneaked over in the corner.
But Saints had the final say as prop McCarthy-Scarsbrook hammered his way over for the final try of the night and Percival added his sixth goal to complete his 16-point haul.