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Super League: Danny Brough inspired Huddersfield to a 25-16 win over St Helens
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Danny Brough inspired Huddersfield to a 25-16 victory over St Helens to ensure Nathan Brown endured a miserable first return to the John Smith's Stadium.
Aaron Murphy, Joe Wardle (two) and Dale Ferguson all touched down for the Giants as they completed a double over Saints for the first time in over 60 years and consolidated second place in the Super League table.
The opening try arrived on the back of an uncharacteristic fumble from Saints full-back Paul Wellens under a long kick from Brough. A few plays later the Giants stand-off spun a slick pass out wide for Murphy who crossed in the corner with ease, although Brough would miss the conversion.
Wardle added an opportunist second for Huddersfield after another Brough kick had caused confusion in the Saints defence, applying downward pressure to the ball after Jordan Turner had fumbled in his own in-goal area.
This time Brough converted and then added a regulation penalty after Wellens was penalised for stealing the ball from Eorl Crabtree as he attempted to touch down under the posts.
At the heart of everything good for Huddersfield, Brough then created his side's third try as he dummied and jinked his way through the Saints defensive line before offloading inside to Ferguson who coasted home unopposed.
Jon Wilkin did offer the visitors some hope with his first try of the season seven minutes before the break, bursting on to Gareth O'Brien's pass and diving through two Giants defenders to touch down - O'Brien added the extras.
Gardner stretchered off
Just before the interval Murphy saw what he thought was his second try of the evening chalked off after Anthony Mullally was penalised and put on report for a crunching tackle on Ade Gardner in the build-up that saw the Saints winger forced from the field on a stretcher.
Brough added the first score of the second period as he swung over a towering drop-goal to move the hosts three scores clear at 19-6 and the hosts were then required to show their defensive qualities as Saints camped on their line for two sets of six.
But they were up to the task and that man Brough then engineered a fourth and killer try as he went on the wrap-around, offering a couple of dummies before picking a perfect pass to Wardle who powered over for his second of the night - Brough converted.
Saints continued to push forward manfully and were rewarded for their efforts 13 minutes from time when O'Brien released Josh Jones who scampered over from close range.
Although O'Brien missed the conversion, hopes of an unlikely comeback were raised when Turner burst on to James Roby's pass to jink his way over a couple of minutes later, O'Brien's successful conversion this time reducing the deficit to 25-16.
But that was as good as it got for Brown's Saints who now have just one league win in six and find themselves out of the play-off places in ninth.
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First Utility Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||3||2|
|10||Salford Red Devils||3||2|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th March|
|20:00||Hull FC vs Leeds Rhinos|
|Friday 6th March|
|20:00||Wakefield Wildcats vs St Helens|
|20:00||Huddersfield Giants vs Widnes Vikings|
|20:00||Castleford Tigers vs Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:30||Catalans Dragons vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th March|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Hull K R|
|Thursday 12th March|
|20:00||Huddersfield vs Castleford|
|Friday 13th March|
|20:00||Warrington vs Leeds|
|20:00||Wigan vs Hull|
|20:00||Widnes Vikings vs St Helens|
|First Utility Super League|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Widnes Vikings 16 - 58 Wakefield Wildcats|
|Hull K R 22 - 20 Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Salford Red Devils 32 - 28 Hull FC|
|Catalans Dragons 38 - 18 Warrington Wolves|
|Friday 27th February|
|St Helens 21 - 14 Castleford Tigers|
|Thursday 26th February|
|Leeds Rhinos 28 - 24 Huddersfield Giants|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wakefield 44 - 24 Hull K R|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Catalans Dragons 13 - 12 Castleford|
|Friday 13th February|
|Hull 6 - 7 Warrington|
|Leeds 38 - 6 Widnes|
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