13th March 2019


All the facts and stats you need to know ahead of our Thursday night clash with St Helens

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The Brief:

Huddersfield Giants are aiming to clinch back-to-back wins after a fantastic hard-fought win against Wigan Warriors, however, St Helens will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

After suffering four consecutive defeats, Giants picked up their first win of the season last week at the DW Stadium and will look continue the momentum against a strong Saints side.

Both teams go to battle at the John Smiths Stadium on Thursday 14th March at 7. 45 pm in this huge clash live on Sky Sports Arena.

Team News:

Adam O’Brien and Aaron Murphy are both replaced by Matty English and Colton Roche. While brothers Jake And Joe Wardle retain their place.

Hooker Aaron Smith stays in the St Helens 19-man squad after appearing in the win over London Broncos last time out. While James Roby is set to return having been rested in the 26-0 win against London Broncos last Friday night.

Giants: McIntosh, McGillvary, Turner, Uate, Gaskell, Frawley, Leeming, Matagi, Mellor, Lawrence, Roberts, Ta'ai, English, Jake Wardle, Roche, Ikahihifo, Hewitt, Senior, Joe Wardle.

Saints: Lomax, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Paulo, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Knowles, Amor, Peyroux, Lees, Ashworth, Smith, Coote.

The Opposition:

St Helens won the League Leaders Shield for a record sixth time in 2018, having lost four games all season, however, that was the only silverware St Helens won. They were beaten in the Challenge Cup Semi-Final by eventual winners Catalans Dragons 35-16.

They failed to reach the Grand Final after losing 13-18 to Warrington Wolves, as Ben Barba was awarded the Steve Prescott Man of Steel

They lost influential players Ben Barba, Matty Smith, Jon Wilkin in 2018 as well as Ryan Morgan and Ben Simms. Both recruited strongly for the 2019 season, bringing in NRL imports Kevin Naiqama, Joseph Paulo and Lachlan Coote from West Tigers, Cronulla Sharks and North Queensland Cowboys respectively.


Huddersfield had suffered defeats in all four games this year. But secured their first win of the season in a 6-14 win against Wigan Warriors last Friday night. The win ended a nine-game losing run for the Giants and earned them a first win at the DW Stadium in five years.

Kruise Leeming opened the scoring on the 11th minute and the Giants was the dominant side for the majority of the game. Morgan Escare levelled the scoring eleven minutes into the second half, but a Lee Gaskell penalty and a Joe Wardle try earned Huddersfield a gutsy victory.

St Helens have the only 100% record in the division after starting with five successive wins. They opened their campaign with a home victory against rivals Wigan Warriors 22-12. They have also recorded four further victories scoring 125 points and conceding 56. They have beaten Wakefield Trinity 18-24, Leeds Rhinos 27-22, Salford Red Devils 4-26 and London Broncos 26-0.

Key Players:

James Roby

St Helens arguably have the best team in the Super League and have danger men across the park and the Giants will have to be at their very best in attack and defence to limit St Helens attacking threat and defensive steel.

One-man Huddersfield must keep an eye on is James Roby. The 33-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down, Roby who has made over 400 appearances for St Helens is on target for his second Steve Prescott Man of Steel award after putting in some solid displays already this season.

He is currently on 11 points, four points ahead of Stefan Ratchford and Jamie Shaul and he will look to continue Thursday night having been rested last week.

Lachlan Coote

Lachlan Coote is hoping he can fill the void left by Ben Barba and will be a key player to watch out for when the two teams go to war. A wealth of experience having played for Penrith Panthers and North Queensland Cowboys, he has one try this year and five try assists. Having made 507 metres in 76 carries so far this year. Giants will look to stop him in full flow as he still gets used to adjusting to life in Super League.

Key Battles:

Jermaine McGillvary Vs Thomas Makinson

Possibly the two best wingers in the competition will go head-to-head at the John Smiths Stadium, but will England International Star will come out on top? McGillvary will want to inspire the Giants once again having put in a good display against the Warriors, making 206 metres in 22 carries.

Makinson who won the Golden Boot award in 2018 has two tries and 20 tackle busts to his name this year and has made an impressive 732 metres in 90 carries which is the 5th best in the league. Meanwhile, McGillvary has one try and 19 tackle busts so far and has made 448 metres in 50 carries while returning back from injury. It will be a battle of strength, speed and finishing, but who will score the most points on Thursday night?

Suaia Matagi Vs Alex Walmsley

The pack will be pivotal in deciding who will win the game and St Helens have a strong pack containing Alex Walmsley, Luke Thompson, Joseph Paulo and Zeb Tai and Giants will want to match them in strength and intensity.

A Giants pack containing Suaia Matagi, Ukuma Ta’ai and Seb Ikahihifo is strengthened with the return of Matty English. Matagi will want to lead the Giants once again having put in a solid display against the Warriors, making 29 tackles and an average gain of 7.18 metres. Walmsley has made 466 metres in 63 carries compared to Matagi’s 341 metres in 52 carries and both will want to set the groundwork for the halfbacks.

Previous Meeting:

Huddersfield narrowly beat St Helens in the previous meeting 12-16 in August 2018 in which Suaia Matagi made his club debut in. Darnell McIntosh double and an Alex Mellor try gave the Giants a 16-0 lead before Barba replied just before the break. Thompson barged over with 21 minutes remaining, but Giants held their cool and nerve as they closed the game out to secure a famous victory.


You can be the 18th man and help the Giants clinch their first home win of the season. You can get your tickets in numerous ways. You visit the Giants Club Store in person, call 01484 484159 or book online at


Heikki Kovalainen




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