HOME and hosed at 14-0 at the break, Saints produced a soft second half display to allow Huddersfield to snatch a share of the points with a controversial late try.
It felt more like a defeat than a draw – and when thrown in alongside a series of patchy results leaves Saints desperately trying to climb out of the early season hole ahead of a gruelling Easter programme.
The second half was infuriating to watch. Saints’ failure to string together anything resembling a coherent attacking set after they had earned good field position once again cost them dearly.
Huddersfield did not have to be particularly resilient in defence to repel what was thrown at them. Saints were their own worst enemies spilling the ball, constantly turning back inside, resorting to one-man rugby and on a couple of occasions their lack of direction manifested itself in the ball carriers almost running into teammates.
At 14-0 Saints simply needed to be professional enough to keep their foot on the Giants throats, but instead their lackadaisical approach gave the visitors the kiss of life.
As poor as Huddersfield’s start to the campaign has been, fired up by Danny Brough, even they spotted that they could get something out of game against a patchy Saints team that still looks out of sorts.
And even after giving the Giants a toe-hold, Saints failed to take that kick up the backside and proceeded to play a dumb brand of football instead of killing the game off in the final 10 minutes.
Although Saints had started slowly, with both sides playing a conservative often turgid brand of rugby, they hit a purple patch in the second quarter with three belting tries.
Theo Fages opened the scoring after Zeb Taia had held the ball up in the tackle to allow the nippy number six to dash over.
And after the ball was flashed left, Taia again released Fages who left teenage full back Darnell McIntosh clutching at thin air with an in-out shimmy.
Crucially Mark Percival’s conversion hit the spike on top of the goal post and bounced out but Saints were soon back for more with quick hands on the left, straight from the scrum, fashioned the opportunity for Adam Swift to race over in the corner.
The second half should have been an opportunity for Saints to let rip and rattle in some points to get some confidence built up, instead they produced a dire exhibition with the ball which, just like in recent weeks, meant they were soon under the cosh at the other end.
Although they initially defended a succession of repeat sets, McIntosh eventually crossed on the right to open the Giants scoring on 62 minutes.
Although there was more urgency and application from Huddersfield, there was a huge dollop of good fortune for Huddersfield’s second with Brough’s grubber bouncing off Fages and into the hands of McIntosh, with Brough’s conversion cutting it to a four-point deficit.
If that was bad luck, the try that levelled it looked an altogether a bad call with Percival appeared to have been taken out in the air collecting the ball and then doubts expressed as to whether Sam Wood had grounded cleanly.
After a brief discussion the try was given, and the only saving grace was that Brough did not add further insult to injury with the conversion.
Still, Saints had one more chance when Huddersfield lost the ball on the restart.
But having worked the position for Matty Smith to fall into the pocket for the drop goal, the chase forced him wide and in the subsequent panic play the ball hit the deck and the chance to rescue the game went begging.
Saints: Lomax; Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Swift; Fages, Smith; Walmsley, Lee, Douglas, Taia, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Wilkin. Subs: Amor, Walker, Peyroux, Knowles.
Huddersfield: McIntosh; McGillvary, Wood, Mellor, Murphy, Brough, Gaskell; Ikahihifo, Hinchcliffe, Wakeman, Roberts, Ferguson, Clough. Subs: Rapira, Leeming, Mason, Dickinson.