SAINTS' top four hopes suffered a massive blow with a 24-16 loss at Huddersfield.

Once again they were the architects of their own downfall with some shocking early ball control and some poor last tackle plays.

Too many dropped balls in the first half handed the Giants the initiative and they responded with tries from Leroy Cudjoe and Martyn Ridyard.

It could have been worse, with Saints' inability to complete a set putting themselves under too much pressure.

Only some pretty resilient defence stopped it being double that.

Somewhat against the run of play a super break from Morgan Knowles fashioned a try for the supporting Luke Thompson just before the interval.

The youngster pierced the line and motored through, drawing the defence to send the equally impressive Thompson steaming over.

And Saints were first on the scoresheet after the interval when nice hands from Zeb Taia and Jonny Lomax fashioned the chance for Mark Percival to dash over.

It looked like Saints were going to take that lifeline, but a failure to finish off a half chance when Percival was released up the left before cutting inside and make the most of their other turns in good field position let Giants off the hook.

But following a penalty an Adam O'Brien try from close range restored Giants' eight-point cushion.

Saints, now that they were holding the ball, played some better football in glimpses but there was not enough of those patches.

They were rewarded for their pressure when Kyle Amor forced his way over to make it a two-point ball game again.

Saints chased the game and the next score was going to be the killer - alas it went to old boy Lee Gaskell who collected two flat passes before touching down.

Saints came up short with the ball and once again let Danny Brough call the shots - and that is another damaging away loss that exposed some frailties in the side.

No team can afford to be coughing up so much ball and expect to win, but there was also a weakness in the way they finished the sets.

Although they sorted that in the second half, the damage had been done and the tank had been drained.

The defeat leaves them with a mountain to climb to over-haul the teams above them for fourth spot.

Huddersfield: Mamo; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Gaskell, Murphy; Brough, Ridyard; Wakeman, Leeming, Ikahihifo, Ferguson, Roberts, Hinchcliffe. Subs: O'Brien, Mellor, Rapira, Clough.

Saints: Lomax; Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Grace; Fages, Smith; Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Taia, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook. Subs: Douglas, Thompson, Lee, Knowles.