IT wasn’t pretty at times, and the 80 minutes were punctuated by penalties and errors, but Saints’ defensive resolve ensured they continued their perfect start to the 2018 campaign.

Given that the John Smiths Stadium has been something of a graveyard for Saints teams over the years, even going back to Ian Millward and Daniel Anderson’s times, securing a 26-12 win is a big two points to bank.

Saints largely kept with the same side that accounted for Catalans, before the enforced weekend off, with Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook taken on the role of suspended Morgan Knowles.

Huddersfield enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and territory in the first half, including a run of six consecutive sets on their line, but Saints showed their defensive mettle.

With the ball Saints will want do better – and they cannot keep giving themselves so much extra work in defence.

But the spirit and willingness to do that extra one per cent for the team is motivating them to go a game or two better than last term.

After Jordan Rankin had seen a try chalked off for offside, Saints – helped by a second penalty – camped on the Giants line.

It did not take long to crack with former skipper Jon Wilkin, who has made a strong start to the season, powering through an opening after a well-worked moved with Kyle Amor after another penalty had taken the visitors close to the Huddersfield line.

For huge parts of the remainder of the half the Fartowners monopolised the ball – pressing the Saints line, winning drop outs through the kicking game of their feisty marshal Danny Brough.

For the best part of 20 minutes Saints repelled them before Brough himself managed to spin inside Luke Douglas’ despairing tackle as they tried to get number to their their left edge.

Brough’s goal made it 6-6, but Danny Richardson nudged Saints back in front after Seb Ikahihifo had been penalised for holding down.

Huddersfield levelled again when Alex Walmsley was pinged in the tackle.

After being on the back foot for most of the half, Saints hit the Giants with a real sickener before the break.

Jake Mamo failed to deal with Richardson's restart to give Saints a much-needed set on the Giants line.

They did not need asking twice, with Roby looking one way but going another with the Giants defence parting like the Red Sea.

If that was a sickener for the hosts, Saints rubbed their noses in it by getting control of the game in the second half.

Two assists from rejuvenated half Jonny Lomax created the tries – one with a pass the other with the boot as Saints moved clear.

The first saw Zeb Taia, another player who has made a fine start to the season, run a food line to take Lomax's pass and power over.

Then Lomax took the high kick out of his skills locker, with Mark Percival doing a smash and grab raid on the hapless Mamo, leaving him in his as he sauntered to the line.

Although Oliver Roberts gave Huddersfield a slender toe-hold in the game when he powered over from close range there was only ever going to be one winner in this clash with no further score in the last quarter.

Saints – especially the large and vocal travelling support, who kept singing despite the freezing conditions – will take positives from this clash, even if it won’t appear in the end of season highlights reel.

Again there was a good, strong performance from Luke Thompson and in the second row 80-minute man Taia has started the year stronger and sharper.

And the way they kept their line intact – despite wave after wave of attack – emboldened them and must have demoralised the opposition.

The performance with the ball will give something to work on and tweak, but it always good to be working on those aspects with another W in the column.

Huddersfield: Mamo, McGillvary, Gaskell, Turner, Murphy, Rankin,

Brough, Ta'ai, O'Brien, Clough, Roberts, Ferguson, Hinchcliffe.

Subs: Leeming, Walne, Smith, Ikahihifo.

St Helens: Barba, Swift, Makinson, Percival, Grace, Lomax,

Richardson, Amor, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, Wilkin.

Subs: Fages, Walmsley, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas.