SAINTS boss Kristian Woolf was pleased to see his side overcome the early loss of Tommy Makinson and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook to reach the Challenge Cup semi-final.

Three Regan Grace tries, one from Mark Percival plus goals from Lachlan Coote and a drop from Theo Fages saw Saints home 23-18 against a stubborn Huddersfield Giants side.

It was a challenging encounter and they had to shuffle the side when Makinson went off in the opening minutes with a re-occurrence of the foot injury that had kept him out for the last two weeks.

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He was joined on the sidelines by prop McCarthy-Scarsbrook midway through the first half, which meant some players had to play bigger minutes than normal and there was adjustments in the pack with skipper James Roby playing a large part of the second half at loose forward.

After going in 12-10 down at break Saints tackled the second half resolutely to regain control and see out the game on top.

Woolf said: “I am really proud of the second half effort.

“It is hard when you lose a winger in basically the first carry of the game.

“We had Jack Welsby on the bench, but we had a different plan for him – we didn’t plan for him to be replacing Tommy so early.

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“That rattled us and changed things a little bit, and then to lose Louie as well, meant that some blokes had to carry a bit more responsibility and play some more minutes.

“I thought that second half we were really tough and did a good job.”

Moving Roby to loose forward was not planned – but that worked well, with the skipper making a fine contribution in helping steer Saints home.

“We had to adjust things on the run,” he said.

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“Robes was outstanding tonight – he played 80 minutes and 25 of those at loose forward and was taking the hit ups and everything.”

Once again Saints’ attack was smothered with slow rucks limiting their ability to play fast – but eventually they fashioned opportunities to score out wide.

“Huddersfield defended really well and it was a very difficult, slow sort of game with the ruck as well which makes it really hard to score.

“But I thought we put those couple of tries together really well.

“Reegs was outstanding tonight – by his standards he has just been a little bit quiet this last couple of weeks.

“But tonight, on all three occasions when he got the ball in hand you just knew he was going to score.”

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Saints managed the second half well, and key to that was playing the game in the right end of the field – and they patiently kept chipping away at the Giants defence.

That in turn deprived Ian Watson’s men of good field position.

“We had a bit of a plan which we went into the game with and rotation was key to that, but we had to adjust a little bit on the run.

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“When you have blokes out there playing long minutes then you get a lot of fatigue – that is why I was proud of the second half with some blokes playing really busted and fatigued.

“It meant that we had to be really patient – what we couldn’t do is hand the ball over cheaply or in poor positions.

“I thought we did a good job in controlling the game – particularly in the circumstances.”

Pics: Bernard Platt