ALLY BARBA REPAYS HIS SAINTS PALS
Drug shame Ben redeems himself
BEN BARBA cut a new style for St Helens to keep their Grand Final hopes alive.
The Aussie full-back – who served a 12-match ban after testing positive for cocaine – had endured a stuttering start to his Saints career.
A sluggish display in defeat at Wakefield left some questioning his high-profile signing, but he answered his critics in style.
The 28-year-old caused the Huddersfield defence headaches all night, creating a try and brilliantly scoring one.
With Jonny Lomax looking much more at home at stand-off than he did in defeat to Wigan two weeks ago, Saints suddenly appear much more realistic Old Trafford contenders.
They still have to rely on results elsewhere this weekend and next, but are now up to fourth and could yet stage an unlikely title challenge if Barba and Lomax continue to shine.
Lomax opened the scoring against a flat Giants side when he touched down a clever kick from Danny Richardson.
Then Barba split the visitors’ defence to send Regan Grace over, before Huddersfield’s sole first-half response through their best player Oliver Roberts.
But they were 18 points adrift at the break as Lomax dummied over for his second and Mark Percival strolled through a big hole, slotting both conversions.
Barba was on the scoresheet two minutes after the restart, darting through a gap and winning the race to the corner in a style reminiscent of his NRL heydays.
The game was over as a contest when Dominique Peyroux put Ryan Morgan in.
Saints eased off in the final quarter, allowing the Giants to add two further tries through Ryan Hinchcliffe and Jordan Rankin.
But at the end Louie McCarthy S cars brook had the final say for Saints – and focus now shifts to Thursday’s trip to Salford.
GO JONNY Lomax touches down at Saints bring the Giants to their knees