HUDDERSFIELD Giants made a brief return to the top of Super League XVi with a hard-fought 28-20 triumph over battling Catalan Dragons.
But if they can build on the many positives of their match-winning performance against the in-form French, then spending far more time at the summit isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.
Yes, coach Nathan Brown’s men will need to play much better if they are to win at champions Wigan in the ‘Big One 3’ at the DW Stadium on Saturday.
And if they could do that, the Giants could again return to the top to replace Warrington Wolves, who won 46-16 at Hull KR to ensure Huddersfield’s latest time as leaders lasted under 24 hours.
But after getting the Wakefield horror show of the week before out of their system, Brown’s men can again start to look forward rather than back.
Huddersfield were boosted by the return of five regulars who sat out their shock defeat to the Wildcats, and they were the more inventive side, with Luke Robinson and Kevin Brown linking to great effect at half-back in the absence of the injured Danny Brough.
They were able to gain the upper hand thanks to another strong forward show to get the better of a Dragons’ pack that has been more than a match for most Super League opponents this season, hence an impressive record of just one top-flight defeat in their last 10 games before arriving at Huddersfield’s temporary Halifax home.
The Giants’ experienced props – Crabtree, Griffin and Mason – were all in dominant mood, while fit-again David Fa’alogo looks ready to terrorise opposition defences once again.
Dale Ferguson also made a top contribution after returning following a three-week injury lay-off with a back strain.
And it shouldn’t be too long before fellow second row forward, Australian Test star Luke O’Donnell, is ready to bring his significant impact back to the side after hamstring problems.
Exciting times indeed for Giants fans, and potentially far more exciting than what developed into a thrilling game against the Dragons.
Catalan trailed 22-8 after an hour but staged a tremendous fightback to set up a nerve-wracking finale.