HUDDERSFIELD Giants took one massive step back after taking two forward as they were emphatically beaten at home by the Bulls.
After ending their nightmare slump with successive wins against Catalan Dragons and Salford City Reds, Paul Anderson’s men came crashing back down to earth with an almighty bump.
The defeat means the Giants still need one more win to secure a place in the top eight Super League play-offs.
But on the evidence of this display, the thought of having to pick up the pieces at Warrington in 13 days’ time or at home to Leeds Rhinos isn’t an attractive one.
The home fans were quite rightly far from impressed with the way the game was handled by referee Thierry Alibert. His performance was erratic at best.
However, the Frenchman wasn’t the one dropping the ball at almost every opportunity, missing crucial tackles or giving away silly penalties.
Quite simply, the Bulls dominated from start to finish and thoroughly deserved their success, making their intentions clear straight from the start.
In the opening exchanges, the visitors had the better of it, forcing a Giants drop-out in the third minute and then seeing former Newsome Panthers junior Jason Crookes just fail to touch down from a grubber kick to the corner moments later.
But a minute later and on their first attack, Huddersfield took the lead.
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A strong Brett Ferres break put the Bulls on the back foot and seconds later Danny Brough and Greg Eden combined for Joe Wardle to show tremendous strength to touch down under heavy pressure. Brough converted and the Giants had made the prefect start.
Not that it affected their visitors, however.
Roared on by the best Bradford backing in years, the Bulls continued to be a real threat, with the Giants forced to defend their own line for their lives.
A superb Leroy Cudjoe cover tackle denied Crookes a certain try in the 11th minute, but six minutes later the visitors weren’t to be denied as Shaun Ainscough collected Karl Pryce’s pass to stroll over in the corner for Luke Gale to land the touchline goal.