The Huddersfield Giants’ faithful had a glimpse into the future and, overall, were largely encouraged by what they saw.

Huddersfield were always going to struggle by fielding a side with four players making their Super League debuts and a further four having just one senior appearance each under their belt.

And the fact the average age of the squad was just over 20 made it even less of a surprise that they failed to deal physically with the Bulls and shipped in over a half-century of points.

Having said that, a final margin of defeat of 52 points was pretty cruel on a young Giants side that never once thought about rolling out the white flag.

In fact, in the likes of the four Super League debutants – Jake Connor, Jack Miller, Nathan Mason and Jack Blagborough – the kids gave it as good a go as anyone could have realistically have expected.

Teenage prop Blagborough, for example, was a revelation, showing no fear at all about running straight into the big Bulls pack, while there were a number of glimpses from Connor to show why everyone at the Huddersfield Giants rates him so high. The way he took his try was a delight in itself.

 

But there was always a fear the youngsters would run out of steam, particularly when the ‘senior’ men departed the scene late on.

That process began with the 51st minute loss of Ukuma Ta’ai with his badly split lip, while David Faiumu was used relatively sparingly and acting captain Michael Lawrence was rested for the final quarter.

That’s when a lot of the damage was done, with the Bulls scoring 24 points in the last 20 minutes.

They were scores that ruined what up until then had been a promising effort from the Super League rookies, with the opening exchanges suggesting this could end up being a pretty special night.

The visitors’ start to the contest couldn’t have been any stronger as they immediately put Bradford onto the back foot and forced a Bulls’ goal line drop-out from their first attacking set.

But from the moment Jarrod Sammut collected a Kyle Wood kick to the corner on the sixth tackle and raced away to open the scoring against the run of play after those six highly-encouraging minutes, the momentum began to swing and the Giants had no answer.

Jamie Foster landed the first of his conversions, and the Bulls were on their way.

The hosts doubled their advantage 10 minutes later when another Sammut break paved the way for Keith Lulia to stroll over in the corner.

Only a magnificent defensive play from Ta’ai denied Matt Diskin a try in the 22nd minute.

But that only delayed the inevitable, with the Bulls charging over for try No3 shortly after as more pressure on the struggling Huddersfield right-side defence gave Lulia his second on his final Bradford appearance.

A Sammut 40-20 then paved the way for Danny Addy to slice through with ease on the half hour, before Foster squeezed in at the corner four minutes later to make it 28-0 at the break.

The half-time interval brought little respite for the struggling visitors as Sammut raced over for his second within 55 seconds of the restart.

Fortunately, Huddersfield were able to find a positive response, with good Bradford tryline defence required to deny Mason and Jacob Fairbank.

But they weren’t to be denied in the 49th minute when Connor came into the line and showed greet feet and strength to glide through for a superb solo try, converted confidently by Jack Miller.

Huddersfield then had several other promising moments during what was a bright spell – until Sammut completed his hat trick on the hour mark and Foster converted to bring up the 40-point mark for the Bulls.

Sammut added his fourth with 12 minutes remaining when he pounced on Foster’s grubber and Elliot Kear finished in the opposite corner to bring up the half-century five minutes later.

And in the closing moments Lulia completed his hat trick by charging over with ease, and Foster converted from the touchline to make it nine goals from 10 to complete the scoring.

Yes, it would have been good for the Giants to end the regular season with a win, but in terms of the bigger picture it wasn’t the end of the world.