IT was far from being a vintage Huddersfield Giants’ display.
But this stuttering, unconvincing performance was still more than good enough to see off plucky strugglers Celtic Crusaders and chalk up a sixth success from eight starts to remain in Super League’s top three.
With coach Nathan Brown’s men such red-hot favourites to triumph, they were always on something of a hiding to nothing.
And with the Crusaders producing a highly creditable first-half defensive display it had all the makings of an evening of real frustration.
In fact, visiting coach John Dixon admitted the score at the interval could have been absolutely anything against his side.
Yet as it was, the Giants were restricted to just a 12-0 interval lead after initially setting about their task in a manner which suggested they might be capable of rattling up a cricket score.
Within minutes they had made their intentions clear, forcing Celtic to drop out from under their own posts.
Pressure was exerted from that point and Martin Aspinwall was held up over the line moments later.
But within six minutes the Giants had hit the front as good approach work enabled stand-off Kevin Brown to feed winger David Hodgson to score in the corner and Brett Hodgson to add the touchline conversion.
Despite continuing to dominate, with the Crusaders restricted to just one foray inside Giants territory on the back of a Huddersfield error, the home side were unable to extend their lead until 19 minutes later.
Both Brown and Danny Kirmond had just been denied by last-ditch tackles before Brown kicked through on the last play of a set of six for David Hodgson to touch down just before ball ran dead.
Again Brett Hodgson landed the goal from the touchline to put the home side in complete control.
Second-rower Andy Raleigh was the next to be held up on the line as the Giants pressure continued, but with the hosts looking as if they wanted to score off every play several chances were ‘bombed’ and they were unable to add to their opening tally.
And to add to the growing sense of frustration, the Crusaders were the first to strike just three minutes after the restart when Adam peek crossed after the Giants’ defence had been unable to deal effectively with a high downfield kick.
Josh Hannay was unable to convert, and normal service appeared to have been resumed five minutes later as Huddersfield added converted try No3.
Brett Hodgson was at the heart of the score, stabbing a ball through to cause confusion in the visitors’ defence and create the chance for Liam Fulton to score on his debut.
The Crusaders hit back for a second time when Anthony Blackwood finished off a fine sweeping move for Hannay to add the goal.
At 18-10, some of the alarm bells started to ring.
But the Giants again stepped up a gear to dominate the remainder of the proceedings.
With 14 minutes to go, Brown put the game beyond the Welshmen’s reach by dummying over from 10m out to extend the advantage to 14 points.
And in the 79th minute Michael Lawrence put the icing on the cake by collecting a loose ball and charging over from close range.