FANTASTIC Huddersfield Giants have sent out a clear Super League message that they mean business!
The fact coach Jon Sharp's side have secured wins over early-season strugglers Castleford and Widnes had not confirmed the Giants as serious top-flight contenders.
But all that has now changed following a blistering 80-minute destruction of Wigan Warriors.
Just six months ago, the Warriors were competing against Bradford Bulls in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford and appeared to be on the crest of a wave.
Yesterday, however, they were completely and utterly outclassed by a Giants side who dominated from start to finish.
Admittedly, Huddersfield did fall behind to a 19th-minute try from Danny Tickle.
But that had come against the run of play, and within four minutes the home side had taken a lead they never looked like losing.
By half-time they were 14-4 ahead and after the break the Giants did what was required to keep their noses in front.
The only disappointment - if that's the right word to use after such a magnificent win - was that the margin of victory wasn't greater.
A victory by 40 wouldn't have flattered Huddersfield at all.
Besides scoring four tries, they had a couple of others disallowed, were held up on the line around half-a-dozen times and on several other occasions broke clear but failed to finish off promising positions.
They forced Wigan to drop out from under their own posts five times, while the Warriors only briefly threatened to spoil the Giants' party.
But as well as being by far the better team, the home side were also far better as individuals.
Full-back Paul Reilly deservedly took the man-of-the-match award for a stunning display, totally ouplaying Great Britain No1 Kris Radlinski.
But it was easy to lose count of the many others that must also have been in the running for the individual honour.
Take former Wigan second-rower Stuart Jones for starters.
He was desperate to prove a point after being released by his hometown club 18 months ago, and did just that.
Not only did he score a 32nd-minute try that will have given him immense satisfaction, he also led the defensive effort.
The 22-year-old played only three-quarters of the game yet he still topped the tackle count with 34 and worked wonders at softening up the Wigan attack.
In the backs, winger Hefin O'Hare produced his best performance of the season with some tremendous runs from deep and also some great defensive plays.
Centre Julian Bailey was also a real handful and is now producing his best form for the club, while isn't it good to see Brandon Costin starting to regain his full fitness?
He worked tirelessly attempting to make the Giants tick, and was no doubt given an extra spring in his step by being on hand to score his side's opening try.
That came after 23 minutes, with another in-form player, prop Mick Slicker, playing the pivotal role.
The front-rower drove the ball into the Wigan defence on the last tackle and attempted to slip the ball to a colleague.
Warriors stand-off Danny Orr tried to intercept, but instead knocked the ball straight into the path of Paul March who fed Costin to score under the posts.
March converted and the Giants were on their way.
Two minutes later a superb defensive play from Orr denied Stanley Gene after O'Hare's fantastic break from deep.
But a minute later March nudged his side further ahead with a penalty.
And it got even better eight minutes before the break.
Martin Aspinwall completely fumbled a relieving Giants kick, and Bailey took full advantage to take play to the Wigan line.
The ball was rapidly whipped out to the right for Gene and March to combine to send Jones diving in at the corner.
To add to the excitement March landed a magnificent touchline conversion to extend the lead to 10.
That advantage could have been increased on numerous occasions.
Just before the break Marcus St Hilaire was held up over the line and five minutes after the restart Chris Nero was forced into the corner flag as he attempted to score.
Another Radlinski trysaving tackle denied Bailey before the Giants finally gained their reward in the 55th minute.
A brilliant jinking run from Reilly took him to within inches of the Wigan line, and from the acting half-back position Darren Turner dived over in typical fashion to score a third converted Giants try.
Luke Robinson gave the visitors hope by kicking through for Brett Dallas to score a try with 14 minutes remaining, converted by Orr, to reduce the deficit to 20-10.
But the fitness of the Giants proved decisive as they hung on and sealed the game in the final seconds with Reilly's try after good work from Slicker.