HUDDERSFIELD Giants' Super League X honeymoon is over after just two games!
A shambolic first-half display helped gift Hull two League points and burst the bubble of optimism that had enveloped Huddersfield after the emphatic opening-day victory at Leigh.
For the opening 60 minutes of a highly uncomfortable Galpharm encounter, the Giants were totally outclassed.
They struggled to hold their opponents in defence and hold the ball in attack - and the outcome was inevitable.
To be honest, it was just a good job that Hull `bombed' several chances, with new signing Nathan Blacklock wasting three golden opportunities to add to his eventual hat trick of tries.
The Giants did at least show their character by running in three late tries to give the final scoreline a more respectable look.
But it couldn't hide the fact that, overall, coach Jon Sharp still has a tremendous amount of hard work to do to make his team serious top six play-off contenders.
It's possible the ease of last week's win at Leigh made the Giants ill-prepared to meet the challenge of a Hull side who arrived in town on the back of an intense work-out against Leeds Rhinos.
In the match at Leigh, Sharp's side were relatively untroubled on defence and spent little time having to worry about tackling opponents on their own line.
Against Hull, however, they were put under intense pressure inside their own 20 and were caught alarmingly short.
The home side also weren't helped by their willingness to hand the ball to their visitors, with two of Blacklock's three tries having come via interceptions.
Within five minutes that process had got under way as the returning Chris Thorman's long pass on his own 20 was gathered by Blacklock who did the rest.
Paul Cooke's conversion made it 6-0, and he repeated the act just four minutes later as Peter Lupton broke from deep to feed Tom Saxton to score try No2.
Chris Chester made it 16-0 in the 13th minute, strolling on to a short Cooke pass and cruising through a static defence in embarrassingly easy fashion.
It got even worse nine minutes later when Kirk Yeaman also crossed with the minimum of fuss and Cooke added the extras to extend the lead to an awful 22-0.
The game already seemed to be well beyond the Giants' grasp.
Fortunately, however, it was at that time that the Giants finally began to find their feet, suggesting there may be something in the theory that the Leigh game the week before was the worst possible preparation to face Hull.
Suddenly, their defence began to tighten up and the ball control improved.
Within minutes of Blacklock failing to hold a potential Richard Horne tryscoring pass on halfway, Thorman had kicked ahead on the sixth tackle for substitute Eorl Crabtree to score between the posts.
Thorman converted and at 22-6 at the break, all hope had not been lost.
A Cooke penalty within a minute of the restart after Ben Roarty had been placed on-report for leading with the elbow didn't bode well.
But in the 47th minute, Chris Nero charged to the line and fed substitute Paul White to race away for the first of his two tries and it was 24-10.
Unfortunately, it was then that the Giants hit the self destruct button once again.
A communication breakdown from the Hull restart forced the Giants to drop-out and almost immediately Danny Hill raced away to give Blacklock his second try.
And in the 53rd minute, a Paul March pass on Hull's 20 was intercepted by Blacklock who outpaced Stuart Donlan to complete his hat trick.
At 36-10, the game was well and truly over.
But at least the Giants gave the fans in an encouraging crowd of 6,610 a departing gift of three late unanswered tries.
Thorman set the ball rolling, plunging over from acting half-back from close range in the 58th minute and then adding the conversion.
That lead was almost decreased nine minutes later when Blacklock brilliantly knocked the ball out of Donlan's hand as he attempted to score after superb approach play from Brad Drew.
But following the sin-binning of Hull captain Richard Swain for disputing a refereeing decision in the 71st minute, the Giants grabbed two great late tries.
Within a minute of Swain's departure Donlan capitalised on a Lupton fumble and raced in to score in the corner.
Thorman's conversion went in off the post.
And with three minutes left, White showed his amazing pace to round the Hull defence with ease and touch down for another converted try.
What a crying shame that they had to leave it so late to prove what they can do!
* The Giants Senior Academy side got off to a winning start with a 30-12 triumph in their grading fixture at Castleford Tigers - full details tomorrow.