Sluggish Huddersfield Giants' unimpressive start to the season suffered another shattering set-back with a battering at the hands of fellow mid-table team Hull FC.
The Giants never recovered from a nightmare start as they conceded 20 points in as many minutes to finish another 2014 Super League encounter distinctly second best.
The Black and Whites haven’t been too good themselves so far this year, but they were made to look far better than they probably are by a Huddersfield side who are making a bad habit of hitting the self-destruct button at almost every turn.
It’s already becoming almost too painful to bear.
The opening 20 minutes were absolutely horrific.
Huddersfield gifted their hosts their opening three tries and then conceded a quality score to trail 20-0.
It was as unpleasant to watch as Sunday’s controversial Challenge Cup defeat to St Helens!
It looked ominous from the start as Chris Bailey required a couple of minutes on-field attention after taking a heavy head knock.
But it soon got even more painful for all concerned in the visitors’ corner.
In the third minute Scott Grix had the ball stripped out by Richard Whiting deep inside Giants’ territory and, on the next play, the ball was worked wide to Fetuli Talanoa to finish strongly in the corner.
Then, three minutes later, Danny Brough’s long pass failed to find a colleague, Joe Wardle attempted to keep the ball in play and it fell straight to Whiting to kick ahead, collect and score. Whiting failed to add both conversions, but made no mistake at the third attempt, converting Jordan Rankin’s try after Grix had punched Gareth Ellis after he had tackled a teammate.
And almost straight from the restart, Hull attacked from deep, with the ball passing through several pairs of hands for Danny Houghton to score under the posts.
It couldn’t have been any worse.
But, all of a sudden, the Giants finally awoke from their slumber and for the remainder of the half had slightly the better of the contest.
As a result, it was no surprise when they reduced the deficit after 27 minutes when Brough’s long, looping pass gave Jodie Broughton the chance to squeeze in at the corner.
Brough landed an excellent touchline conversion, and there was finally a brief chink of light.
An early Brough 40-20 suggested the Giants were ready to carry on from where they left off at the start of the opening period, particularly when Aaron Murphy came close to scoring his side’s second try after a strong run in the 46th minute.
But that promise was shattered two minutes later when Jacob Miller jumped highest to collect Rankin’s kick and Whiting converted to take Hull 20 points ahead again.
And on the hour the game was well and truly out of the Giants’ reach when Dean Hadley collected a grubber to touch down to make it 30-6.
To add to the night of frustration, Brough was sent to the sin-bin for punching Whiting, who also earned a 10-minute breather for his part in the flare-up as well.
That incident summed up what another bad day at the office it had been.
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