HUDDERSFIELD Giants have sent another clear message to their main rivals that they mean business – only this time in the Challenge Cup!
Having won five of their opening seven Super League fixtures, coach Nathan Brown’s side opened their Cup campaign in equally impressive style.
An opening assignment away to fellow Super League rivals Quins clearly had the potential to end a Giants’ Wembley Challenge Cup dream at the first hurdle.
A week earlier Harlequins had won at home to Hull, and in their previous fixture at The Stoop they had thrashed star-studded Warrington Wolves 60-8 in a mesmerising attacking display.
But the Quins found coach Nathan Brown’s men a completely different proposition.
It’s true that Huddersfield had thrashed the men from the capital 46-6 at the Galpharm in their Super League showdown just 13 days before.
However, few would surely have ever imagined the Giants would have been almost as destructive on this Cup return.
But within minutes it was clear a repeat could be on the cards.
Almost immediately, the Giants’ pack was in command and half-backs Luke Robinson and Kevin Brown were pulling the attacking strings.
It was no surprise, therefore, when Brown fed stand-out prop Keith Mason to charge 10m for the opening try after just six minutes and for Brett Hodgson to land the first of his four goals.
It was, however, something of a surprise when Tony Clubb raced 40 metres through several suspect tackles to score a try, converted by Danny Orr, under the posts.
To say it had come against the run of play would have been a complete understatement, although the Giants wasted little time punishing their hosts for having the audacity to draw level!
Four minutes later Huddersfield had regained a lead they never looked like losing when the excellent Robinson showed great footwork to plunge over from close range.
Hodgson again converted and then followed up five minutes later after Robinson had raced away down the blindside to feed David Hodgson to finish off.
Eorl Crabtree was denied a 28th-minute try when Brett Hodgson’s scoring pass was ruled forward.
But on the stroke of half-time, Brown and Brett Hodgson combined superbly to send Stephen wild charging over and make it 24-6 at the break.
Unfortunately, for the shell-shocked Quins, the interval did little to change their fortunes.
Within a minute of the restart the Giants were over again as Paul Whatuira neatly slipped the ball out of the tackle for David Hodgson to add his second try in the corner.
And 15 minutes later strong breaks from substitutes Danny Kirmond and Shaun Lunt create the position for Luke Robinson to dummy his way over in the corner, and it was 32-6.
With the Giants appearing to take their foot of the gas, with attentions already possibly turning to Friday’s home Super League clash against Celtic Crusaders, Quins did enjoy a purple patch.
First, Karl Temata crossed by the posts on the hour and then five minutes later David Howell charged over in the corner.
But, again, those scores galvanised the Giants and they ended the contest as strongly as they started it.
With six minutes remaining, Crabtree opened up the defence for Whatuira to race 40m for a superb solo try and four minutes later Wild raced away to feed to the supporting Brett Hodgson to score under the posts for David Hodgson to goal.