STANLEY GENE went from hero to villain as the Giants' hopes of completing a Super League double over Wigan were dashed.
After a distinctly dodgy start by Huddersfield, the skilful Papuan was at the heart of a second-half fightback which took them to within four points of their hosts.
But as the Giants pushed for a fourth touchdown, Gene trampled over compatriot Adrian Lam at a 57th-minute play-the-ball.
The visitors' momentum was lost as Wigan were awarded a penalty which provided the platform for Danny Sculthorpe to go over and restore home control.
While Gene's teammate James Evans insisted Lam was caught unintentionally after he failed to get out of the way, coach Jon Sharp did a reasonable Arsene Wenger impression by insisting he hadn't seen the incident.
From the press box, it looked a clear-enough offence, and Sharp will be today sweating on a communication from the Rugby League after Gene was put on report by referee Steve Ganson.
Second row Ben Roarty had suffered a similar fate after a first-half skirmish, and bans are something the McAlpine coach could well do without given his current injury problems and the prospect of a visit to Bradford Bulls on Sunday.
Already without key quartet Brandon Costin, Darren Turner, Julian Bailey and Paul Reilly, who damaged his ankle in training on Saturday, Sharp was forced to draft Jon Grayshon onto the bench after Paul Smith suffered a recurrence of a shoulder injury during the warm-up at the JJB Stadium.
Even worse was to follow when scrum half Paul March, who in the absence of Costin would have had even more responsibility for ball carrying, was helped off with a calf strain after just 90 seconds.
Just to complete Sharp's misery, Grayshon limped off after taking a knock to the shin late on.
March suffered his injury during early pressure on the Wigan line, when Stuart Donlan, playing full-back in place of Reilly, came close to crossing.
But as the Giants reshuffled in the absence of March (first Paul White, then Sean Penkywicz had stints at scrum half), Wigan took advantage to open the scoring in the sixth minute through Andy Farrell, who barged over after neat footwork by Kris Radlinski.
Farrell was unable to add the extras, but successfully converted all six of his side's other tries.
White halved the home lead with a 10th-minute penalty after Terry O'Connor went on report for a high tackle on Roarty.
But Wigan went 10-2 up in the 16th minute when Radlinski dived under the posts as Lam's neat kick sat up perfectly.
Huddersfield were making inroads into Wigan territory, and Donlan again threatened after Farrell's knock-on gave away a scrum 40 metres out.
But the home side looked far more penetrative, and stretched their lead in the 23rd minute when after hooker Phil Joseph lost possession, the ball was worked upfield for Lam and Gary Connolly to combine and put Brett Dallas over wide out left.
Former Castleford stand-off Danny Orr was the architect of the fourth try, on the half hour, surging from his own half through a big gap to give Dallas the chance to outpace the Giants defence and go in by the posts.
Visiting fans in a 9,162 crowd finally had something to shout about when White set off an a piercing run in the 33rd minute.
Wigan survived that time, but conceded three minutes later when prop Mick Slicker took Gene's pass to force his way through the posts for White to convert.
It was the sixth time on which the Giants had exerted pressure inside the home 20, and Wigan were rocking after being breached twice more by the 51st minute.
Both loose-forward Chris Nero and Penkywicz went close before former Canberra Raiders centre Evans claimed his first try for the Giants in the 47th minute after clever interplay with the lively White, who had made the initial break from his own half.
White added the extras, and again converted in the 51st minute after Gene broke to feed Nero, who oupaced the home defence.
Wigan's lead had been whittled down from 20 points to just four, and they looked suitably worried.
But Gene's foul roused the home fans and gave their team purpose as well as possession.
Sculthorpe got on the end of hooker Terry Newton's chip through in the 59th minute.
Then in the 64th, Radlinski raced onto Lam's pass after Wigan elected to run a penalty rather than go for goal.
It was Radlinski's 112th try in Super League, making him the competition's highest scorer.
After Gareth Hock's good work, Orr sprinted through for the final try after 67 minutes.