HUDDERSFIELD Giants' Super League play-off dream is over.
Last night's 26-18 defeat at Castleford Tigers leaves the McAlpine men three points adrift of the top six with just three games to play and Huddersfield are also reeling from a serious facial injury suffered by star performer Stanley Gene.
Huddersfield needed to win all four of their matches to sustain a realistic chance of securing a play-off spot.
But last night's defeat means that chance has now almost certainly gone.
And to make matters worse, the Giants could face the rest of the season without several of their most influential stars.
Main strike weapon Stanley Gene was today undergoing a medical check for a suspected fractured cheekbone suffered during last night's match, while influential Steve McNamara is having a shoulder checked out.
And the Giants obviously now face a worry over rock-solid prop Jim Gannon who faces a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday after being sent off for a high tackle on Nathan Sykes.
That made last night a costly and agonising affair for Giants coach Tony Smith, although he still refuses to admit defeat on the play-off front.
"We can't say for sure at this stage whether that's it with the play-offs," said the Australian.
"We're obviously disappointed to have lost last night, but we'll simply move on and prepare for the next game and then the one after that. Then we'll see where we are.
"But it looks like we'll be doing it tough for the rest of the year.
"I can't really comment too much on Jim Gannon's sending off, but I don't think it's as significant a problem as the potential injury to Stanley Gene."