IT'S been a frustrating start to Stuart Donlan's life as a Giant.
The 25-year-old centre began the season in the starting line-up, but was then relegated to the substititutes' bench to make way for the fit-again Brandon Costin.
Last month, however, Donlan regained his starting spot and everything looked to be back on track - until the Challenge Cup semi-final.
The former Leigh and Halifax man had played in every match - Super League and Challenge Cup - leading up to the last-four clash with St Helens.
But just an hour before he was due to play in the biggest game in his career, he was told by head coach Jon Sharp there would be no place for him in the 17.
To say it was a hammer blow was an understatement.
Yet his response was magnificent.
Restored to the starting line-up at Warrington the following Sunday, Donlan was one of the stars of the show, helping the Giants secure a superb 26-20 triumph to remain firmly in the top six.
It was a performance that impressed Sharp, who in the week leading up to the game had praised his threequarter for the way he handled his massive semi-final setback.
And it was an effort that delighted the man himself.
"Not making the semi-final side was a massive blow," reflected the Lancashire County of Origin star.
"We'd had a good build-up to the game and I thought a bench spot would be mine.
"But just an hour before kick-off Jon took me to one side and said he wanted to go with four forwards on the bench.
"I was bitterly disappointed, which I'm sure Jon could tell.
"And there were two ways I could have taken it. I could have gone into a corner and sulked, or I could have gone around helping to encourage my teammates as they prepared for the game.
"I chose the latter, because I saw no point in sulking.
"This is a squad game, with every member of that squad having a role to play, whether they are in the 17 or not.
"It's frustrating missing out on a game or spending a lot of time on the bench. For a start, it means your match fitness goes up and down.
"But, overall, I'm still loving it here and I've no regrets about coming.
"As long as I'm featuring in some way or other on a regular basis I'll be happy."
Donlan's season at the McAlpine is certainly in stark contrast to his life at Halifax a year ago.
Donlan and Giants teammate Sean Penkywicz were both at The Shay as Fax lost 27 of their 28 Super League games.
The centre missed a fair chunk of that doomed season because of a serious thumb injury which required surgery.
But he was a main player in their only win - a 26-22 triumph at London Broncos on the opening day of the campaign.
And that's added to his excitement as the Giants prepare to play the Broncos in the capital tomorrow.
"Last year was incredibly tough, and a different world to what I'm experienceing with Huddersfield right now," added Donlan.
"But our opening-day win at London was superb.
"I helped set up the opening try, which obviously put us on the road to victory.
"For that reason I've got very fond memories of Griffin Park, and I hope it's a similar story tomorrow.
"I've got a lot of mates in London who are coming to the game.
"I hope to catch up with them after I've scored a try and helped the Giants win another match. That would be fantastic.
"London will make it tough for us, but we know we can do it."