HUDDERSFIELD Giants' dream of Super League play-off glory has now been finally shattered.
Last night's narrow 21-20 defeat at Wakefield was enough to confirm the Wildcats in sixth spot.
Wakefield's superior points difference meant the final play-off berth was virtually nailed on a week ago.
But that failed to soften the blow for disappointed coach Jon Sharp, who had been determined to cling on to his club's fading play-off hopes until the very last minute.
"We've been battling for sixth spot with Wakefield all season, and it would have been good to have taken it to the final day of the season to be officially confirmed," he said.
"But the fact we haven't was certainly not down to a lack of effort last night.
"Overall, I genuinely felt we were the better side.
"We proved again we are a team full of battlers who never give up, and I felt we deserved far more than we got.
"I feel very disappointed for the boys that they didn't get anything from the game. It was through no real fault of their own. The major problem is that it is difficult playing with just 12 men at vital stages of the game, and as a result the fatigue factor played a part.
"But what we have to do now is put the disappointment behind us and put on a show against Salford next Sunday."
Julian Bailey, however, faces an anxious wait after being placed on report for a challenge on David Solomona. It will be viewed by the RFL disciplinary panel on Monday.
Meanwhile, several clubs have already shown an interest in Hefin O'Hare and Phil Joseph, whose names have now been widely circulated by their agents. The duo's Giants contracts expire in November.