BADLY beaten Giants coach Jon Sharp was today looking to pick up the pieces after watching his side suffer another heavy Super League defeat.
A lack of strength in Sharp's squad was again cruelly exposed as St Helens cruised to a 50-8 victory last night to put added pressure on Huddersfield's hopes of securing a top six play-off spot.
This latest setback was the fourth time in a month the Giants have conceded 40 points against a rival top-six side, having lost 40-18 at Wigan, 40-12 at Bradford and 40-12 at Hull.
And Sharp admits the current McAlpine injury crisis, with six first-choice players forced to sit on the sidelines, is hitting his side hard.
"When we had our first 13 on the field last night there was nothing between the two sides, and an 8-8 score after 34 minutes was a fair reflection of the way the contest was going," said Sharp.
"But once we started picking up the knocks and we had to bring our young and inexperienced boys off the bench Saints blew us apart.
"That's no direct criticism of these players, it's just the harsh reality of playing against a side of the quality of St Helens and what they can do to you.
"Saints may also have had a couple of main players sidelined - although still not as many as us - but they have the strength to overcome such losses.
"Unfortunately, we're not yet at that stage.
"But even though we are doing it so tough right now, I am totally confident this team has the character to bounce back. They are a very proud bunch of players and this has hit them hard."