HUDDERSFIELD Giants are through to the fifth round of the Challenge Cup for the first time in four years.
After being dumped out of the competition in round four at Doncaster Dragons in 2002 and then suffering an even more embarrassing exit at Hunslet 12 months later, the Giants have finally taken their place in the last 16 again.
But they were made to battle all the way for victory after being placed under genuine pressure by some brave French resistance.
After racing over for two tries inside the opening five minutes to lead 12-0, the Giants found themselves pegged back and by the 41st minute were holding onto a slender 20-16 advantage.
It was only what Pia deserved after player-coach Craig Field had come off the bench to breathe new life into his French teammates and make life shaky for their Super League hosts.
Quite clearly, getting off to such a dream start did the Giants few favours, with a touch of complacency having crept into their play.
But in the end, the extra pace, power and intensity of competing in the top-flight of British rugby league saved the day and a comfortable final victory margin was achieved.
Pia had shown, however, that the standard of the French game is definitely improving.
Their 22-20 triumph at Barrow in round three proved that, as too did the fact that fellow French side UTC won at Hull KR at the same stage of the competition and then pushed Castleford all the way at the weekend before falling 32-20.
And then there's Limoux, who take their place in tonight's fifth-round draw after beating Halifax 19-18.
Fortunately, the Giants were not on the receiving end of a similar French farce, with the opening stages of the McAlpine clash suggesting Pia were about to live up to their nickname of the `Donkeys!'
After 90 seconds, Stanley Gene had cut through the heart of the Pia defence to send Marcus St Hilaire racing over for the first of his two tries under the posts.
Brandon Costin added the conversion and was following suit in the fifth minute when a Paul March `bomb' to the corner failed to be defused and the scrum half was able to follow up and get the vital touch.
Two close calls on the Giants' line suggested Pia may have something to offer.
But when man-of-the-match St Hilaire and Roarty combined to send Gene charging over by the posts in the 23rd minute, it looked even more ominous for the French.
Yet this wasn't taking into account the spirit of the continentals.
Almost immediately from the restart, a crunching double hit on winger Hefin O'Hare - he was forced to leave the field as a result, although he was to return later - made the ball come loose and hand Pia possession.
Within seconds the ball was whipped out by the impressive Field and winger Nicolas Atheil was racing over in the corner.
French international winger Sebastien Tarrado added a superb touchline conversion and his side had been handed a much-needed lift.
Even though Huddersfield quickly hit back with a try from Ben Cooper after good work from Roarty and Gene, the Giants were unable to shake off the French.
With Costin once again struggling with his goalkicking and failing to find the target with two relatively straightforward conversion attempts, Pia were still only 14 points adrift.
And by the break that lead had been cut to eight as internationals Maxime Greseque and Lawrence Raleigh sent Tarrado racing over for a try in the corner, which he again converted magnificently.
But the unease inside the home camp grew even greater within a minute of the restart.
Costin's kick-off went out on the full, and from Pia's next set the position had been created for Tarrado to add try No2.
Fortunately for the Giants, he was unable to land another touchline goal, but at 20-16 the game was hanging in the balance.
It was now, however, that St Hilaire took the decisive role to signal a Giants' victory charge and earn the man-of-the-match award in the process.
An initial break from March in the 45th minute made it possible, taking play away from the home side's line.
When St Hilaire received March's pass close to the right wing, he backed his pace to beat the cover and then outpace full-back Craig West to race over and run round between the posts to give Costin an easy goal.
That strike was to signal the end of the French resistance.
Four minutes later a floated Ben Roarty pass was collected by the on-rushing Stuart Jones to grab his second try in two games.
And with Karl Jaavuo in the sin-bin for interference, St Hilaire set up Paul Reilly for a 56th-minute long-range try, which March converted in the absence of the substituted Costin.
Even the sin-binning of Roarty couldn't stop the flow, with Stuart Donlan grabbing his first for the club and Roarty returning from the bin to score two late tries thanks to powerful work from Mick Slicker to bring up the 50-point mark and give a final scoreline that did little justice to the way Pia had played.