BITTERLY disappointing Huddersfield Giants felt the full force of a Bradford Bulls backlash as they were destroyed by a 10-try blitz.
Hopes were high ahead of kick-off that the in-form Giants could secure a first Super League victory over the Bulls.
While Huddersfield were feeling in buoyant mood after disposing of Wigan the week before, Bradford were smarting from an unexpected defeat at Warrington.
All the signs suggested this could be the Giants' day.
But instead, the visitors were hit by a Bulls side determined to get their Super League challenge back on track - and nothing was going to get in their way!
By the 26th minute, the home side had opened up a 20-0 lead and, instead of victory, the Giants were focusing on damage limitation in a return to their gloomy old Super League days.
It was almost incredible to believe that this Bradford side had already been beaten five times this season as they cut their visitors apart at will.
Unfortunately for the Giants, this was the Bulls producing by far their best performance of the season.
And what a shame it was that Huddersfield should choose this same day to produce a below-par performance!
The exciting spark that has been so apparent in recent displays was sadly lacking as the Giants struggled from start to finish to get into their stride.
So, the outcome was inevitable, with the scene set within the opening 12 minutes.
In that time, Lesley Vainikolo had twice crossed for tries as the Bulls raced into an 8-0 lead.
And, in truth, it could have been even worse, with the Giants twice forced to drop-out from under their posts and Michael De Vere having to work overtime to hold Stuart Reardon up over the tryline during that torrid opening.
De Vere almost brought the Giants back into the contest when he looked about to score in the 19th minute, but then had the ball knocked from his grasp by a superb Michael Withers' tackle.
Unfortunately, that was just the warning signal the Bulls required as they responded by crossing for two scores in the next seven minutes to take an even tighter grip on the contest.
First, Reardon scored in the corner and then Karl Pratt touched down, and with Iestyn Harris and Paul Deacon adding the goals, the lead was up to 20.
With smarter execution and a little more luck, De Vere, Chris Nero, Stuart Jones, Paul March and Marcus St Hilaire could all have cut the deficit before the break.
But any thoughts of a miracle fightback were extinguished within 10 minutes of the restart.
In that time, Robbie Paul, Jamie Langley and Lee Radford helped extend the Bulls lead to 36-0 and damaged limitation was very much the Giants' name of the game.
Luckily, however, Huddersfield were the next to strike as De Vere dummied through the Bulls defence and crossed by the posts to score his first try for the club.
He then converted and it was 36-6.
Bradford quickly hit back with Vainikolo completing his hat trick before De Vere and Stanley Gene combined for Gene to cross.
And in the closing moments Stuart Fielded and Reardon grabbed tries nine and 10 to complete a miserable afternoon.
* Huddersfield's Senior Academy side were beaten 42-14 by a strong Widnes Vikings side.
But the Junior Academy clash between the Giants and Bradford Bulls, which was supposed to be a curtain-raiser to yesterday's Odsal Super League clash was postponed due to heavy rain in the build-up to the game.
It was felt the pitch was not capable of staging the contest just ahead of the Super League game.