HUDDERSFIELD Giants’ Super League season hit a new low with a thoroughly depressing performance in the South of France.
Just six days after destroying Hull KR 50-16 at the Galpharm, the Giants came crashing down to earth in the most demoralising fashion.
All the commitment, power and passion that had been so evident against Rovers was nowhere to be seen as the visitors simply rolled over to give the Dragons the easiest of rides.
Catalans are certainly not a bad side, with the victory taking them back up to second in the Super League ladder.
But again, their task was made so much easier because of their visitors’ generous streak.
Two weeks ago as the Giants crashed out of the Challenge Cup at Hull KR, they were guilty of hitting the self-destruct button with unbelievable regularity.
And against Catalans on Saturday night, it was a classic case of ‘deja vu’, as the natives of Perpignan might say.
Quite simply, the Giants were again their own worst enemy, gifting the opposition possession at almost every opportunity.
In other words, the Dragons didn’t have to work too hard to create scoring positions, they just waited for the visitors to make mistakes and then capitalised on them.
By the time Catalans had cruised into a 14-0 lead after a nightmare 11 minutes, Huddersfield had already shown their ability to commit rugby league suicide.
In that time, they had failed to find touch with a penalty from inside their own half, spilt the ball in their own territory several times and given away several needless penalties.
On top of that, it was 28 minutes before the Giants ventured inside the Catalans 10m area for the first time, with an effective end product never looking like coming.
So, the end result was inevitable.
Thomas Bosc set the ball rolling with a fifth-minute penalty before the Dragons grabbed the first of their eight tries three minutes later.
Having forced the Giants to drop-out from under their own posts, the platform was quickly laid for Clint Greenshields to plunge over for the first of his two scores.
And three minutes later, more poor Giants play had enabled Gregory Mounis to extend his side’s lead to 14 points, with Bosc landing both conversions.
Fortunately, a Dimitri Pelo effort was wiped out after 20 minutes for obstruction.
But there was to be no denying the powerful French winger nine minutes before the break as he collected a superb long Sebastien Raguin pass in acres of space before strolling over.
Bosc’s conversion made it 20-0 and the writing was already on the wall.
And it was pretty clear, there was going to be little change after the break.
Almost immediately, Catalans were straight back on the attack, with Jamal Fakir just losing the ball over the line.
But seven minutes later, the Dragons were not to be denied as they scored the first of their five second-half tries in the space of a horror 18-minute spell.
It was Fakir who was the first to strike, making no mistake with the touchdown at the second attempt after the Giants had once again squandered possession.
Five minutes later, the home side were over again.
Although Jamahl Lolesi had tracked back superbly to deny Bosc, who had intercepted a loose Luke Robinson pass on halfway, the Giants were stretched wide open.
And within two plays Bosc’s kick to the corner was collected with ease by the unopposed John Wilson.It was now 32-0.
However, the nightmare was still far from over.
In the 61st minute, the ball was smartly worked out to the right for Justin Murphy to squeeze in at the corner and two minutes later a high bomb was collected by Remi Casty to score by the posts.
Then in the 67th minute a strong Raguin charge set up Greenshields for his second, with Bosc’s conversion completing the scoring.
The Giants did force Catalans into making a goal-line drop-out with eight minutes remaining, but in truth they never really looked like scoring.
It was a pretty bad day earlier in the season when the Giants were ‘nilled’ at Harlequins (24-0).
Unfortunately, this defeat played out in front of so many fans who had come that much further to lend their support was ten times worse!