NEW head coach Paul Anderson already knew he faced a tough task to get the Giants back on track following last Monday’s departure of Nathan Brown.
But even he must have been handed another harsh reality check after watching his side fall away so alarmingly against Wakefield.
There were periods at the start of the first half and then in the opening to the second when it looked as if everything was finally starting to slot back into place.
But as soon as the Wildcats began to warm to the contest and assert pressure themselves, the self-doubt returned and the Giants became a shadow of their former selves.
From being 14-6 ahead after 50 minutes, Huddersfield just fell to pieces to concede five tries in the final half hour to finish badly beaten – and with their confidence once again left in tatters.
It couldn’t have been a worst start for Anderson, who had been so determined to shake up the side in a bid to try and re-discover a winning formula.
The Galpharm chief made his intentions clear from the start, making five changes from the side beaten by Warrington in last week's Challenge Cup semi-final.
Out went captain Kevin Brown, Jermaine McGillvary, Michael Lawrence and David Faiumu, with Luke George, Jason Chan, Tommy Lee and Jamie Cording stepping in. Then in the warm-up to the contest, 18th man Greg Eden was given the nod to come in for Aaron Murphy after the winger rolled an ankle.
There were also some notable positional switches, with captain-for-the-day Luke Robinson partnering Danny Brough at half-back and Chan back in his favoured second-row spot and Jacob Fairbank being handed the No13 slot.
But there was another big absence as Anderson resisted the temptation to bring in new signing Brett Ferres after the former Castleford man's move to the Galpharm on Friday afternoon. Having just one training session with his new teammates clearly counted against him.
Ferres must have been wondering in the opening exchanges, however, how or where he would get a game, with the Giants setting off like a house on fire. That thought would have obviously altered as the game progressed, of course!
The hosts looked eager and hungry and clearly determined to make the right impression on their new boss as their opening sets were highly impressive, with Scott Moore held on the Wakefield line on his side's first attack and several other moves also offering tremendous hope.
And before 10 minutes had been played Eden and Robinson were both unlucky not to have opening the scoring.
So it was almost inevitable when they finally opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Lee Smith spilled the ball when the Wildcats were on the attack. Scott Grix collected the loose ball and then weaved his way through heavy traffic before racing clear and finding Luke George to finish off in the corner.
Brough's conversion attempt hit a post and came out.
The Giants continued to look the major threat, but completely against the run of play the Wildcats took the lead after 24 minutes.
Click on the link below for match action pictures from the gameRelated content
Having held out the visitors for five tackles, Huddersfield were caught napping on the last when Tim Smith’s grubber was collected by Ben Cockayne to score and Paul Sykes converted.
All of a sudden, Wakefield were starting to look a threat.
In fact, they should have extended their lead four minutes before the break when good work from Peter Fox on his own line helped release Dean Collis, who look a certain scorer until Brough came across to produce a vital tackle.
That lifted the Giants, and on the stroke of half-time, they hit the front for a second time.
After great work to take the play downfield, Brough collected on the Wakefield 20 and kicked across the face of the defence for Leroy Cudjoe to gather the ball and feed George to score his second against his former club.
Brough again failed to add the extras, but at least the Giants held an 8-6 interval advantage.
And that lead was up to 14-6 six minutes after the restart when a former Wakefield man, Lee, collected 30m out, dummied and shot through before feeding the supporting Eorl Crabtree to race over under the posts for Brough to land his first successful conversion
Unfortunately, it took Wakefield just five minutes to find the right response – again courtesy of a Smith kick.
This time the Australian put up a spiralling kick, which was missed by everyone and fell kindly for Collis to collect and score with ease.
Sykes’ kick again made it a two-point ball game.
Keith Mason almost gave the Giants a cushion again midway through the half, but lost control as he tried desperately to plant the ball down under heavy pressure.
That let-off again seemed to fire up the Wildcats and two minutes later they regained the lead when Sykes’ long pass was collected by Lee Smith to finish with ease. The conversion was missed and it was 16-14 to Wakefield.
Huddersfield were then forced to drop-out for a second time as the Wildcats went for the kill.
And with 13 minutes remaining they were over again as Ali Lauitiiti got his hands free and fed Richard Mathers to finish in the corner.
The ball did appear to travel forward, although referee Tim Roby claimed that was because it had been touched by a Giants defender.
Sykes’ excellent touchline conversion left the hosts needing to score twice to get back in the game.
And it got even worse three minutes later when Paul Johnson charged down centrefield and fed the supporting Tim Smith to finish off.
Then the influential Australian again turned provider to stab the ball ahead for former Giant Danny Kirmond to touch down.
Sykes, who moments earlier had rubbed salt into Huddersfield’s deep wounds by slotting over a drop goal, landed the conversion and another depressing day was over.