Danny Brough once again turned on the style to steer the Huddersfield Giants to their 13th win of the Super League campaign and clinch a first double over St Helens since 1950-51.
The manner of last night’s victory might not have been as impressive as the 40-4 opening-night success over at Langtree Park.
But it was another clear indication that the second-placed Giants are set to give leaders Wigan the fight of their lives in the battle to claim the minor championship – particularly if Brough contributes to inspire his troops in this sort of fashion.
The inspirational 30-year-old captain had a hand in everything good about his side’s performance, being at the heart of all their scores to send former coach Nathan Brown and his Saints home distinctly unhappy.
And given another dazzling Danny display, it’s incredible to think he won’t be named in England’s side to face the Exiles in next Friday night’s Origin Test!
The Giants dominated the opening period and may have felt a little disappointed to have only held a 12-point interval advantage.
Great early runs from Scott Grix and Joe Wardle set the tone, paving the way for the opening try after 10 minutes.
A Paul Wellens fumble from a Brough kick put Huddersfield on the front foot and within moments Brough and Luke Robinson had combined to send Aaron Murphy over in the corner.
Although Brough failed to convert, he was soon working his magic with the boot as five minutes later as his high kick was fumbled by the Saints defence for Wardle to pounce and touch down – albeit on the call of video referee Ian Smith and probably much to the surprise of the tryscorer himself.
With Brough adding the extras and then following up with a penalty shortly after, the hosts were 12-0 ahead and good value for a lead which, after Eorl Crabtree had a touchdown chalked off by the man in the stand, got even better in the 25th minute, with try number three.
Once again, Brough was the architect, dummying on halfway and showing electric pace to race clear and feed the supporting Dale Ferguson to finish off in style from 20 metres out. Brough added the goal.
Saints finally broke their duck with seven minutes of the half remaining, when Jon Wilkin plunged over from close range and Gareth O’Brien converted.
But the half ended on a worrying note for the visitors when Ade Gardner was stretchered off after slipping on the newly-laid John Smith’s turf going into a challenge from Anthony Mullally.
The ball went loose and was hacked ahead for Murphy to win the race to touch down, but the video referee ruled the tackle illegal, with the score ruled out and the incident placed on report.
Huddersfield also started the second half the brighter, with Shaun Lunt just failing to extend his side’s lead a minute after the restart, when he was just unable to get the ball to ground.
But the busy Brough did nudge his side ahead in the 45th minute with a straightforward drop goal before another piece of sublime skill sent Wardle charging over for his second.
Brough banged over his fourth successful kick of the evening to make it 25-6 in the 52nd minute.
Josh Jones gave Saints hope when he capitalised on his side keeping the ball alive close to the Giants line with an unconverted try with 13 minutes remaining.
And when, two minutes later, Jordan Turner stepped over to notch his side’s third try and this time O’Brien converted, the lead was down to nine points, but Huddersfield held firm.