THERE is never anything predictable about Stanley Gene.
That's the beauty of the man, and that's why the Giants fans love him.
But the latest stunt he pulled to help destroy the Salford City Reds and keep Huddersfield's top six play-off hopes alive has to go down as his most unpredictable trick yet.
In the middle of last week he was being informed by his specialist that he would need another two weeks to recover from minor groin surgery.
Yet by the end of the week he was pressing head coach Jon Sharp to be included in the side that was to face Salford.
Sharp was initially cautious, and so too were his medical staff.
But Gene trained as well as anyone on Saturday and showed no ill effects on Sunday.
It meant he was in and, unfortunately, Paul White was out.
White will understandably have been bitterly disappointed not to have played.
But with the impact Gene made, he will surely have been one of the first to acknowledge how vital the Papua New Guinean was to the side.
Early on the Giants were doing a pretty good job without him.
Within seven minutes the visitors had posted two tries, courtesy of some slack Salford play.
Try No1 came after just three minutes when Andy Kirk spilled the ball inside his own 20.
From the scrum, the Giants worked their way up to the line for Chris Nero to plunge through and slip the pass to Paul Smith to score his first try in Super League. He did, however, cross for a first Giants score in the Challenge Cup against Doncaster.
Paul March was unable to add the touchline conversion and was also off target from the opposite side for the second effort four minutes later.
Once again it came late in the tackle count, with March kicking to the corner for Hefin O'Hare to touch down in the face of heavy City Reds traffic.
By the 24th minute, however, the tide appeared to have turned.
Salford had clawed their way back to 10-8, with Gareth Haggerty powering over for a try and Chris Charles landing two goals to one penalty from March.
And at that stage the contest was wide open.
This was the time for Gene to take centre stage.
Introduced in the 17th minute to replace hooker Phil Joseph, he was initially a little subdued.
By half-time that had all changed.
His first telling contribution came in the 32nd minute.
Good work from Mick Slicker made it possible as he drove the ball to the line and slip the ball out of the tackle to the alert Gene.
Quick as a flash, the Giants star changed the direction of his run and sliced through a gap close to the line to cross for a vital score.
The momentum was back with the Giants.
This was re-inforced just four minutes later when Gene was at the heart of his side's fourth, and what turned out to be final, try.
Collecting the ball on halfway, Gene charged into the Salford defence, burst out of an attempted tackle and raced clear.
Stuart Donlan was in support to carry on the move and he in turn found Sean Penkywicz to race over.
March added the extras and at 20-8 at the break, Huddersfield were looking in good shape.
But even though the Giants held on for the win and at times defended well, some of the gloss was taken off the performance by the way Salford scored two tries and restricted their visitors to shots at goal in the second half.
However, the manner by which the Giants successfully dug deep to keep Salford at bay was at times rewarding, with one excellent effort by new signing James Evans to prevent Kirk from breaking clear a big highlight.
Evans does look a good prospect, and looked strong both on attack and in defence.
But there was little he or his new teammates could do as excellent Salford approach play paved the way for Kevin McGuinness and Andy Johnson to score and reduce the deficit to 22-18 with 22 minutes remaining.
The game could not be more beautifully poised.
But in the final quarter the Giants held their nerve.
March added a penalty in the 61st minute and then with two minutes remaining made certain of the points with a crucial drop goal.
* The Giants' Academy sides experienced mixed fortunes over the weekend.
The Juniors won 20-6 at Hull KR, while an understrength Senior side were beaten 42-36 at Leigh. Full reports tomorrow.