JUST when is the luck going to change for the Giants?
Having built up a commanding 22-6 lead against the big-spending Wolves, it seemed nothing would stop Huddersfield securing their first League win in five starts.
Their confidence was sky high after producing their most accomplished 40 minutes of the season, and their opponents looked powerless to prevent them from making it two victories out of two for the Giants at Millennium Magic.
They had played solidly to beat Wakefield 36-12 in Cardiff last year.
But the opening period against the Wolves had taken their play to a different level.
Yet two massive moments in the space of four minutes early in the second half just about summed up their season.
The first was another missed Giants’ opportunity to capitalise on pressure, and the second was another highly controversial refereeing call, this time from video official Ashley Klein.
When Rod Jensen burst clear in the 45th minute and fed Jamahl Lolesi, it seemed try No5 was on the way and the game would be put well and truly out of the Wolves’ reach.
But Lolesi’s smart pass was spilled by Jensen with the tryline at his mercy and the chance to open up the lead to 28-6 had gone.
That was a painful blow, but it proved to be a taste of things to come.
Four minutes later, Warrington had taken play to the other end of the field, with Wolves full-back Stuart Reardon crossing the tryline after making a second effort.
That effort was only made possible after the Giants defenders released him, claiming later it was as a result of referee Ben Thaler shouting ‘held’.
And, on the video screen, it did look as if Reardon was diving forward, looking to give himself some extra leverage for the next play-the-ball rather than crossing for a try.
But after looking at the incident from several angles, the try was awarded, and Warrington had been handed their lifeline – and they couldn’t have taken it in more dramatic fashion.
While the Giants deserve total sympathy for another cruel call, they should still have responded far more positively to the setback.
Instead, the try knocked the players’ confidence for six, with fumbles from Jensen and Kevin Brown enabling Andy Bracek twice and Lee Briers to cross for scores.
By the 57th minute, Warrington were amazingly 30-22 ahead, and the Giants were staring a ninth League defeat in the face.
New fire was breathed into the Huddersfield challenge when John Skandalis barged over from close range in the 64th minute and Luke Robinson converted to reduce the gap to two points.
But Briers’ second try with four minutes remain finally sealed the Giants’ fate before Andy Raleigh crossed for a late consolation.
However, there is simply no way it should have come to this.
Although Michael Monaghan had given the Wolves the perfect start with a fifth-minute close-range score, Huddersfield went on to dominate the rest of the half.
Within two minutes, the Giants were back level when Lolesi fed Michael Lawrence to score the first Super League try of his career for Robinson to convert.
And seven minutes later, good approach play enabled Ryan Hudson to kick-through for Robinson to pounce.
But the unlucky scrum half saw his conversion attempt hit the left post and bounce out. Another example of the Giants having no luck whatsoever given the final scoreline!
By half-time, however, it looked as if that miss wouldn’t matter.
From the third of Warrington’s four goalline drop-outs – the Giants weren’t forced to do any, such was their dominance for large chunks of the contest – Robinson stepped superbly to send Raleigh charging over from close range in the 29th minute.
And on the stroke of half time, Paul Whatuira released Shane Elford, who in turn fed the supporting Jensen to finish off.
On this occasion, Thomas Hemingway added the conversion, and at 22-6 the Giants had a lead that was thoroughly deserved.
But, unfortunately, the story was only half complete.