PERFORMANCE: far better. Result: disappointing.

Huddersfield Giants didn't deserve anything from their woeful displays against Bradford Bulls and Wigan Warriors in their two previous Super League games.

But, given the performance they produced in going down narrowly at Harlequins, they can count themselves unfortunate not to have travelled back up North with the two points safely tucked away.

The visitors dominated for large parts of the contest and enjoyed sustained periods of pressure on the Quins line.

And, even though Paul March gave a highly impressive half-back performance, the presence of captain Chris Thorman - out for six weeks with a broken left thumb - may well have made a huge difference on attack.

Defensively, the Giants also showed up well.

They looked far tighter than they had done in recent weeks and, apart from one or two slight lapses in concentration, the line held firm.

But those lapses were punished to the full.

Mark McLinden made the most of one such example, being allowed to run through with relative ease for what in the end turned out to be a superb solo try to open the scoring after 20 minutes.

And a second lapse came 10 minutes into the second half when Lee Hopkins was allowed to break through on halfway and then feed Thomas Leuluai, who in turn found Nick Bradley-Qaliwala to finish off in the corner.

Yet with Quins' two other tries, the Giants can count themselves extremely unlucky.

Try No2 came in the 32nd minute from David Mills after the home side were awarded a scrum 10 metres from the Giants line.

Referee and touchjudge ruled a Quins' pass had gone straight into touch off a Giants hand, which on replay looked highly debatable.

Then came the match-deciding score in the 70th-minute.

Eorl Crabtree spilt the ball a yard from his own tryline and Leuluai immediately fed Bradley-Qalilawa to cross for his second.

The incident was handed over to the video referee, who adjudged the unfortunate Crabtree had simply lost the ball in the impact of the challenge.

The Giants, however, disagreed, believing Crabtree had the ball ripped away in a two-man tackle, and made their feelings known.

Obviously, it failed to change the decision and, with Henry Paul, adding the conversion, the visitors were 22-10 behind.

In the end that try made all the difference.

In a nail-biting finale, Stephen Wild and Michael De Vere combined to send the excellent Stuart Donlan over for a well-worked score, which De Vere then converted.

But despite one last final effort, the Giants were unable to claw back another six points which would have ensured a share of the spoils.

And if they had scored in the final seconds, no-one could have argued they didn't deserve it.

In the opening quarter, the Giants more than held their own and it took a magnificent defensive effort from McLinden to deny De Vere the opening score after eight minutes.

By the 32nd minute, however, it looked as if the game was slipping away from Huddersfield as they conceded two tries, both of which were converted by Rob Purdham to make it 12-0.

Fortunately, the Giants finished the half the stronger, with the outstanding Brad Drew racing away from halfway and feeding the supporting Stuart Jones to cross for a converted try in the 37th minute to make it 12-6 at the break.

It got even better within a minute of the restart as Robbie Paul's grubber to the corner was pounced on by James Evans to reduce the deficit to two points.

At that stage, the momentum was with the visitors.

But, once again, it was all to end in tears.