HUDDERSFIELD Giants opened up their Senior Academy First Division campaign with an easy 44-6 victory at Keighley Cougars last night.

Even though the visitors went into battle without any of their Super League squad members they were in a totally different class to their hosts.

By the end of a very one-sided contest, the Giants had raced over for nine tries and bombed at least five others.

Leading the way was winger Marcus George, who crossed for a hat trick of tries, while hooker Kris Lythes and scrum half Paul Mennell ripped the Cougars apart time and time again.

The lively Lythes had made his presence felt after just 13 minutes, plunging over from close range to open the scoring.

Five minutes later Glenn Holdsworth followed up a Mennell kick-through to touch down for try No2, and by half-time the lead had been extended to 20-0.

That was down to a second try from Lythes, who darted over from dummy half, and the first of George's three tries.

Both tries were converted by Tony Williams, who went on to land two others after the interval.

The Giants opened their second-half account when Mennell backed up a Richard Knight break to cross for a well-deserved score.

But to Keighley's credit, they refused to wave the white flag and were rewarded in the 52nd minute when Tobias Williams grabbed his side's only try, which was converted by Liam Duffy.

Huddersfield's response was immediate, and within two minutes full-back Rob Joyce had raced into the line from a scrum move to score from 20m out.

Ten minutes later the visitors were over again as Karl Mills capitalised on a Lee Simpson break to score.

Simpson was then sin-binned for interference, but it made little difference, with George having the final say with two tries in the final eight minutes to complete his hat trick.

His first came in the 72nd minute when he latched on to a long Williams pass to score in the corner, and four minutes later he added try No3 when he was again put through by Williams.

This was the ideal start for the club's Under 21s, who will be looking to repeat the act when they visit Oldham on Saturday, April 24 (12.30).

* There are still a limited number of places available on the Flyers coaches to Leeds for tomorrow night's Super League clash at Headingley.

They leave from the St Patrick's Centre at 6.45pm and tickets, priced at £5.50, are on sale from Tony Iredale Travel.