HUDDERSFIELD Giants suffered a second-half slide as they were beaten 32-20 at Castleford Tigers in their second Junior Academy grading fixture at The Jungle.
Early in the second half, the visitors were leading 16-6 and looking in a strong position to build on their excellent opening win over Leeds Rhinos.
But in the final 30 minutes the Tigers took control to win the game by a final margin which didn't reflect how well the Giants had played.
Even in defeat, however, Huddersfield shouldn't be too disappointed about the way they played.
Although Castleford's first team suffered relegation from Super League at the end of last season, their Junior Academy were crowned champions.
And with many of last year's squad in action against the Giants in this curtain-raiser to the Tiger's National League I clash with Rochdale, it was always going to be a tough assignment for the visitors.
Yet in the opening half, the Giants were the better side, with Thomas Hemingway proving a key figure.
Before the break, the visitors had scored two tries to lead 12-6, with Peter Robinson capitalising on a Paul Mennell try to score and then Ashley North following good play by Hemingway, who added both goals.
But despite second-half efforts from Symon Sutherland and Graham Dobbs, the home side were able to step up a gear and snatch the victory.
* Giants Super League squad men Stephen Jones and Jason Southwell were both in action for their on-loan club, Featherstone Rovers, in the 44-30 National League I defeat at Hull KR.
Centre Jones, the recent rugby union signing from Newcastle Falcons, started the contest, while prop Jason Southwell came off the bench to score a second-half try.