IT may be a little premature to say the Giants are now firmly back on Super League track.
But the nature of their impressive 40-18 victory over St Helens does suggest everything is falling back into place after a difficult month as they kept hold of second spot in the table with the minimum of fuss.
Even though Saints were lacking a whole host of first-team players, let’s not forget Huddersfield were far from at full strength too.
Vastly-experienced forwards Keith Mason, David Fa’alogo, Graeme Horne, Andy Raleigh and Luke O’Donnell – who picked up a hamstring strain in the warm-up – were all absent.
On top of that, Australian utility back Jamie Simpson is struggling with a shoulder injury, while former England winger David Hodgson is ready and waiting should one of the current three-quarters suffer any sort of dip in form.
Yet despite the Giants also having quality players watching on from the sidelines – including three first-choice pack men in the no-nonsense Mason, O’Donnell and Fa’alogo – the hosts still had far too much firepower up front for their highly-respected visitors.
As a result, coach Nathan Brown’s men were able to savour their first 40-point triumph over St Helens in the Super League era, while also inflicting the biggest defeat of the season on last year’s beaten Grand Finalists.
But what was also incredibly heart-warming and undoubtedly worthy of recognition was the make-up of the Giants side.
With O’Donnell ruled out in the warm-up, it meant Huddersfield started the game with 13 homegrown players in the line. There wasn’t a single Australian or New Zealander anywhere to be seen!
And had it not been for Kiwi David Faiumu on the bench, there would have been no overseas players in the Giants’ 17 at all.
When was the last time a Super League club could say that?
This was the chance for the best of British to shine, and everyone rose majestically to the challenge.
Danny Brough may have collected the Sky TV man-of-the-match award, while Eorl Crabtree was the match sponsor’s choice, and both clearly had excellent games.
But this was another one of those occasions when it was the collective effort that won the day.
Playing well as a team was at the heart of the Giants’ early-season success, and failing to do just that has been their downfall in the recent setbacks.
It’s something Galpharm chief Brown had little trouble recognising and, fortunately, he would appear to have had relatively little trouble fixing it up.
Yes, there were still the odd defensive lapses against Saints, as well as a lack of execution on a couple of key plays.
But compared with the Crusaders’ horror show on Good Friday, the level of improvement is nothing short of incredible.
Had Huddersfield taken all their chances at Catalan Dragons a couple of weeks ago they wouldn’t have suffered their agonising 13-12 defeat.
And even though three good chances were ‘bombed’ in the opening period against St Helens, they were still able to make a couple of others count.
In contrast, the visitors were restricted to just one clear-cut chance during the first 40 minutes when England prop James Graham broke clear and then failed to find his men in support.
As a result, a 12-0 interval advantage to the home side was probably the least the home side deserved.
Within eight minutes the Giants had struck for the first time when a repeat set gave Luke Robinson the opening to feed Crabtree for his first try since an effort in last season’s home defeat to Wigan on May 16.
Brough converted and really should have crossed for a try midway through the half when he failed to collect Lee Gilmour’s pass.
Other chances also went begging, with Robinson denied a ‘try’ for crossing and Jermaine McGillvary failing to collect a difficult Brown tryscoring pass after a Brough 40-20.
But there was to be no denying the inspirational scrum half in the 33rd minute when he scored another superb length-of-the-field solo try.
Collecting the ball on the left inside his own 20, Brough dummied to his winger and shot clear at lightning pace.
He then stepped beyond approaching full-back Paul Wellens and put his foot on the gas again to finish with style by the posts to make his conversion attempt easier.
It was an extra-special score but, as the second half was to unravel, it could be beaten.
A 44th-minute try from Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook, converted by Jamie Foster, suggested Saints were far from out of it.
However, captain Brown was again on hand to settle the nerves with his side’s third try six minutes later as he showed great footwork and strength to get the ball down on the line.
And then cue the moment of the match.
With the Giants pegged back in their own half, the ball was worked to the left for Gilmour to collect, take the tackle and feed Leroy Cudjoe to race down the flank.
The England centre then showed great pace to race 50m and then send a world-class pass out of the back door to the supporting Michael Lawrence to finish off.
Tries don’t get much better than that.
Brough again goaled and, at 24-6 after 54 minutes, the Giants were on course for win No10.
And that was confirmed with two more tries in the space of four minutes to extend the lead to 28 points with 18 minutes remaining.
First to strike was teenage centre Joe Wardle, who collected on the right and handed off Francis Meli with ease to cross out wide before Robinson sent Crabtree over for a second time.
As the Giants took their foot off the gas, Matty Ashurst and Ade Gardner crossed for converted scores.
Fittingly, however, Huddersfield had the final say when in-form Larne Patrick’s strong charge led the foundations for Brown to find Scott Grix to dive over for Brough to bring up the 40-point mark and seal an excellent victory.