Huddersfield held off a second-half fightback to pile more misery on neighbours Wakefield after interim boss Chris Thorman guided them to back-to-back Super League wins for the first time since last July.
A week on from knocking Trinity out of the Challenge Cup, the Giants condemned them to an eighth defeat in their last 10 league games and kept alive their own top-eight hopes with a nail-biting 25-22 victory at St James’ Park.
Only Wigan have a better Magic Weekend record than Huddersfield, who have now won eight of their 12 matches, but this was a close-run contest.
Thorman’s men got off to a terrific start, with man-of-the-match Aaron Murphy scoring one try and setting up another as they opened up an 18-0 lead.
Wakefield gradually clawed their way back into the game and were the better team in the second half but they had simply left themselves too much to do.
Former St Helens prop Paul Clough led the Giants out on the 300th appearance of his career and with fellow front rower Ukuma Ta’ai helped lay a solid platform for an impressive first-half display.
Huddersfield dominated the opening quarter and ought to have opened the scoring through England winger Jermaine McGillvary but Jordan Rankin’s pass went straight into touch.
They were more clinical when veteran half-back Danny Brough got Ta’ai through a gap in the Trinity defence and Murphy was in support to touch down for the first try.
McGillvary then denied his opposite number Mason Caton-Brown at the other end before hooker Adam O’Brien increased the Giants’ lead by forcing his way over from dummy half for a soft try that will have angered Wakefield coach Chris Chester.
Chester’s mood worsened when Murphy was put through another gaping hole in his side’s defence by Brough and this time centre Jake Mamo finished off the move.
Brough added all three conversions, including one from the touchline, to make it 18-0 and put his side on course for victory.
Wakefield’s hard-working second rower Matty Ashurst pulled a try back after 32 minutes, regathering his own kick that rebounded off McGillvary, and Liam Finn kicked the conversion.
The evergreen Brough then put over a drop goal on the stroke of half-time after creating the position with a 40-20 kick to make it 19-6 at the break.
The Giants were reduced to 12 men early in the second half when hooker Kruise Leeming was sin-binned for holding down in the tackle while they were on a team warning and Wakefield immediately took advantage as winger Ben Jones-Bishop touched down Miller’s kick to the corner for the first of his two tries.
Finn’s touchline goal cut the deficit to seven points but Huddersfield, still a man short, struck back when Mamo tipped the ball on to left winger Darnell McIntosh, who produced an acrobatic finish to score his side’s fourth try.
The game was back in the balance in the 56th minute when towering substitute Pauli Pauli, who was earlier lectured for a late tackle on Brough, produced a deft pass to get Jones-Bishop over for his second try and Finn kicked his third conversion.
Huddersfield thought they had wrapped up the victory when full-back Rankin jinked his way over but his try was disallowed by video referee Chris Kendall for an obstruction and it resulted in a tense finish.
Another Pauli offload gave centre Reece Lyne a sight of the line and he evaded Mamo’s tackle to score Wakefield’s fourth try but Finn was off target for the first time to leave the Giants with a three-point cushion.