Hapless Huddersfield Giants threw away a 16-0 lead to fall to a crushing 24-20 defeat at stuttering Widnes Vikings.

And the visitors only had themselves to blame for a loss which dealt a severe blow to their hopes of clawing themselves back into the Super 8s mix.

The Giants looked well on course to move above Hull KR and up to third bottom of the table when they took a 16-0 lead in the 28th minute.

But having created a winning platform, they hit the self-destruct button to fit their hosts a way back into the contest by making mistake after mistake to pay the ultimate price.

Huddersfield Giants' Scott Grix gets held up First Utility Super League XXI Widnes v Huddersfield 29/05/16 (Pic by John Rushworth)

Although the Giants led 16-4 at the break, it wasn’t the visitors’ greatest half of the season.

Hats off to their strong defensive effort which restricted their hosts to a solitary try to Corey Thompson two minutes before the interval.

But Huddersfield really only have themselves to blame for not building up a bigger half-time advantage, with far too many errors with ball in hand preventing them from making far more positive progress.

See pictures from the match below

If they had respected possession there’s no doubt they would have scored more than the three tries they did in the opening 40.

Their first came against the run of play in the 14th minute after successfully weathering an early Vikings onslaught.

And after securing a new contract extension earlier in the week, it was a highly pleasing moment to see Nathan Mason crashing over from a short Danny Brough ball to score by the posts in front of the vocal claret and gold following.

Huddersfield Giants' Ukuma Ta'ai tries to get past Widnes Vikings'Setaimata Sa First Utility Super League XXI Widnes v Huddersfield 29/05/16 (Pic by John Rushworth)

Brough added the extras and then took his points tally up to six, seven minutes later, when Setaimata Sa drove the ball forward and played the ball quickly to a Widnes side without a dummy half and the stand-off gratefully collected and raced 75m to cross in the corner.

He was unable to add the conversion, but grabbed his 2,000th Super League point in the 28th minute after Kyle Wood’s lively introduction from the bench helped him and Jamie Ellis feed Joe Wardle to crash over and make it 16-0.

Unfortunately, that score signalled a spell of possession from the dominant hosts, with a series of schoolboy errors allowing Widnes a foothold back into the contest in the back of Thompson’s unconverted score.

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Just like in the first half, Widnes started the second the stronger and Lloyd White dropped the ball attempting to score within two minutes of the restart.

But three minutes later there d no denying Joe Mellor as he showed great pace to race over from 30 metres and Rhys Hanbury converted to cut the Giants’ lead to six points.

All of a sudden, the outlook wasn’t looking quite as promising.

Jermaine McGillvary almost helped settle the nerves six minutes later when he just failed to ground a Leroy Cudjoe grubber after Wood’s initial break.

Widnes Vikings' Stefan Marsh (centre) celebrates scoring his sides third try First Utility Super League XXI Widnes v Huddersfield 29/05/16 (Pic by John Rushworth)

But instead those nerves increased in the 55th minute when Widnes worked the overlap for Stefan Marsh to stroll over in the corner, too far out for Hanbury to add the extras.

If that w a blow, what followed later was even more of a thunderbolt as Charly Runciman spilled a high bomb, but was allowed to re-gather the ball, play on and race away to score.

Hanbury may have again failed to convert, but the Vikings were now two points ahead.

And with 15 minutes remaining that lead was up to eight as the Huddersfield defence held off Mellor on the sixth tackle 10m out and the half-back simply sliced through for the simplest of converted scores.

The ever-increasing gloom was finally lifted with 10 minutes left when McGillvary finished strongly in the corner – but it was too little, too late.