MAGNIFICENT Huddersfield Giants put their early Super League XXI woes behind them to storm to a thoroughly-deserved 11-0 victory over Super league leaders Warrington Wolves.
It was almost impossible to believe it was top against bottom as the home side chalked up just a second success from their first 11 2016 top-flight encounters.
They were better in attack, better in defence and outplayed and out-enthused their visitors from start to finish.
And such was the manner of the performance that it left everyone scratching their heads as to where this Huddersfield Giants side had been for almost all of the first half of the regular campaign.
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Yes, they’re may have romped past Hull KR 38-6 at home six long games ago, but this was arguably a far better 80 minutes against a far better team.
The first half was a real delight, with the Giants producing their best 40 minutes of the season to lead 4-0 at the break.
In fact, the only disappointment was that the lead wasn’t greater – it deserved to be.
With Warrington having to drop out six times in the first half while the Giants didn’t have to once, it was pretty clear who was on top and enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession.
But it wasn’t until the 35th minute that the pressure was finally turned into points.
A strong Nathan Mason charge was only halted fractionally short of the tryline, but on the next play the ball wax shifted to the right for Danny Brpugh, Ryan Brierley and Jake Connor to create the position for Aaron Murphy to cross in the corner – although too wide out for Brough to add the conversion.
As well as that, the Giants had come mighty close to scoring several times earlier, withJoe Wardle held up over the line and Leroy Cudjoe and Jermaine McGillvary also coming desperately close.
And if a high kick on the final hooter had bounced in a slightly different direction, the hosts would have been celebrating try No 2.
However, with Warrington always looking dangerous on the break nothing could be taken for granted as the Giants were applauded ofF the field at the interval.
Brough halted a Wolves bite at the start of the second half by slotting over a straight 40 metre penalty five minutes after the restart.
But with Huddersfield having to drop-out twice in those opening encounters, the pressure began to mount, especially with Ukuma Ta’ai having to hobble off.
Having said that, replacement Oliver Roberts was unlucky not to increase his side’s lead in the 57th minute when he was held up over the tryline.
Yet such was the growing tightness of the contest that Warrington also grabbed their first try in the 64th minute, when amazing defence was required to prevent Rhys Evans touching down from a high kick to the orner.
And the Giants immediately celebrated that piece of defensive excellence by creating the position for Brough to bang over a drop goal two minutes later to leave the Wolves needing to score twice.
The nerves obviously still remained at that stage.
But they began to disappear with 10 minutes remaining when the ball was whipped quickly to the left for Cudjoe to collected, dummy and race through at lightning pace to finish off a great move, although Brough was again unable to add the extra from wide out to take the lead to 11.
Fortunately, it didn’t matter – this was the Giants’ night.