THE Giants are off the Super League XXI mark!
And the manner of the 38-6 success over Hull KR to record a first 2016 top-flight victory at the fifth attempt suggests there is a lot, lot more to come.
With Danny Brough back to his best to pull the attacking strings with his smart pass selection and wonderful kicking game, and Eorl Crabtree, Joe Wardle and Kyle Wood returning after injury, Huddersfield looked more like a genuine Super League contender.
On-loan full-back Jordan Tansey also looked the part on debut, scoring with his first touch in the claret and gold and defending solidly from start to finish.
What adds to the Giants’ sense of encouragement is the fact there are still senior players waiting in the wings to return after injury, and a considerable amount of money in the pot to strengthen their squad further down the track.
But there seems no real rush to splash the cash right now, given the difference it’s already making now the Giants are rediscovering the luxury of strength in numbers.
With prop Crabtree (groin), back-row forward Wardle (quad) and half-back Wood (broken foot and quad) wasting little time making their presence felt, Huddersfield couldn’t have made a better start to the contest.
If there were the odd nerves in light of losing their opening four fixtures, many of those were extinguished within the opening nine minutes as the hosts stormed into a 12-0 lead.
Within five minutes Brough had underlined his importance to the side by grubber-kicking through for Tansey to collect and score with his first touch in the claret and gold.
The former Super League Man of Steel added the first of his seven goals from seven attempts with the opening conversion and then doubled his tally nine minutes later after Wood’s perfectly-timed pass was collected at pace by Michael Lawrence to burst over like a freight train.
To say this was Wood’s first competitive run-out since last July because of his injury woes, the lack of rustiness in his game was a massive plus.
Unfortunately, the Giants were unable to build on such a dream opening, with chances for the remainder of the period being at a premium.
However, the best two that were created came the way of the home team – Jermaine McGillvary was denied when he touched down after the match officials ruled Kruise Leeming had spilled the ball as he attempted to score and then Josh Johnson was held up over the tryline by strong defence.
As a result, a 12-0 lead at the break was far from convincing. Hull KR were still firmly in the hunt.
And that fact was re-inforced within four minutes of the restart when a Terry Campese ’bomb’ eventually fell to Thomas Minns to touch down for Ryan Shaw to add the conversion.
At 12-6, it was game well and truly back on.
But six minutes later, the Giants came up with the best possible response, with Tansey and Jake Connor combining to send Aaron Murphy in at the corner for a try, magnificently goaled by Brough to restore their 12-point cushion.
All of a sudden, the home side were back in complete control, forcing Hull KR to drop-out twice in the space of a couple of minutes.
With the pressure mounting, the Giants went for the kill, and in the final 13 minutes they added three tries to ram home their growing supremacy.
Arguably the biggest cheer of the day came with the first of the three as McGillvary weaved his way through some heavy Hull KR traffic to register what was his 100th career try for his hometown club.
And the positivity increased in the 72nd minute when Oliver Roberts burst clear from halfway and fed the supporting Larne Patrick to finish off explosively for Brough to land his sixth goal of the game.
Brough’s tally was upped to seven with three minutes remaining when he and Ryan Hinchcliffe combined for Ukuma Ta’ai to stroll over for another well-deserved try.
It was the perfect way to round off a rapidly-improving performance and one that bodes so well for the future.<p/> <p/>