IT WAS a 20th defeat in 23 Super League games but, perversely, if Wakefield Trinity Wildcats produce more of this, their top-flight safety should be ensured.
The regular season is over now for Brian Smith’s men who have long known it is the Qualifiers where their campaign will truly be defined.
They have seven games to prove their worth and, in giving top-four Huddersfield an almighty fright yesterday, the signs are encouraging.
They battled back to 28-20 early in the second period when they were the better side for long spells and desperate Huddersfield eventually needed their talisman Danny Brough to settle nerves with a fine solo try in the 65th minute.
Three more players were handed debuts – hooker Scott Moore who joined from Castleford on Thursday, former Leeds Rhinos full-back Lee Smith after another spell in union and the NRL centre Bill Tupou – and all showed promising signs that they will strengthen Trinity’s cause.
The visitors started brightly when Jacob Miller scampered over after just seven minutes.
Nick Scruton spilled the ball backwards and the defence lulled allowing the Trinity scrum-half to skip past Jared Simpson all too easily.
Craig Hall added the first of only two successful conversions but after a succession of penalties the hosts quickly composed themselves, Luke Robinson diving over from acting-half.
Ex-Trinity star Brough produced one of his magical chip kicks – on the run with the outside of his left boot – to send Jodie Broughton in and the stand-off’s grubber then caused chaos for Michael Lawrence to add Giants’ third try on 23 minutes.
However, when Brough’s off-target 40/20 attempt unusually went out on the full, Moore came off the bench to instantly make an impression for Trinity.
His disguised pass ushered Scott Anderson over, Hall making it 16-12, but Wakefield have been their own worst enemies this season.
That was illustrated again when Tupou dropped the ball when playing it in the restart set, gifting Giants a chance to reclaim the ascendancy.
It was Daniel Smith, the prop who switched from Wakefield in the deal that saw Anthony Mullally go the other way recently, who twisted over.
Leroy Cudjoe added their fourth try of the half when accelerating onto Jamie Ellis’ hard-hit grubber but Trinity refused to roll over. Matty Ashurst angled in for their third try on 47 minutes and Lee Smith added another just three minutes later after a fine link with Tupou. Brough finally restored some order but even then Trinity capitalised on some shoddy defending when Reece Lyne benefitted from a scrappy hack on in the corner.
Lee Smith took over kicking duties but he could not add the extras either, Wakefield improving just two of their five tries.
Huddersfield: Simpson; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Murphy, Broughton; Brough, Ellus; Crabtree, Robinson, Hughes, Ta’ai, Lawrence. Substitutes: Bailey, Kopczak, Leeming, D Smith.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats: L Smith; Riley, Tupou, Arundel, Lyne; Hall, Miller; Scruton, Sio, Anderson, Ashurst, Molloy, Simon. Substitutes: Moore, Mullally, Walker, Washbrook.
Referee: Chris Leatherbarrow (St Helens)