Halifax were served a stark reminder of the gulf between the Championship and the upper echelons of Super League as Huddersfield eased to a crushing 38-6 Infirmary Cup victory at the Shay.
Paul Anderson’s Giants, virtually at full strength as the countdown to the top flight season gathers pace, were brutally clinical all afternoon, easing to a 26-6 half time lead before pulling relentlessly clear in the second half.
Halifax-born Joe Wardle led the way with two tries against his hometown club, who provided Richard Marshall with plenty of endeavour against opponents who looked stronger, faster and more skilful.
The Giants’ extra edge had been evident early on, Rikki Sheriffe losing possession in a routine collision coming out of his own 20 metre area and Jodie Broughton swatting off Gareth Potts to open the scoring in the corner.
Danny Brough whacked over the conversion from the sideline for a 6-0 lead, although Fax went close to responding when Steve Tyrer was hauled down on the line after claiming a cross kick from Australian half back Matt Place.
Mitch Cahalane provided an early highlight with a thumping tackle on Craig Kopczak, although a scuffle on the next play saw both him and Brough sin binned as tempers boiled over.
Huddersfield were over again when Jermaine McGillvary grabbed Luke Robinson’s chip kick to make it 10-0, although that heralded Fax’s best spell of the half as they finally got the chance to build some pressure at the other end of the field.
Place’s misplaced pass to Cudjoe let their opponents off the hook though, the centre sending Joe Wardle over before back to back scores from Jack Hughes and Jamie Ellis underlined the Giants’ attacking firepower.
Fax finally got the score their toil deserved just before the break, Place rolling a nice kick in goal and Ross Divorty racing in to score, Tyrer’s sideline kick making it 26-6.
The home side, boosted by the half time inclusion of Miles Greenwood, Scott Murrell and Dane Manning, stopped the rot early in the second half, slowing down the Giants’ ruck speed and gaining some defensive control.
But Wardle grabbed his second with around half an hour remaining, with Jamie Ellis concluding the scoring with 19 minutes remaining.
Giants’ Jake Connor and Richard Moore were both sin binned after another scuffle and Fax never chucked the towel in, building some late pressure, but could not crack the visitors’ ironclad defence.
Halifax: Sheriffe; Potts, Saltonstall, Tyrer, Saxton; Place, Johnston; Cahalane, Holden, Ambler, Spencer, Robinson, Divorty. Subs: Greenwood, Mennell, Murrell, Heaton, Moore, Bracek, Maneely, Manning
Huddersfield: Murphy; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Broughton; Brough, Ellis; Huby, Robinson, Kopczak, Ferres, Hughes, Bailey. Subs: Crabtree, Lunt, Ta’ai, Mullally, Connor, Johnson
Referee: Joe Cobb