Jermaine McGillvary scored his 100th Super League try to help Huddersfield break their duck in 2016.
The Giants found their form to run in six tries in a 38-6 victory over Hull KR in the round five basement battle at the John Smith’s Stadium to climb off the foot of the table at the expense of their opponents.
It was a disappointing start for former Rovers captain James Webster to his spell as interim head coach as he watched his side outplayed from start to finish.
Webster, who has been appointed to the end of the season, will be hoping for good news on his captain Terry Campese, who lasted just 42 minutes on his comeback from a nine-month lay-off following a knee reconstruction.
Rovers were also boosted by the return from injury of former Huddersfield forwards Shaunt Lunt and Graeme Horne and James Green and John Boudebza from suspension but Campese hobbled off midway through the second half.
Jordan Tansey made a try-scoring debut for Huddersfield, opening the scoring with his first touch, while the Giants were also grateful for the return from injury of Eorl Crabtree, Kyle Wood and Joe Wardle, who all made significant contributions, but were overshadowed by Danny Brough who booted seven goals from seven attempts and tormented the visitors with his tactical kicking.
Rovers were already 12-0 down by the time Campese entered the action 16 minutes into the game after Huddersfield had made a flying start.
Tansey, who has joined the Giants on a month’s loan from Wakefield, wrestled the ball from the grasp of full-back Ben Cockayne as he chased Brough’s grubber kick on the last tackle to open the scoring after only four minutes and five minutes later second rower Michael Lawrence was put through a gap by Wood after the Giants ran the ball from a penalty award in front of the posts.
Brough converted both tries to make it 12-0 and the home side ought to have been further head by half-time after dominating the half but substitutes Kruise Leeming and Jack Johnson both lost the ball going for the line.
Rovers looked more workmanlike with Campese on the pitch and they got themselves back in the game after making the better start to the second half.
Centre Thomas Minns got the try after getting himself first to Campese’s high kick and Ryan Shaw’s conversion cut the gap to six points.
However, Huddersfield struck back immediately, with centre Aaron Murphy finishing a slick handling move to score his side’s third try and Brough restored their lead to 12 points.
Brough then maintained the pressure on the visitors by forcing consecutive goal-line drop-outs and, although they withstood that barrage, the loss of Campese proved to be a fatal blow to their hopes.
Brough kicked his side into a three-score lead with a 65th-minute penalty before McGillvary produced a devastating finish, coming in off his wing to wrong-foot the Rovers defenders, and second rower Oliver Roberts burst through the first line of defence to get Larne Patrick over for Huddersfield’s fifth try.
As Huddersfield piled on the agony, Tansey and Brough combined superbly to get loose forward Ukuma Ta’ai over for their sixth try four minutes from the end.