Hull FC headed into the last game before the international break absolutely desperate for a win and somehow that’s what Tony Smith managed to mastermind.
The Black and Whites started the season with two wins in their opening two but had since gone on a seven game losing spell, during which they shipped the most points of any Super League side.
That run including heavy defeats at home at Salford and city rivals Hull KR and today saw a solid Huddersfield side visit the MKM.
Whilst there must have been fears that they were on track for another heavy home defeat a huge crowd of 10,859 still turned up to watch the round 10 clash.
A key narrative of the game was the return of Jake Connor and who else but Connor to score the first points of the match.
His penalty opened the scoring in just the 6th minute but the home side responded quickly through Liam Sutcliffe.
Their summer signing was played in by their new star in the halves, Jake Clifford, with the Australian duly converting to make it 6-2 within 10 minutes.
The Giants struck back through their try-scoring machine forward Chris McQueen who crossed over after a Connor kick had forced a goal-line drop-out.
That had come in the 25th minute but FC had once again responded before the half-hour mark and it was Clifford once again who levelled the scores with a penalty making it 8-8, a score that would remain the same till the half.
Whatever Tony Smith said at half-time did the business as the home side came out firing and Chris Satae scored just three minutes into the second half.
Clifford made it three from three with the boot and he was on hand again to convert Liam Sutcliffe’s second which came in the 55th minute.
That try made the game a two-score game and set up for a huge final 20 minutes with both teams desperate for the win, FC to escape their relegation fears and Huddersfield to kick on towards the play-offs.
Just minutes before Sutcliffe’s second try Huddersfield had one of their own disallowed with it being judged that Sam Halsall had knocked on when grounding.
Jake Connor was involved again in the 75th minute as he played in Esan Marsters before converting to create a tense final five minutes.
Despite that late score it wasn’t enough as the home side held on for a much-needed 20-14 win to take the pressure of Tony Smith and his troops.
One man who Smith may look to build around is young Davy Litten who was hugely impressive throughout and looks a real talent.