England winger Jermaine McGillvary scored a try in each half as Huddersfield continued their mid-season revival with an impressive 48-20 destruction of St Helens at the Magic Weekend.
The Giants belied their lowly Super League position with some scintillating tries, including a first for skipper Ryan Hinchcliffe, that earned them a first win away from home since last September and kept alive their top-eight ambitions.
Huddersfield, who had an impressive debutant in forward Sebastine Ikahihifo, remain next to bottom of the table but will quickly start climbing the ladder on this form.
The Giants had full-back Scott Grix back from a three-month injury absence and he was forced to withstand an early barrage of high balls from Luke Walsh as well as perform some sterling work in defence as Saints made most of the early running, with forwards Lama Tasi and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook both brought down just short of the line.
After holding firm, Grix and company then established control with three tries in a nine-minute spell in the second quarter.
McGillvary finished off a thrilling move that began deep inside their own half for the first of his two tries and second rower Ukuma Ta’ai pounced on a dropped pass by Saints’ 20-year-old debutant centre Calvin Wellington for a soft score.
Another long-range move resulted in former St Helens scrum-half Jamie Ellis taking winger Aaron Murphy’s pass to score the Giants’ third try to make it 16-0.
Former Huddersfield centre Matty Dawson pulled a try back for St Helens five minutes before half-time, taking winger Adam Swift’s inside pass, and Walsh’s goal cut the deficit to 10 points at the break.
It was only a minor blemish for Huddersfield’s hard-working defence, though, and the Yorkshiremen tightened their grip with two further tries within 10 minutes of the re-start.
The Giants ran their opponents ragged by shifting the ball the full width of the pitch for McGillvary to take Leroy Cudjoe’s pass and score his second try while prop Sam Rapira took the more direct route to the line, plunging over from 10 metres out after Ikahihifo had been brought down short.
Danny Brough kicked his fourth goal to make it 28-6 and there was no way back for Keiron Cunningham’s men when Huddersfield added a sixth try in fortuitous fashion on 54 minutes.
Centre Jake Connor could not get his hands to a low pass from Brough but fly-hacked the ball and regathered after it looped up into the air and sent Murphy over at the corner.
Brough added another splendid conversion to extend his side’s lead to 34-6 before Saints staged a mini revival.
Replacement centre Jordan Turner got winger Jack Owens over at the corner and stand-off Theo Fages profited from a handling error by Grix to score a third try.
Swift also touched down for St Helens as the game opened up in the last quarter and Huddersfield finished with a flourish as Hinchcliffe and half-back Kyle Wood went over for tries, with Brough taking his goal tally to eight from nine attempts.