Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson watched his side extend their winning run to four matches with a 28-14 victory over Widnes before describing them as “dire”.
The Giants were well below their best but still had too much power and skill for a Widnes team looking to bounce back from the disappointment of their Challenge Cup semi-final defeat and struggling to cling on to the eighth play-off spot in the First Utility Super League.
“Both teams were dire, to be honest,” said Anderson.
“We allowed outside influences to dictate the way we played. Widnes slowed down the ruck. I felt like I was going to play myself, it was so slow at one point.”
The Giants opened the scoring with Larne Patrick’s seventh-minute try but were trailing 8-6 until skipper Danny Brough carved out a length-of-the-field try for Joe Wardle.
And they went on to dominate the second half, adding further tries through Jermaine McGillvary, Antonio Kaufusi and Shaun Lunt.
“We spoke at half-time about being patient because there were opportunities all over the field,” added Anderson.
“There was never a point when I thought we were in trouble, I thought defensively we looked pretty good all game.”
While Huddersfield maintained their challenge for a top-four finish, Widnes are coming under pressure to stay in the top eight after winning just three of their last 12 matches.
Forward Danny Tickle scored a try and kicked two goals to give them their slender advantage but they had to wait until the 74th minute for their second try, scored by full-back Rhys Hanbury.
“After the highs of the semi-final and the disappointment of things on the back of it, it wasn’t great game. It was a bit stop-start, but I thought we handled their big men pretty well,” said Widnes coach Denis Betts.
“We showed some good things, we just lacked a cutting edge at times. It was a real, strong effort. There was good character in the team and defensively we showed some real strength.”
Huddersfield: Grix, McGillvary, Murphy, Wardle, Broughton, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Lunt, Kaufusi, Ferres, Ta’ai, Aspinall. Substitutes: Kopczak, Bailey, Lawrence, Mullally.
Widnes: Hanbury, Flynn, Dean, Marsh, Ah Van, Brown, Mellor, O’Carroll, White, Cahill, Allen, Galea, Tickle. Substitutes: Leuluai, Johnson, Carberry, Joseph.
Referee: M Thomason (RFL).