MOST teams will discover this season that the current Warrington Wolves side is hard to beat but especially so if they are given as much help as Huddersfield Giants offered them last night.
The West Yorkshire club remain winless in this campaign as they recorded an eighth successive defeat dating back to last August.
However, they had themselves largely to blame after a catalogue of errors allowed early Super League leaders Warrington, with their Australian stand-off Blake Austin revelling, to run riot.
Huddersfield had been 16-0 down but were back in the contest after Matty English’s converted try saw them trail just 16-10 in the 46th minute.
Adam Walne, though, was sin-binned for a high challenge on Chris Hill moments later and the unbeaten visitors took control.
England prop Hill had to depart the field dazed but, as he received treatment, there was no initial indication from referee James Child that his opponent would be yellow carded.
Walne, who was put on report for an innocuous challenge on Dec Patton in the first half, certainly looked puzzled.
It was his side’s defence that looked puzzled thereafter, however, as Ryan Atkins rose high to claim his second try from Austin’s hanging kick.
Soon after, and following yet another Giants handling mistake, Austin - the Steve Prescott Man of Steel favourite - weaved through himself, the marquee signing continuing his fine start to life in the UK.
The former Canberra Raiders star had a hand or boot in most of his side’s tries and Huddersfield, in all honesty, struggled to contain him.
When Akuila Uate spilled another of his teasing kicks, Ben Murdoch-Masila barged over and, at 32-10, the job was done by the 64th minute.
Admittedly, Simon Woolford’s side - with Jermaine McGillvary, Ukuma Ta’ai and Lee Gaskell all making their first appearances of the year - did not capitulate, both Jordan Turner and Uate grabbing consolations but the damage had been done.
Granted, they did lose Joe Wardle to an injury inside just 12 minutes but their next game, a home fixture with winless Hull FC a week on Sunday, already looks vitally important.
Whereas Steve Price’s Warrington side struck regularly with their opportunities in the first half, Josh Charnley (2) and Atkins capitalising with tries, Giants were profligate.
Too often, when they got in promising positions, they cheaply wasted possession.
For instance, when Austin miscued a pass early on (the silky Warrington stand-off would not do so again), Wardle raced upfield to get Giants on the attack only for Turner to spill with no one near him on the second tackle.
There was a forward pass from dummy-half inside their own half and Warrington had already gone ahead after Uate made a hash of dealing with Austin’s grubber, spilling on his own line to gift Atkins the opener.
Charnley’s first came on the back of another handling mistake in Huddersfield’s own half, Austin given too much room to then show his skills to get the ex-England winger over in the 15th minute.
Ill-discipline cost them, too, although admittedly some of the decisions from Child were curious at times.
Stefan Ratchford added a 22nd minute penalty but, even when Warrington invited them in - Dec Patton throwing a pass into touch despite telling his winger Tom Lineham he should have claimed it - Huddersfield still bombed.
This time it was Seb Ikahihifo who spilled trying to force an ill-conceived offload on the second tackle. You could understand why some of his team-mates stood shaking their heads.
Giants, at least, forced two successive drop-outs with well-weighted kicks from Matt Frawley and then Darnell McIntosh - who was excellent under the high ball on his return to full-back - and it seemed like they had forced Ratchford into considering a third.
However, Child deemed Adam O’Brien had illegally challenged the England full-back behind the line and, from that penalty, the visitors eased upfield for Austin to supply Charnley with his second.
Still, Woolford’s side do not lack spirit; they have that in abundance and they managed to work their way back into the contest.
Ta’ai charged clear after picking up a loose Warrington ball but was held down too long by Toby King who was fortunate not to receive a yellow card as well as a penalty against him.
From there, McIntosh found space for a long ball that hit the ground but bounced up perfectly to allow England winger McGillvary to slide over in the 36th minute.
English got them in touching distance but then Warrington took control to claim their first win here in five years.
Huddersfield Giants: McIntosh; McGillvary, Turner, Wardle, Uate; Gaskell, Frawley; Ikahihifo, O’Brien, Matagi, Murphy, Mellor, Lawrence. Substitutes: Leeming, Walne, English, Ta’ai.
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford; Lineham, Goodwin, Atkins, Charnley; Austin, Patton; Hill, D Clark, Cooper, King, Hughes, Tasi. Substitutes: Murdoch-Masila, Philbin, J Clark, Mamo.
Referee: James Child (Dewsbury)