It was the Magic Weekend which continued to fascinate with the opening fixture on Sunday pitting the fourth placed Huddersfield Giants with their eye on third place against a Salford side who started the game in eighth spot but for whom a win could propel them into the top six.
Some pundits were billing it as Giants coach Ian Watson against his previous side, but the Huddersfield supremo was more concerned about the two points to move his side up the table ahead of the Catalans game against Warrington later in the afternoon.
The bookies had gone with league position and installed the Giants as favourites but only given the Red Devils a six-point start on the coupon, they thought it would be close.
It was the perfect start for the Giants when Toby King took a Theo Fages high kick with very little opposition from Salford to score from twenty metres out. Oliver Russell added the conversion from in front of the uprights.
The second Giants try came with just under ten minutes on the clock, Owen Trout spinning out of two tackles and lunging for the line to ground. Russell was again accurate with the boot, a dream start for the Giants, a living nightmare for the Red Devils.
Football skills at St James´s Park from Chris McQueen saw the free scoring second row add a third unanswered try for the Giants as he dribbled the ball forwards before picking up and diving over in the right corner. Russell snook his touchline kick over the crossbar for an 18-0 lead, Salford unable to get any kind of traction.
Innes Senior had a try ruled out on the half hour mark for a foot in touch, spotted by the eagle-eyed touch judge.
Salford finally grabbed one back on thirty-two when Deon Cross pushed off a tackle before taking a step and going in from ten metres out. Sneyd added the conversion from the touchline to reduce the Giants lead to twelve with five minutes to go to the interval.
In the dying seconds of the first half Jermaine McGillvary scored one of the easiest of his career after Rhys Williams lost the ball close to his own line and the Giants moved the ball to the right for the prolific winger to score on the overlap. Russell again added the extras for a 24-6 lead.
A tremendous Brodie Croft solo effort on forty-six, pushing away a tackler and stepping through the Giants defence to score by the left upright. Sneyd added the conversion, the Red Devils back within twelve.
Back-to-back tries for Salford got them within six of the Giants on fifty. Another break from Croft was the catalyst as he found Sam Luckley in support to go in under the cross bar. Sneyd added the extra two for 18-24.
The Giants redoubled their efforts and finally created another opportunity for McGillvary on sixty-two minutes with fast hands which saw the winger in acres of space to go in again at the corner. Russell was again impeccable with the boot, flawless on the day, for 30-18.
Both sides had opportunities in the closing stages, but it was all just a little frenetic, the Giants scrambling to defend their lead as the Red Devils chased the points and a win.
Fifteen seconds from the final hooter a Fages attempted drop goal hit the right upright and was collected by the Giants half-back who went in to ground but the try was ruled out for offside.
The Giants got back to winning ways and jumped ahead of the Catalans Dragons and into third spot while Salford missed the opportunity to make the top six. It was a close game in difficult conditions as the two sides struggled with the early afternoon heat. The Giants resurgence goes on, Salford running out of chances to get out of the bottom half of the table.
Huddersfield Giants: Lolohea, McGillvary (2T), Cudjoe, King (T), Senior, Russell (5G), Fages, Greenwood, Levi, Trout (T), Hewitt, McQueen (T), Yates. Subs: Ashworth, English, Mason, Golding.
Salford Red Devils: Brierley, Sio, Cross (T), Lafai, Williams, Croft (T), Sneyd (3G), Ormondroyd, Ackers, Akauola, Livett, Watkins, Gerrard. Subs: Atkin, Taylor, Luckley (T), Dupree.
Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 10-0, 12-0, 16-0, 18-0, 18-4, 18-6, 22-6, 24-6 : HT : 24-10, 24-12, 24-16, 24-18, 28-18, 30-18 : FT.
Lead Exchanges: Huddersfield.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths.