Two classic wingman's tries in the first seven minutes from Tom Briscoe put Hull on the way to a clear-cut victory that ended a season that had outstayed its welcome for Huddersfield.
Hull were not always brilliant, but they live to fight another day in the Super League play-offs because their opponents were abject. It takes an effort now to recall that the Giants were the team of the early spring; such has been their wretched form in the summer, however, that this game came not just a few weeks too late, but a few months.
Hull now go to Warrington on Saturday, where they will have to play better than this to stay alive. They did serve notice last night, though, that they carry a threat out wide, with Jamie Foster also chipping in with a couple of tries. The potentially match-defining moment came early. Luke George was on his way to a long-distance try for the Giants, when he was correctly brought back for Brett Ferres' fingertip knock-on.
From the scrum possession, Hull moved the ball direct to the left flank, where Briscoe scored in the corner.Huddersfield were conceding far too many penalties. From one of them, for Luke O'Donnell's high tackle, Hull went in the same direction. Willie Manu produced a freakish overhead pass and Briscoe was in again, despite Eorl Crabtree's valiant attempt to put him into touch.
Crabtree – the "Hulk of Huddersfield" in the RFL's new advertising campaign – was one man who could not be blamed for the Giants' plight. Quite apart from his tireless defensive efforts over an 80 minute stint in the front row, Huddersfield had little to offer in attack apart from his headlong charges.
A more convincing Hull would have been more than 10 points ahead, but Foster and Danny Houghton both had tries disallowed, for a forward pass and a knock-on respectively. As it was, they had to be content with another two points, from Foster's second goal and a contentious penalty.
Any thoughts that the black-and-whites were letting the Giants off lightly had to be reassessed straight after the interval, when Jordan Turner's break and Foster's finish stretched their lead. The Huddersfield defence was no barrier whatsoever as the flanker on loan from St Helens went over for his second a few minutes later, followed by one from 10 metres by Liam Watts.
Everything was working now for Hull, including a chip and regather from Aaron Heremaia that brought them their sixth try. The magnificently defiant Crabtree went 35 metres for a consolation effort; if anyone deserved consolation, it was him, and he inspired Scott Grix to a quick second, before Andy Lynch and Richard Horne restored normal service for Hull.
It was a match which had been won and lost much earlier. As Lynch, the Hull captain, put it: "The first 10 minutes set the tone."
Hull: Horne; Foster, Turner, Yeaman, Briscoe; Seymour, Heremaia; Watts, Houghton, Lynch. Manu, Westerman, Aspinwall. Substitutes used: O'Meley, Green, Crooks, Pitts.
Huddersfield: Cudjoe; McGillvary, Lawrence, Wardle, George; Crabtree, Faiumu, Mason, Fa'alogo, Ferres, O'Donnell. Substitutes used: Robinson, Patrick, Ferguson, Chan. Referee: J.Child (Dewsbury)