Super League: Bradford Bulls hand Huddersfield Giants a first loss
Huddersfield's perfect start to the new Super League season came to an emphatic end with a 43-18 loss to Bradford.
Last Updated: 03/03/13 7:55pm
Stand-off Jarrod Sammut scored a hat-trick of tries, the last of them coming just before the final hooter, as the Bulls bounced back from a home defeat to St Helens in fine style.
Huddersfield's cause was not helped by the absence of skipper Danny Brough, who pulled out through illness, though they still remain on top of the table due to Warrington's equally-surprising loss at the hands of Hull KR.
The Giants simply never managed to recover from a disastrous start that saw them concede two tries in the opening nine minutes of the derby battle.
Scott Grix gifted Bradford their first, fumbling Sammut's grubber kick to allow the Australian an easy try, while winger Elliot Kear palmed Danny Addy's kick into the arms of centre Matty Blythe for the second.
The hosts briefly rallied, cutting the gap to two points when ex-Bradford centre Joe Wardle took Luke Robinson's short pass to crash over before loose forward David Faiumu scored from close range.
Yet their defensive line was to be breached on two more occasions before the end of the opening half, Addy and Brett Kearney both notching tries that Jamie Foster successfully converted.
A Grix penalty meant it was 24-12 at the break, only for the full-back to then allow Sammut to steal the ball from him at the start of the second half for an opportunistic try.
Although hooker Shaun Lunt went over to keep Huddersfield in the hunt, the Bulls - who came up against former prop Craig Kopczak for the first time since he walked out on the club - were in no mood to let slip a winning position.
Replacement hooker Adam O'Brien, who was only drafted into the matchday 17 because of an injury to Matt Diskin, made an immediate impact off the bench with his first Super League try on 55 minutes.
Sammut put over a drop goal soon after, then completed his treble in the last move of the match. Foster added his sixth goal to round out the scoring and complete a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon for Francis Cummins' side.