Luke Robinson made it three wins out of three in his role of caretaker coach as Huddersfield held off a spirited Hull KR 32-22 at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Rovers hooker Matt Parcell, who this week signed a new contract for 2021, scored a second-half hat-trick of tries but the visitors had left themselves too much to do after a dreadful first half saw them trailing 18-0 at the break.
The kick-off was put back by 90 minutes after the Giants reported four positive coronavirus tests but none of them affected Robinson’s team selection and winger Jermaine McGillvary was quick to make up for lost time with two tries before half-time.
They took the England international’s career tally to 169, lifting him above former Huddersfield winger David Hodgson, now Hull KR’s assistant coach, and ex-Leeds scrum-half Rob Burrow into ninth place in the list of Super League’s all-time leaders.
Huddersfield’s first official home game for eight months was played behind closed doors after plans for pilot 1,000 crowds were abandoned but that will not worry Robinson, whose honeymoon goes on.
They suffered an early blow when stand-off Jordan Turner limped out of the game and they ought to have conceded the first try when Rovers created an opening for winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall but he was pushed into touch.
As the rain came down and conditions became difficult, the miss became even more glaring as the Giants began to take control.
Second-rower Kenny Edwards split the visitors’ defence to get full-back Ashton Golding sliding over for the opening try and then captain Aidan Sezer took centre stage.
His inch-perfect kick presented McGillvary with his first try midway through the first half and nine minutes later his measured cut-out pass enabled the winger to grab his second.
As Hull KR continued to fritter away possession, Huddersfield tightened their grip.
An interception by winger Sam Wood set up the position for second-rower Chris McQueen to send centre Leroy Cudjoe over for his first try for two years.
Sezer succeeded with just one of his conversion attempts and Oliver Russell had no joy when he took over as the Giants were restricted to an 18-0 half-time lead.
Parcell began the fightback when he touched down Jordan Abdull’s grubber kick and Jamie Ellis, on the 200th appearance of his career, added the goal.
Russell restored his side’s three-score cushion with a penalty but Parcell took a return pass from prop Nathaniel Peteru to score his second try that kept his side in the game.
Huddersfield looked to have wrestled back the initiative when McQueen touched down Sezer’s grubber kick for their fourth try, which Russell converted, but they could not shake off their gritty opponents as Parcell’s neat footwork enabled him to complete his treble.
But Parcell blotted his copybook in the 61st minute when he was sin-binned for holding down Golding after a glorious 80-metre break by the Giants full-back and the home side made use of the extra man to work centre Jake Wardle over for their fifth touchdown.
Russell booted his third goal to make it 32-18 but Rovers had the final say when a 40-20 kick from Abdull created the position for teenager Will Tate to score his first try for the club