The Giants suffered a 50-0 defeat to the Rhinos on their last visit to Headingley – a pre-season testimonial for Keith Senior and Paul Reilly – but the improvement shown today was still not enough.
Chris Thorman converted a ninth-minute penalty to open the scoring for the visitors, but Leeds hit back – an excellent run from Rob Burrow allowing Clinton Toopi to grab the game’s first try.
Huddersfield reclaimed their advantage with a try from Eorl Crabtree taking the score to 8-4 in their favour, but tries from Jamie Jones-Buchannan and Lee Smith edged the hosts into a 14-8 half-time lead.
Kevin Sinfield added a penalty just after the hour mark to extend the lead by two points, before Keith Mason sent Thorman over the line to reduce the arrears to a mere four points.
The Giants continued the pressure on the Leeds try-line right up until the end, but did not have enough to score a try that could have won the game – instead the Rhinos took another two points on their quest for Super League glory.