Aidan Sezer took the limelight away from Israel Folau in Perpignan with an incredible debut performance for Huddersfield Giants.
The former Canberra Raiders scrum-half scored 16 points as the Giants ignored the script and totally dominated an indisciplined and disorganised Catalans Dragons side who crumbled to a 32-12 defeat.
Sezer eclipsed the performance of his fellow Aussie debutant as James Maloney failed to fire for the Dragons alongside Josh Drinkwater.
All talk of controversial signing Folau fell silent as the Giants ran riot with a powerful pack performance and an instant hit partnership at half-back between Sezer and Lee Gaskell.
Rumours were rife in the ground that Folau had already arrived in Perpignan but the Dragons are keeping their new recruit under wraps, fearful of adding flames to the media frenzy caused by his recruitment. Folau was sacked by Australian rugby union last year for making homophobic comments.
The early deadlock was broken by Sezer who kicked through the defence from 10 metres and Joe Wardle pounced on the loose ball. Sezer could not add the conversion but did not miss from there on in the match.
The Giants pressed their advantage 10 minutes later when Sezer fed Gaskell who put McGillvary into space on the right, and he crossed the line to put the visitors ahead 10-0 with Sezer’s conversion his first points for the club.
Catalans hit back when giant prop Sam Kasiano entered the field in the 26th minute, instantly creating havoc and linking up with Drinkwater and Sam Tomkins to put winger Fouad Yaha in on the left, Maloney landing his first points for the Dragons with an impressive touchline conversion.
But back came the Giants when Gaskell kicked through for Sezer to ground behind the posts and convert to make it 16-6 to Huddersfield at the interval.
Catalans raised faint hopes of a revival in the second half when Maloney and Drinkwater combined seamlessly to release Tomkins on a mazey run to score behind the sticks. Maloney’s conversion made it 16-12.
But then Sezer took control again, pulling two points back for the Giants from a penalty when Jason Baitieri went high on Gaskell.
Sezer was again to the fore, releasing Gaskell who put Louis Senior over in the corner, Sezer adding an impressive touchline conversion to make it 24-12 in the 58th minute.
Sezer was at the heart of the next try, chipping a precision kick out right for McGillvary to score, and the scrum-half added the conversion from the opposite touchline.
As the game descended into a series of niggling fouls, expertly co-ordinated by former Dragons player Kenny Edwards, Sezer stepped up to settle things with a penalty conversion in the 71st minute to complete a dream debut.