WIDNES gave it their best shot at the John Smith's Stadium before going down 28-14 to Huddersfield Giants.

Those predicting a major hangover for the Vikings following their disappointing Challenge Cup exit the previous week were proved wrong but in truth the Giants were always just one step ahead.

After a cagey opening it was the home side who opened the scoring when Larne Patrick hit a short ball from Eorl Crabtree at pace and scorched over from 20 metres with Danny Brough converting.

Ex-Viking Scott Grix looked set to increase the lead but was pulled back for a forward pass while both Flynn and Ah Van went close at the other end.

On 20 minutes, the Vikings levelled things up. They were awarded three consecutive penalties on the opposition line before the dam finally broke as Danny Tickle forced his way over from a Joe Mellor drop-off.

Four minutes before the break, Tickle chipped over a 35 metre penalty to edge Widnes in front but they were hit with a sucker punch just before the interval.

From a scrum near his own line, Brough kicked deep. Jodie Broughton beat opposite number Flynn to the loose ball and hacked it on before centre Joe Wardle scooped up to touch down.

Brough again added the extras to give the Giants a 12-8 half-time lead.

The Yorkshiremen should have increased their lead nine minutes into the second half when a Brough long pass found Broughton but the winger hesitated and allowed Flynn to get back to make the tackle.

Both sides seemed to be struggling to find the killer play to open up their opponents but after a spell of pressure in the Widnes '20', Giants winger Jermaine McGillvary managed to squeeze over wide out to make it 16-8 after 64 minutes.

Prop forward Antonio Kaufusi increased Huddersfield's lead by a further six points when he rumbled over from close range but the Vikings showed they still had some fight left as fullback Rhys Hanbury skipped through some ineffective tackling to score at the other end with Tickle converting.

However, Denis Betts' men just didn't quite have the necessary energy in the closing stages and instead it was the Giants who had the final say when hooker Shaun Lunt sneaked over for a trademark six-pointer from dummy-half.

Widnes may welcome the fortnight's break afforded by next |Saturday's Challenge Cup final because they will need to pick up some more points in their final three games to secure a play-off place.

Huddersfield: Grix; McGillvary, Murphy, Wardle, Broughton; Brough, Robinson; Crabtree, Lunt, Kaufusi, Ferres, Ta'ai, Patrick. Subs: Kopczak, Bailey, Lawrence, Mullally.

Widnes: Hanbury; Flynn, Marsh, Dean, Ah Van; Brown, Mellor; Cahill, White, O'Carroll, Allen, Galea, Tickle. Subs: Leuluai, Johnson, Carberry, Joseph.

Referee: M Thomason Attendance: 5,346