It was sweltering in the south of France as Huddersfield Giants were in town for a mid-table clash with the Catalans Dragons where the prize was eighth place in the Super League table. The Dragons were the tenants at kick off but after a poor season, the Giants had their eyes on moving in from their current ninth position.
The conditions would be draining and official water breaks were scheduled for player welfare.
The Giants appear to be turning a corner with three wins in their last five games but the Dragons are in all sorts of problems with just one win in their last eight matches.
After good work in the opening minutes the Giants got off to a sensational start with three tries in a seven minute spell around the quarter hour to take a 16-0 lead.
Aaron Murphy got the opening try on 12 minutes, going over in the corner off a Dale Ferguson pass, but Danny Brough was unable to add the conversion but just four minutes later, Shannon Wakeman grabbed the second when he twisted out of a Sam Moa tackle. This time Brough managed to add the goal.
On nineteen, Brough took a short pass after great forty metre Jordan Turner break to dive over. Martin Ridyard stepped up to take the conversion with Brough nursing an injury sustained in scoring and put the ball straight between the sticks.
The Dragons struck back on twenty-six when Tony Gigot found a way through the Giants defence off a Remi Casty pass to score. Luke Walsh added the extras to reduce the arrears to ten points.
On thirty-eight a Leroy Cudjoe kick was grounded by Jake Mamo. The referee consulted the video official but the try was given. With Brough now off the field, Ridyard kicked a touchline conversion for a 22-6 lead at the interval.
The Giants fans were delighted to see Brough back on the pitch for the start of the second half and they were cheering after just five minutes when he ran the angle, throwing a dummy and then stepping inside the final defender to go in behind the sticks. Ridyard kept the kicking duties and was accurate for 28-6.
On fifty minutes Jake Mamo intercepted a wayward pass a few metres from his own line and went the length of the field to score and seal the point for the visitors. Ridyard failed to add the conversion but at 32-6 there was no comeback for the Dragons.
On fifty-four the Giants procession continued when Jermaine McGillvary took advantage of some awful Dragons defence to walk in for a four-pointer. Ridyard added the extras for 38-6.
On sixty-two Mamo took a Sebastine Ikahihifo pass on the Dragons thirty, kicked through, collected himself and went in under the sticks for his hat-trick try. Ridyard kicked from in front of the sticks for 44-6.
Mamo's fourth came on seventy when he ran through a broken Dragons defence to again ground under the sticks without a tacklers hand on him. Ridyard's kick brought up the fifty, an embarrassment for the home side.
Sam Moa grabbed a consolation on seventy-three when he exposed a gap in the Giants defence to score under the sticks giving Walsh a simple conversion to get his side into double figures. But two minutes later McGillvary twisted the knife when he took a Leroy Cudjoe pass to go over. Ridyard's touchline conversion made it a final score of 56-12.
This was a masterclass from the Giants who hardly put a foot wrong in a sensational win in the French heat. The Dragons are in total disarray but that shouldn't take anything away from how good the Giants were. This was their biggest ever win over the Dragons in Perpignan and lifts them into the top eight, where they will hope to remain for the next six rounds. The Dragons will need to lick their wounds and try and regain some of the pat famous fire next round in Warrington.
Gigot (T), Duport, Inu, Thornley, Yaha, Walsh (2G), Myler, Margaret, Djalout, Bosquet, Moa (T), Aiton, Casty. Subs: Anderson, Da Costa, Simon, Seguier.
Mamo (4T), McGillvary (2T), Cudjoe, Turner, Murphy (T), Brough (2T, G), Ridyard (7G), Wakeman (T), Leeming, Ikahihifo, Ferguson, Roberts, Hinchcliffe. Subs: Rapira, O'Brien, Mellor, Clough.