Huddersfield coach Rick Stone admitted the best team won after Gareth O'Brien inspired Salford to a 30-20 victory at the John Smith's Stadium.
The Giants scored the game's first try through England winger Jermaine McGillvary but failed to finish off a series of other chances and O'Brien made them pay with two tries and seven goals from as many attempts in a 22-point haul.
"Any time you lose, it's disappointing," Stone said. " I thought our effort in the second half was great.
"We had some momentum to win the game but probably didn't stay as composed as we needed to be. Sometimes when you're chasing points, there's a bit of panic and I think there was a bit of that.
"W e tried hard and kept coming back but the opposition kept firing bullets too. It was a decent contest. W e just got beat by a hungrier team, to be honest.
"Full credit goes to the opposition, they deserved to win."
Trailing 16-4 early in the second half, Huddersfield struck back when centre Alex Mellor surged over twice in three minutes to claim his first Super League tries.
"Alex has been really good for us in the first two weeks," Stone said. "His yardage carries were good, he finished off a couple of tries and found a couple of neat passes when he needed to.
"I'm really happy for him."
Salford coach Ian Watson was delighted with the way his side responded to their opening-round home defeat to Wigan.
"It's really pleasing on the back of the Wigan game because we spoke all week about things we need to learn from it and I think we put a few wrongs right tonight," Watson said.
"We had that toughness about us tonight. We showed great determination and great character.
"It's a big win for us because last year in tight games we were coming out on wrong side of them. Hopefully can understand how to manage games."
O'Brien, whose golden-point drop goal saved Salford from relegation at the end of last season, once more took most of the plaudits but Watson was particularly impressed by forwards Lee Mossop and Josh Jones, who clinched the victory with a late solo try.
"I don't like singling people out but I thought Lee Mossop looked like he did when he was playing for England and Josh Jones took his try well at the end," Watson said.
"I know they've not been mentioned but those two are pushing themselves for England spots."
Meanwhile, Watson says Australian stand-off Todd Carney could make his debut against Leeds next Friday after receiving his visa.
The former Catalans Dragons player has been training on his own in Sydney while waiting for the paperwork to go through and is expected to arrive in England this weekend.
"I spoke with Todd this morning and he's really keen to get over," Watson said. "He's trying to get across by Sunday.
"If he gets a full week training, potentially he could be in the 19 for Leeds."