Huddersfield Academy v Sheffield Tigers
17th November 2013
HRUFC’s Academy team continued their winning ways against the top 4 teams in the Yorkshire Senior Colts Premier Division with a solid win against a strong Sheffield Tigers team at Lockwood Park on 17 November 13. Having lost to the Shield team on 22 September 13 with only 14 men, Huddersfield were confident that with a fuller team and continuing the good run of results that the result could be reversed. Unfortunately Huddersfield took the field missing key wingers Jordan Higo and Gypsy Black as well as influential no 8 Callum Swift and robust second row forwards Jake Houlaghan and Sam Crompton. On the other side Sheffield clearly had a couple of players missing notably the fly half.
Huddersfield again started well, a real focus over the last few games and as a result of early pressure, Lewis Workman started the process of accumulating points for Huddersfield with a fine penalty kick. The early exchanges belonged to Huddersfield. Strong carrying again from Elliot Clemson supported magnificently by Oliver Kirk made inroads into the Sheffield Tigers defence. It was as a results of a magnificent break from Kirk, who kept the ball alive and quick offload plays culminated in the ubiquitous James Ervine popping tight head prop Mikey Hramiak for an excellent try. Lewis Workman converted the points to give Huddersfield the best possible start.
Huddersfield played some quality rugby, good pitch position, line out to line out from a number of penalties conceded by the Sheffield pack.
As expected the Tigers lads came back towards the end of the first half, a number of strong individual runners making ground through some sloppy Huddersfield defence. Huddersfield failed to clear the ball out of play in the 40th minute of a 35 minute first half and Sheffield pounced to score, missing the subsequent conversion.
Half time – Huddersfield 10 – Sheffield Tigers 5
The second half started pretty much as the first half. Huddersfield got control of the ball early and ran a couple of phases left to right for Lewis Workman to outstrip the inside defence to reach for a well taken try 15m in from the right hand touchline. Workman with his kicking boots on, drilled the conversion.
It was then Sheffield’s turn to dominate the ball and camped on Huddersfield line, with their favoured closed carries battered the Huddersfield defence. To their credit Huddersfield kept them out on a couple of occasions with brave defence notably from Ervine, Cooper, Prescott, Clemson and Workman, all involved in last ditch hits or holding Tigers players up over the line.
Cooper was sin binned for a technical offence around the ruck area and Sheffield used the numerical advantage to put a wide player over for a score on 25 minutes. Again the conversion missed.
Huddersfield struck back immediately. Chased the kick off well, Cooper and Prescott tackling the Sheffield player into touch. From the resultant line out, fantastic ball off the top gave Workman good ball to hit Danny Randall Grainger on a sublime angled line to score under the posts, no one saw him never mind tackled him! Workman kicked the easy conversion from under the post.
At this stage Huddersfield were conceding penalties every two minutes or so with Sheffield Tigers chasing the game. Always threatening with strong runners. From a breakdown the ball was moved right to left for the Sheffield player to launch himself from 5 m out parallel to the ground for an unstoppable try, that’s the way to finish! The Tigers kicker converting the points.
The game ended with Huddersfield still conceding penalties and holding on. A late penalty 25 m out was quite rightly elected for goal, a resultant dead ball ending the game. Workman drilled the ball off the post back into play and a fractious last minute was ended by the referee.
Another top 4 scalp for Huddersfield’s Academy, although they need to sort out their defence around the ruck area if they are going to maintain the 2nd place in the Premier Division.
Man of the match for Huddersfield was Danny Randall Grainger for an all action inside centre performance in defence and attack. Other notable hard working performance from James Swerve Ervine, Elliot Clemson, Tom Logan and Oliver Kirk, all putting in shedloads of work.
Full time – Huddersfield Academy 24 – Sheffield Tigers 17
Huddersfield can take comfort from the fact that the performances are improving, their base game is looking better and still have a number of key players to return from injury. The next hurdle is the U18 National cup when the Huddersfield lads take on Pocklington at home on 24th November 2013.