By L Hammond
Huddersfield overcame woeful playing conditions to score four tries in a 29 – 13 victory over lowly Penrith.
In a match dictated by heavy rain and wind, Huddersfield’s forward pack dominated their Penrith counterparts with captain and Number Eight Nick Sharpe scoring two tries and Hooker James Davies raising the packs try total to three out of the four scored.
Winger Michael Clarke finished the scoring for Huddersfield, the bonus point victory lifts Field 12 points clear at the top of the league standings.
Penrith started the match the brighter of the two sides and although they were initially penalised for not being able to get their kick-off to travel the full ten metres required due to the gales hanging over the pitch, opened the scoring with a try through Centre Mike Hawley.
After several strong drives through the middle of the pitch from the Penrith forwards, Scrum-Half Ed Swale played a flat pass along the gain line which found Hawley in acres of space as the centre ran in unopposed.
The shock of falling behind to league’s bottom side seemed to inject some life into Huddersfield who responded with a try of their own.
Huddersfield’s set piece was a point of strength all game and well caught line-out was turned into a powerful driving maul which was driven to the Penrith try line where Huddersfield Captain Nick Sharpe dove over the line for his first try of the match.
The first half ended with Huddersfield and Sharpe’s second try. With Huddersfield’s front row winning numerous penalties at the scrum, Field chose to go quickly and tap and go. After several drives at the Penrith line, the ball found its way to Nick Sharpe who ran in for his second try of the match.
The second half began in the same fashion as the first ended, with a Huddersfield try. After again choosing to tap and go after another bout of scrum penalties. After several drives at the Penrith line, Huddersfield Scrum-Half Joel Hinchcliffe fired a miss pass out to winger Michael Clark who caught the ball above his head and ran in Fields third try of the game.
Huddersfield now began to dominate fixture with concerted forward play but were caught napping in defence, allowing Penrith to run almost the full length of the field to register arguably the score of the day.
Penrith received the ball in their own twenty-two after a poor clearance kick from Field. Instigated by Full-Back Ben Littleton they then proceeded to off-load their way up the pitch, exploiting holes in the Huddersfield defence. The final pass found Second Rower James Hogg who charged over the Huddersfield try line unopposed.
With playing conditions worsening due to the arrival of heavy rain, Penrith let slip a ball from a line-out on their own five metre line. Huddersfield Hooker James Davies was the quickest to react falling on the loose ball over the line to secure the result for Huddersfield.