By L Hammond
Huddersfield powered to a bonus point victory over Firwood & Waterloo to leave them one point adrift of leaders Stockport.
‘Field ran in four tries and were also awarded two penalty tries in quick succession as their forward dominance throughout the match was rewarded with recognition on the scoreboard.
In spite of gale force winds and sheeted rain, both sides attempted to play free-flowing rugby with the final score reflecting the attacking endeavour of each team.
Firwood began the match the brighter of the two teams, with centre Freeman Payne scything through the Huddersfield defence to give his side early field position in the Field twenty-two. After several accurate forward drives from the ruck, Firwood prop Alec Reed burrowed over from the short distance to get his side the first points of the game.
Firwood kept the pressure on Huddersfield forcing several handling errors with an effective rush defence. They also attacked with precision quickly registering their second and final score of the match. Finding huddersfields defence narrowed around the ruck on their own try line. Firwood played a simple miss pass to Flanker Oliver Nevan who walked over the Huddersfield try line unopposed.
Falling two scores behind seemed to finally wake up Huddersfield who scored through a piece of individual brilliance from winger Thomas Van Rooyan. “TVR” surged through the Firwood backline, shaking off four of five would be tacklers and making over 30 metres before offloading to hooker James Davies, who then seemed to play an impossible offload through a body of men to Full-Back Tom Hodson who ran in for Fields first score.
The same protagonists were quickly linking up again for Fields second score. This time Davies would act as provider for Van Rooyan, following several forward rumbles into the Firwood half. Hooker Davies again fires a skilful offload this time finding Van Rooyan who canters to the Firwood try line from over 20 metres out to give Huddersfield the lead.
With the half time score only 17-12, Huddersfield returned to the second half, showing much more fight than they did in the first. The breaking point in the match came when replacement prop Tony Stringwell entered the fray. The experienced prop lent all his technique to the second half demolition of the Firwood scrum.
With penalties being distributed almost at will, ‘Field marched down the pitch to the Firwood twenty-two, where one collapsed scrum too many resulted in the referee awarding the frist penalty try. The next five minutes saw the feat repeated as Huddersfield reaped the rewards of a dominant scrum with a second penalty try.
If Huddersfield had now gained the upper hand in the set piece, they were also proving to be the better side in open play. With Firwood now camped on their own try line, Prop Alex Battye intercepted a pass and drove over from short range to all but ensure the victory for ‘Field.
The scoring was finished with another intercept try. With Firwood looking to regain some last minute pride from the match and attempted miss-pass was easily spotted and snatched by winger Elliot Hodgson who ran the length of the pitch to leave the scoring at 43-12 to Huddersfield.