Huddersfield Rugby Union Club will be looking for a big upsurge in performance when they tackle Leicester Lions at Lockwood Park on Saturday after letting standards slip in defeat against Harrogate at their Rudding Park ground.
So impressive the previous week when beating Sandal in National II North, Gareth Lewis’s side never got going on their first ever visit to the new Rudding Park ground and paid the price with a 27-8 loss.
They weren’t helped by a harsh sin-binning for Adam Malthouse in the first half and, in the second, both a red card for Adam Tamanis and a late injury to Chris Bell which brought an early finish to the fixture.
However, this wasn’t a continuation of the form from the derby match against Sandal, and Huddersfield endured a dreadful first half, finding themselves 20-3 down at the interval.
County player Lewis Minikin did a lot of the damage.
Huddersfield fell behind on 18 minutes to a try by Tom White, after Minikin had missed an easy early penalty, and while the conversion was missed, Minkin added another penalty after 29 minutes, with Harrogate pegging Huddersfield back continually and forcing some last-ditch defending.
From a rare break into the home half, when they were down to 14 with Malthouse in the bin, Chris Bell got Field on the scoresheet with a 31st-minute penalty, but the relief was shortlived as Callum Irvine made a clean break through the middle for Harrogate to score, with Minikin adding the two.
Three minutes later, Minikin was over himself and the outlook seemed bleak for the visitors.
Thankfully, they improved somewhat in the second half and hit back with a try by Malthouse on 51 minutes, after an excellent rolling maul from a 10m line-out.
Huddersfield were then looking more threatening and Harrogate were having to cope with having Steven Maycock in the sin bin, but the dismissal of Tamanis for an alleged punch in a fracas effectively changed the course again.
Minikin scored and converted the final try on 75 minutes and the game was halted soon after that following the injury to Bell, which required him to visit hospital for a check-up.
Supporters should note it’s a 2pm kick-off at Lockwood Park this Saturday for the visit of the high-riding Lions.
MATCH REPORT COURTESY OF MEL BOOTH AT THE HUDDERSFIELD EXAMINER