Huddersfield Captain Nick Sharpe.
Huddersfield RUFC got their first away win of the season when scoring a dramatic 27-20 victory at Broadstreet in National II North.
Gareth Lewis’s side crossed for five tries to secure a bonus point and the much-needed win means Field move off the bottom of the table as they go in to the Christmas break.
Ross Thornton scored to put the visitors up 5-3 early on in the first half, with Joel Hinchliffe – taking the kicks as Chris Bell started on the bench – agonisingly hitting a post on the conversion.
Elliott Hodgson got himself sin-binned for a high tackle, though, and Broadstreet fought back to put themselves 13-5 up.
But Austen Thompson scored, vitally, just before the break to put Huddersfield within touching distance of their relegation rivals.
A post was hit again from the conversion, this time from substitute Bell.
That try must have put confidence into the Huddersfield side, however, as they scored three tries in six minutes (first by Nick Sharpe and two from Tom Hodson) which opened up a gap the home side could not make up.
Unbelievably, Bell hit the woodwork again from Hodson’s first try.
Broadstreet didn’t give up and scored again to make the match a converted try away from a draw, but the sturdy Huddersfield defence did enough to keep the strugglers out, and coach Lewis was delighted.
“I’m absolutely made up for the lads,” said Lewis. “They deserve it with all the hard work and dedication they’ve put in over the last few tough weeks.
“It’s a massive result for us all.
“It was a bit ‘squeaky bum’ time at the end there, especially when we went down to 13 men. But the lads showed heart and character to get themselves off the bottom of the table.
“It’s only one win, but this is hopefully a start of a turn of results.”
Captain Nick Sharpe, who led his team brilliantly throughout the match, spoke of how proud he was of his team.
“We’re all massively delighted with that,” he said. “There was big pressure on but we turned up and showed them what we can do.”
Huddersfield survived the late onslaught with just 13 men, as Thompson and Dan Jeffrey got sin-binned late on for foul play, and Lewis gave his thoughts on the referee’s decisions.
“I thought a few of the sin-bins were a little bit harsh, but I’ll have to look back at them on the videos,” said Lewis.
“Elliott’s high tackle came from poor defence. It’s a bit of a concern but ultimately getting the win is what we came here to do and we’ve done that.”
Opening try-scorer Thornton also told of his delight following the crucial win.
“I’m absolutely delighted, this was a must-win and to do the job like that gives us an extra buzz,” he said.
“It’s been a long time coming with all the bad results as of late, but hopefully we can get some more wins on the run now.
“To get on the scoresheet is always nice but it’s just more important that we got the win.”
With Huddersfield’s next match not until the New Year, the win gives the Lockwood Park men a massive boost as they head to the Christmas break.
“The lads are capable of performing like that, what we’ve seen here, but, for me, we can also perform better; which is a very good thing,” explained Lewis.
“The boys can enjoy their Christmas now. There’s a week break but we’re back in training between Christmas and the New Year.
“I’m looking forward to the home game against Tynedale. Now we have our first away win of the season, the aim is to get back-to-back wins.”
Huddersfield: Rawsthorne, Kanauros, Hodgson, Owen, Hodson, Workman, Hinchliffe, Tamanis, Walker, Sanderson, Rhodes (N), Thompson, Thornton, Hoyle, Sharpe. Bench: Rhodes (G), Stringwell, Bradley, Bell, Jeffrey.