Huddersfield produced an awesome display of class and control in the final half hour of their match at the Ferens Ground to beat Hull and extend their unbeaten run in National 3 North to five matches. The visitors ran in five tries in a devastating final spell to take the match out of sight of the home side and bolster their position at the top of the table.
Early exchanges were fairly even with both teams showing a willingness to take the ball into contact, recycle and put their opponents defence to the test. Both defences held firm as each was probed in search of a breakthrough.After half an hour Huddersfield were starting to assert their authority and it was they who broke the deadlock. When Hull were penalised for not releasing in the tackle Huddersfield set up a good maul from the lineout from which lock Austen Thompson broke free and almost crossed the line. With Hull infringing to prevent a score the ball was recycled in field and scrum half Dan Jeffrey cleverly touched down against the post protector for the first try which was converted very comfortably by fly half Chris Bell.
From the re-start Hull winger Lee Birch made an incisive break down the right flank requiring Huddersfield to mount some strong defence on their own line. The home side worked the ball full width and although ‘Field’ managed to regain possession and clear their lines the danger wasn’t over. From a line out on the 22 metre line Hull prop George Thornton broke clear and made a good off load to Cameron Curry who touched down centre field with full back Tomasi Tanumi adding the equalising conversion on 38 minutes.
As the final seconds of the half ticked away Hull mounted a good attack following an excellent counter ruck. Huddersfield centre Tom Owen was penalised for a deliberate knock on and given a yellow card for his indiscretion and Tanumi landed the kick to give his team a three point lead at half time.
After the interval Hull produced a lively start and once again put Huddersfield’s defence to the test but a strong turnover by Dan Jeffrey robbed the home side of the ball and turned the tables. From that point the rugby traffic started to flow one way with Huddersfield showing a lot of control and commitment. They came close to a second score on 48 minutes following another great maul from a lineout and despite losing centre Elliot Hodgson to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle they were soon back on terms. A Chris Bell penalty on 54 minutes bringing the scores level again.
Six minutes later a speedy break by winger Danny Grainger and a nifty grubber kick through by Austen Thompson resulted in another lineout from which replacement prop Callum Thompson scored the second try. Once again Chris Bell added the extras. The young half back was in imperious form with the boot and was not to miss any of his subsequent opportunities and take his personal tally for the day to 15 points. Directly from the re-start Huddersfield were back in attack. A grubber kick behind the defence isolated Hull’s last defender who was easily robbed only for ‘Field’ to squander a three man overlap with some careless passing. Try three however was not long in coming. On 65 minutes when Hull lost their own lineout Austen Thompson rolled out of tackles to crash through near the posts. Shortly afterwards another deft kick behind the defence by Bell put his winger Brandon Conway in for try four in the left corner.
For the last ten minutes Huddersfield ran relentlessly at their opponents, punching holes and forcing penalties. Flanker Lewis Bradley and replacement hooker Ben Morrill, who was making his first appearance in over 12 months following injury, making some notable yards. On 76 minutes Callum Thompson crashed over for his second try of the match and although Hull mounted a final attack it was Huddersfield who had the last word. When Hull were penalised on the Huddersfield 22 referee Ben Raynor marched them back another 10 metres following a bit of back chat. The penalty put Hull back on their own 22 and from the resulting lineout Lewis Bradley drove over powerfully for the final try. Bell’s conversion brought the match to its close.