Report by Patrick Moore
Huddersfield 37-32 Luctonians
Huddersfield RUFC recorded their first win in 2016 as they came back from the dead this Easter Saturday to win 37-32 against inform Luctonians. The Lockwood Park side found themselves 25-10 down at half time, but four second half tries, which secured a bonus point, was enough to ensure Alex Battye’s first win as captain.
Luctonians took an early lead after Joel Hinchliffe’s attempted kick was cut out by Alex Smith who went over, and Lewis Silver scored the conversion. But Austen Thompson gave Gareth Lewis’ side the perfect response, and Chris Bell was on song with his kicking duties.
Both sides then scored a penalty each before Luctonians scored another converted try, and when the away side scored a further try before the break the game looked to be over.
But the Field came out like warriors in the second half, and Battye lead the comeback with a try just after the break.
Bell couldn’t convert from that, but made up for it when his kick lead to the Field’s third try of the match. Tom Owen did brilliantly to take the ball after a mix-up in defence from Luctonians, before his neat play set up Tom Kanauros whose own kick found Lewis Workman to pounce over. Bell put over the conversion and minutes later put Huddersfield level with his penalty going over off the post.
It wasn’t long until the dominating Field deservedly put themselves ahead, this time Adam Malthouse going over. And after a sin bin for the Luctonians, they again took full advantage and scored another try through Gavin Rhodes, with Bell converting well.
The drama wasn’t to stop there though, and things got heated between the two sides towards the final stages of the game. After discussions, the referee awarded a yellow card to Malthouse before sending off Lewis Bradley.
With just a minute to go, Luctonians scored a converted try, and when substitute Danny Grainger got sinbinned, Huddersfield were left with just 12 men to hold on to the lead.
“I’m absolutely made up for the lads. They thoroughly deserve it. They’ve gone through some tough times and the effort they’ve put in over this period has been unbelievable and todays justified that. This result is a credit to them,” said Lewis.
“Scoring five tries today shows just how good we have been attacking in recent weeks. We’ve looked threatening and I thought the forwards deserve a huge pat on the back too. The way they controlled the lineout today which has been questioned throughout the season was very pleasing,”
“We secured lineout possession and our driving wall was fantastic. All the forwards put in a huge effort and the backs got us in the right areas and it was a brilliant team performance,
“We went back to the reasons why we play the game. We enjoyed the game and played with a smile on our faces. having belief made us come out winners at the end of the game and I’m just delighted.”
“The manner in which we’ve lost games this season it’s only natural it was a bit nerve wracking for us at the end. In a way, the dustup at the end pleased me. It showed we were getting under their skin and that the players care about the club. It was unfortunate to get the red and yellow cards so it was backs against the walls in the end and we got across the line.”
The win gives Huddersfield a glimmer of hope at the bottom of the National North II division, and they now face an away trip to top of the table Macclesfield.
“We’ll go over to Macclesfield next week with nothing to lose. They are the best team in the league and are top for that reason, but we can show we can mix with anybody on our day. We have that belief back in ourselves and go again.”
1-Alex Battye (captain)
23’ Nick Rhodes for Henry Walker
62’ Danny Grainger for Tom Kanauros
74’ Tom Baxter for Adam Tamanis
76’ Joah Bradley for Chris Bell