Report by Patrick Moore
South Leicester 40-14 Huddersfield
Huddersfield RUFC ended their season in the National North II with a 40-14 loss to South Leicester. The home side got their five points to remain in the division as a weakened Field side found it hard to cope.
Gareth Lewis’ side was again hit by numerous absences and was forced to only name three substitutes.
South Leicester started the game brighter and the Field’s defence coped well not to concede a try in the early stages. But they finally broke and Leicester’s Christopher Gibbs scored after a scrum near the try line. Richie Alley kicked the conversion.
Minutes later they doubled the lead when Gibbs scored his second of the game after he broke the line following another scrum. Alley converted well from distance.
Huddersfield had their first chance of a try soon after but lost possession, and when Ross Thornton got sent to the sin bin for a dubious decision, Leicester took full advantage; albeit in controversy. Oliver Scrimshaw caught the ball in the goal line, but the referee awarded a scrum from the restart and Gibbs got his hat trick from that play.
South Leicester again hampered more woe to misery when they got another converted try before the break, this time Blane Howe finding a break on the left side of the field.
Things got worse when Matthew Cooke and Andrew Gates each had their tries converted, but the Field restored some pride when Joel Hinchliffe scored a try with fifteen minutes to go. Hinchliffe converted well from a tight angle. Lewis Bradley was on the scoresheet for the Field for the second week running and Hinchliffe converted with ease to end a disappointing season for Huddersfield.
“We had a hindered side today, what with the fact we only had three players on the bench due to illnesses and injuries,” said coach Gareth Lewis. “It was always going to be difficult for the lads to get up for it and I think that reflected in the first half,”
“They needed the five points to stay up and you could tell they wanted it by how fast they came up out of the tracks,”
“The first half was really disappointing and I don’t think the referee managed the scrums particularly well. I think as the game went on we dug in and gave some credit in the second half by scoring two tries.”
The referee was a talking point amongst the fans with questionable decisions throughout the game going against Adam Tamanis when he seemed to be illegally held from the scrums, and Lewis was shocked.
“The standard of refereeing has been very good this season and it’s been our own indiscipline which has let us down, but today it wasn’t great,” said Lewis. “In fairness to South Leicester, you do what you can to get away with things and they did that,”
“It’s the end of one chapter and we have to move on now. The lads are looking forward to the break before they’re back and reenergised. They will be raring to go next season.”
Fly half Chris Bell has also signed for next season, and Lewis is happy the way things are going as Huddersfield look to make an immediate return to the National North II.
“Belly has signed for next season and we’ve bought a new prop in Reuben Pollard from Old Crossleyans in Halifax, so that’s good news,
“There may be one or two new recruits coming through in the next few weeks too, so we are very much in progress as we prepare for National North III.”
Huddersfield starting XV:
15- Tom Kanauros
14- Elliot Knight
13- Tom Owen
12- Lewis Workman
11- Oliver Scrimshaw
10- Tom Hodson
9- Joel Hinchliffe
1- Adam Tamanis
2- Ross Thornton
3- Tom Baxter
4- Nick Rhodes
5- Declan Thompson
6- Lewis Bradley
7- Liam Parfitt
8- Nick Sharpe
13’ Danny Grainger for Tom Hodson
23’ Ed Birkhead for Declan Thompson
41’ Henry Walker for Ross Thornton
58’ Declan Thompson for Elliot Knight
66’ Ross Thornton for Tom Kanauros