Huddersfield 85-14 Firwood Waterloo
Huddersfield RU put Firwood Waterloo to an 85-14 sword as they stormed to their third 5-point win in a row.
The high scoring win, where Elliot Hodgson scored an outstanding six of the Field’s 13 tries, preserves their 100% start to the season and puts Gareth Lewis’ side six points ahead at the top of the National Three North table.
It was a dominant display from Huddersfield who found it easy to split a weak Firwood pack and exploit their wingers all too often as they recycled the ball impressively on a dry afternoon at Lockwood Park.
The Field wasted no time in putting points next to their name on the scoreboard. Hodgson got his first try of the afternoon after Lewis Workman did well to offload near the try line and Bell converted to give an early lead.
They were over again minutes later as Hodgson found space and he returned the favour for Workman who went over the whitewash. Bell converted from a tight angle.
As the floodgates looked to have been opened early doors, Firwood did well to muster a good spell of possession and were rewarded when an awkward grubber kick found John Cunningham and his try was converted to make it 14-7.
However, the Liverpool side couldn’t keep momentum and in the next phase Danny Grainger scored in the corner, this time Bell missed his conversion.
Bell, though, wasn’t to let his miss get to him and he picked up a loose lineout from Firwood and gave the ball to Hodgson who ran half the pitch to go under the sticks, Bell added the two.
The floodgates were then well and truly left open, and despite Adam Malthouse receiving a dubious yellow card to spend ten minutes in the sin bin, Huddersfield went over through Tom Owen who handed off Firwood with ease. Bell this time missed from a tight angle.
Just before the half time whistle, the Field were in freely again and Hodgson’s deft grubber kick found Brandon Conway who made no mistake. Bell added to make it 38-7 at the break.
It didn’t take long for Huddersfield to restate their intent in the second half, and from the first play Hodgson got his hat trick after a turn of direction and burst of acceleration from inside his own half. Bell converted.
The Field were then through again as Austen Thompson broke, but he opted to offload to Conway who knocked on. But Thompson made amends as he went over in the corner minutes later. Bell missed a tough conversion, one which was to be the last he put wide.
Conway then grabbed his second try in the corner and it was a matter of who wanted to get on the scoresheet as the Field were 57-7 up with 25 minutes left.
That was enough time for Hodgson to score another hat trick. The centre went over three times in just eight minutes as Firwood were dead and buried. After Bell’s good break for Hodgson to go over, his fifth try typified the ex-Giants man’s performance as he tore Firwood’s defence apart. He will then have a lot to thank Workman as he completed his double hat-trick. Bell added conversions with ease.
With the five points well and truly in the bag, Firwood actually looked like the team to have the final say on the game as Cunningham intercepted a loose pass on the Huddersfield 22 line and his try was converted.
But Grainger got his second of the afternoon as he split the Firwood defence and Bell converted to give Huddersfield an 85-14 win- their sixth win on the bounce.
“We’re obviously delighted in how today’s game went,” said Lewis. “It was emphatic in the end but I’m a little bit disappointed in conceding 14 points if I’m honest. To score 85 though is an unbelievable effort.”
“I felt we worked really hard on the support play in some of the tries we scored. Also I’ve got to single out Elliot for scoring six tries because it’s a fantastic achievement.”
“I felt we butchered two or three chances too. In the first half we missed a 2-on-1 and then there was Austen Thompson’s offload; we have to be more clinical.”
“We’re coming up against some good sides in the next few weeks and we’ll work on our play in the final third of the pitch.
“The main thing today was about sticking to the game plan. Games like this can become fairly unstructured and people can look for the glory, but we did stick to the game plan and the tries we scored were great team tries.
“We had great width, particularly in the first half, and our set piece was strong again. That was really encouraging.”
With their table topping start to the league season, Huddersfield now face a home cup fixture against Sheffield at Lockwood Park this Saturday and Lewis see’s the game as a platform for the players who are knocking on the first team door.
“We’ve reassessed our goals in terms of this season. It’s a good competition and sometimes it fits in with the league programme and sometimes it doesn’t. This year we’re playing in less league games than last season in National Two and there’s a number of free weekends throughout the year. We have competition for places and it’s a good chance for a few lads who weren’t involved today.”