Huddersfield 67-3 Morley
Huddersfield RU ran riot yet again in a 67-3 rout against West Yorkshire rivals Morley. The Field scored nine tries without reply as they recorded their seventh bonus point win of the season, and a 100% kicking effort from Chris Bell helped Gareth Lewis’ side remain unbeaten and six points ahead of Rossendale at the top of the National North Three table.
An early knock on from Morley inside their 22’ gave a scrum to the Field and they were later awarded a penalty which Bell sailed over the bar. But Morley responded well, and a string of mistakes from the home side paved way for Dante van der Merwe to level through a penalty.
Bell soon put over his second penalty of the day and the Field got their first try through Elliot Hodgson with the best move of the match midway through the first half. Scrum-half Joel Hinchliffe did well to find Tom Owen from a scrum and the latter gave it to Hodgson who wrong footed the last Morley defender as he went under the posts for a converted try.
The Field didn’t have to wait too long until their deserved second try of the game when Ben Morrill showed incredible strength as he shoved off men for at least 15m to go under the sticks for another converted try.
After good work from Adam Malthouse to win the ball back in the tackle, Hinchliffe outsmarted the Morley defence as he faked a pass and went over for the third try of the game, and the bonus point was wrapped up before half time when Austen Thompson stormed through and touched down.
At 34-3 up, you’d have forgiven Lewis’ side to drop off their high standards, but the Field started better than where they left off, and within a minute of the restart Nick Sharpe went over in the corner, leaving Bell to score a fantastic conversion.
Winger Danny Grainger was next in on the demolition job as his try was converted after good work from Brandon Conway allowed the youngster to hit the whitewash. With the game done and dusted, Huddersfield welcomed back Mark Pease after a lengthy time out injured and the former Sandal man did well as Tom Owen went over in the corner. Bell again did brilliant to preserve his kicking record.
October player of the month Nick Rhodes also made his comeback from the bench as the Field did well to keep Morley out from scoring a try. With Bell off due to illness, Hinchliffe took over kicking duties as man of the match Callum Thompson went under the sticks with five minutes left.
And Conway had the last say when the Field did brilliant to move the ball from right to left as Morley ran on empties. Hinchliffe however couldn’t add the conversion from tight angle, but that won’t take any shine away from the big victory at Lockwood Park.
“We were very clinical today and again huge credit to the lads,” said Lewis. “On reflection, we scored some great tries. There was a period of 20-25 minutes where we did drop off, but it’s quite hard when you are such a dominant team. I thought we were fantastic and they deserve all the praise that they get.
“We spoke about having a target of keeping the points against us under 100 because before today we were on 96, and now we’re on 99 so we’re still there. There was a spell when they camped on our line but every one of our players put their bodies on the line.”
Huddersfield were without several regular first team forwards due to injuries and unavailability, including captain Alex Battye, and Lewis admits he faces a manager’s favourite kind of problem.
“There’s selection headache’s every week at the moment. There were a lot of players who weren’t involved today and I explained to everyone that they need to fight for their shirts to get them back. We are rotating players around and it’s a huge 26-man effort all season.”
“It’s another West Yorkshire derby against Cleckheaton next weekend so we expect a big challenge. They’ll come flying at us and it’s another tough week of training ahead so we’ll be ready to go.”