Having come close to victory in a couple of their previous games Huddersfield came up with their first win of the season in a highly entertaining encounter against Macclesfield at Lockwood Park on Saturday.
Huddersfield were quickly out of their blocks and into their stride and completely dominated the first forty minutes. The two point lead they took in at the interval seemed scant reward for their total superiority in the half. Macclesfield’s defensive qualities were put to the test throughout by some exciting and dynamic fifteen man rugby and they held good for over half an hour. Elliot Knight came close to breaking the deadlock following a decisive break by flanker Lewis Bradley and some neat passing exchanges but the Macclesfield defence held firm.
Having survived the early onslaught Macclesfield took the lead on 25 minutes in their first foray forward, Charlie Reed landing a penalty from 35 yards when Huddersfield were penalised for not releasing a tackled player.
Richard Piper eventually established a lead for ‘Field’ with a try on 32 minutes, driving over in the maul following a fine scrummage.
Huddersfield started the second half without the services of centre Tom Owen following his yellow carding just before the interval. Macclesfield took full advantage of their extra man and produced their best spell of rugby just after the break. Their efforts were rewarded with a corner flag try on 47 minutes, the end product of a speedy break by full back Charlie Reed and some quick re-cycling. When the impressive Reed, making his first full start for Macclesfield, landed the difficult conversion and added a penalty three minutes later it looked as though another game may be slipping out of Huddersfield’s grasp.
However it proved not to be the case. Huddersfield composed themselves, re-captured their first half form and finished the match strongly. Coach Gaz Lewis had introduced some personnel changes and his re-jigged side shaped up to make the match safe. Centre Brandon Conway made a welcome return after injury and looked dangerous every time he was involved and prop Adam Blades brought his vast experience to bear in the tight.
Huddersfield’s second try came on 55 minutes, Lewis Bradley rounding off a quality passage of play in the right hand corner. When West landed the touch line conversion the deficit was cut to a single point.
Huddersfield dominated the set pieces in the final quarter and when Macclesfield were penalised for a scrummage offence on 70 minutes West’s kick from 35 yards out restored their lead. A final try by Nick Sharpe wrapped up the win. Macclesfield were out-muscled and penalised in a succession of three scrummages down the right wing with Sharpe touching down comfortably behind a final drive. West again added the extras from wide out.
The match ended in bizarre fashion with Reed taking a kick at goal from the tee on the centre spot at the re-start. Referee Ieuan Davies had penalised Lewis Bradley after the try for some un-gentlemanly mickey taking. Reed’s last kick failed to make the distance.