In a thundering first twenty five minutes Huddersfield set the seal on their third win of the season and secured their second try scoring bonus point. A minutes applause preceded the three o’clock kick off in tribute to the late Ian Fiddes. In the minutes that followed the present team produced a performance to do the great former Huddersfield captain proud.
After a solid opening ‘Field’ were on the scoresheet in five minutes. Under early pressure Wharfedale conceded a penalty and from the drive behind the resulting line out Richard Piper touched down. Jonny West added the first of his four conversions. Three minutes later West missed a penalty chance to extend Huddersfield’s lead but try two followed immediately afterwards. Winger Sam Nunn held a superb catch from a kick out of defence and fed West on an inside break with Austen Thompson in support. He neatly off loaded for flanker Lewis Bradley to score in the corner.
With Huddersfield now in unrelenting mood two more tries followed in the next ten minutes. When ‘Dale’lost a lineout on their ‘22’ Nick Sharpe broke clear with lock Adam Malthouse rounding off the move. Full back Lewis Workman was next, coming into the attacking line at speed on the left wing for a corner flag try.
When winger Brandon Conway scored a fifth try on twenty five minutes it looked as though the fate of Wharfedale was sealed with a potential rout on the cards. However the visitors had the best of the remainder of the half with ‘Field’ perhaps guilty of taking their foot off the gas. The visitors showed real spirit with their pack looking particularly effective on the maul. Defenders were sucked in creating the space for centre Joel Gill to nip through under the posts. Tom Barrett added the conversion. With half time beckoning scrum half Phil Woodhead made a thirty metre line break to put the ‘Field’ defence under more pressure. When a penalty was conceded as a result of it Woodhead nipped in for a try behind the scrum to reduce the deficit to fifteen points at the whistle.
‘Storm Brian’ arrived on cue as forecast at 4pm and the visitors started the second period with the driving wind and rain at their backs. Three minutes into the half a Tom Barrett penalty put ‘Dale’ within just two scores of their hosts. Under threat Huddersfield regained composure and a second try for Malthouse on fifty minutes settled the nerves. In a five minute spell leading up to the hour mark the two teams traded tries. First in was Wharfedale full back Tom Mann, rounding the defence on the overlap. His effort was answered almost immediately by Huddersfield centre Will Milner who scored his team’s seventh and final try.
The final minutes of the match were marked by some good attacking play by Wharfedale and some resolute defensive work by Huddersfield. Several powerful drives close to the Huddersfield line by the ‘Dale’ pack met with stiff resistance and great tackling but eventually the defensive line was stretched sufficiently for replacement Ben Parkinson to score in the right hand corner.