The Falcons kicked off the season with a home tie against West Yorkshire rivals Sandal. Fielding a team with a blend of youth and experience hopes were high of a performance to reflect the pre season hard work. With the sun shining, the forwards carrying hard and Scrimshaw at 10 pulling the strings, the start was intense and powerful.
The first try came in the 12th minute when Huddersfield’s Arthur Wilkinson came into the line from full back, following a powerful surge from Josh Malkinson. Wilkinson ghosted past the Sandal 13 and dummied the full back to cross near the posts. Scrimshaw converting.
On 20 minutes Pete Hampshire surged through the Sandal forwards and was held up over the line. From the ensuing 5m scrum Sandal struggled to cope with the bigger more powerful Huddersfield pack. Veteran prop Tony Stringwell at tight head and young Toby Walker on the loose head gave their opponents a torrid time and ultimately a penalty try was awarded. 14-0
Shortly after on 27 minutes second row Pete Hampshire found himself out on the left. Throwing an audacious dummy, uncannily like All Black second row Brodie Rettalick against Australia, Big Pete crossed under the posts. Scrimshaw conversion 21-0
The high standard of play continued. Tom Van Rooyen at centre traumatised the Sandal back line carrying hard phase after phase. Eventually on 34 minutes a simple pop off from Scrimshaw saw TVR plow through the opposition line – a few deft steps around scrambling defenders saw him dot down under the posts. Scrimshaw conversion. 28-0
Ross Thornton back in Huddersfield shirt had a tremendous game. He carried hard around the fringes making yard after yard. Lineouts were hit time and time again. On 38 minutes another hard carry resulted in a break straight up the middle of the pitch. As ever Josh Malkinson was on Thornton’s shoulder with just the full back to beat -a try looked certain. For once the Sandal full back did not buy the dummy and smashed Thornton back. Luckily Toby Walker was on hand to recycle the ball which was whipped out left and thanks to sublime quick hands by Andy Lyon, young Alex Molyneaux crossed near the corner flag.
Scrimshaw was again perfect with the conversion from the touchline 35-0
Just on half time Thornton made up for the earlier missed opportunity. Tidying up a messy lineout in the Sandal 22 he threw a dummy bought by the entire Sandal back line and barge over under the posts.
Scrimshaw conversion 42-0 at half time.
The second half saw Sandal have much more of the ball. The Huddersfield intensity in attack was also apparent in defence. Sandal used their forwards around the fringes. John Sedgewick on at 6 chopped low. Guy Borrowdale smashed the rucks causing havoc. Man of the match Josh Malkinson hit hard and slammed the door shut. Sandal tried their backs…linespeed and passion from the Huddersfield backs repelled them. TVR again at the forefront hitting the opposition centres hard.
On 60 mins this sustained pressure in defence resulted in a spilled ball. A kick through was chased down by Alex Molyneux and Sandal had no choice but to concede a 5 metre scrum. Same as the first half the Sandal pack conceded a penalty try
The try of the game was the final try. Huddersfield facing a 5 metre scrum on their own line. Pressure from Sedgewick on the Sandal 8 repelled the first wave. Linespeed and intensity from the backs pushed Sandal further back. Forwards counter rucking eventually gained a turn over just outside the Huddersfield 22. Wilkinson came into the line as it was shipped right. A lovely pass put Alex Molyneaux into space. Pace, balance, side stepping, power the young man has it all and demonstrated it in a run down the right beating numerous defenders eventually dotting over.
Scrimshaw rounded off his perfect 6/6 day with the boot with the conversion.
This was a performance of passion and pride in defence and attack – exactly what a Huddersfield side is all about.