Sweet bitter day for Huddersfield at Blaydon.
With a biting easterly sweeping horizontally across the Crowtrees pitch Huddersfield secured a 26 points to 15 win to climb to sixth place in National 2 North.
Having kicked deep Blaydon missed a good chance to take a lead from the off after a penalty award. The strong wind carried the ball wide and was destined to thwart their attempts at goal throughout the afternoon.
The first of Huddersfield’s four tries came after 5 minutes. A good centre field break by full back Lewis Workman took play into the Blaydon half with centre Tom Owen cutting a good supporting line to run in the score. Scrum half Joel Hinchliffe, untroubled by the wind, added the conversion.
When Blaydon returned to the attack Huddersfield winger Danny Grainger was shown the yellow card for a deliberate knock on and Blaydon number 8 Keith Laughlin put his team on the scoresheet with a try on 20 minutes. A penalty to touch had set up a line out which was nicely taken and driven over in the corner.
Although Blaydon’s young backs were showing a readiness to run the ball good defence prevented them going ahead and after half an hour they were two tries behind. A knock on in defence gave Huddersfield solid ball at the scrum and although several good tackles were put in eventually prop Adam Blades crashed over the line for the first of them.
Huddersfield were dominating the scrummages and when Blaydon were penalised 10 metres from their line a scrum option was taken which led to the next. Clean ball was moved right and winger Elliot Knight went in on the overlap. Workman landed an excellent long range conversion.
With half time approaching Huddersfield looked like going in with a comfortable lead. However they were uncharacteristically penalised on their own put in at a scrummage and lock Jack Davidson touched down after another line out and drive.
A snow blizzard greeted the teams after the break and it was the hosts who made the early running. With the visitors struggling for possession a combination of knock-ons, poor decision making and excellent defence meant the score stayed the same with Blaydon being twice held up over the line.
Having withstood the early pressure Huddersfield managed to take play back into their opponents half. Good moves, solid scrums and good breaks created promise but on three separate occasions possession was lost at the breakdown. Eventually though the bonus point try came.
Prop Alex Battye charged down a kick which turned the Blaydon defence. They were penalised and Number 8 Richard Piper made the decisive break after the scrummage to set up lock Austen Thompson for the try which Workman converted.
The score seemed to settle Huddersfield and they re-captured their rhythm and finished the match strongly. Francis Entressengle and Piper combined well to take play forward and flanker Ben Morrill produced a fine solo break but it was Blaydon who got the final try of the match.
Having squandered a try scoring overlap earlier in the half they made no mistake with a second when replacement prop Calum Eastwood went over for a try in the final move of the match.