Huddersfield earn bonus point win in a blistering first twenty minutes.
Huddersfield scored four tries in a devastating opening quarter and went on to secure a National 2 North derby double over Sheffield Tigers with a 31 points to 10 victory at Lockwood Park.
The home side hit the ground running getting the first of their five tries after only three minutes. Having taken good ball from an attacking line out flanker Ben Morrill powered through the Tiger’s defence to establish the platform for lock Austen Thompson to score.
Seven minutes later referee Michael Woods awarded Huddersfield a penalty try. Huddersfield centre Tom Owen made the decisive break and with a comfortable left side overlap on for what looked like a certainty Tiger’s fly half Tom Farrell was shown the yellow card for illegally interfering with it.
Two more tries by Owen and Morrill followed in quick succession during Farrell’s enforced absence. Owen once again spliced through the Tigers line touching down after a neat passing exchange with Lewis Bradley. Morrill took his chance when Tigers over threw a line out, brushing would be tacklers to one side to crash over near the posts. Scrum half Joel Hinchliffe added two more points with the conversion.
With the bonus point secured the home side found themselves defending in the second quarter. A penalty kick to touch took the visitors into the Huddersfield half and some good tackles and turnovers were produced to keep them at bay.
On the half hour Huddersfield counter attacked well. With Tigers penalised at the breakdown referee Woods reversed his decision when hooker Francis Entressengle joined it with a swinging arm and he finished the half in the sin bin.
With half time approaching winger Danny Grainger and lock Adam Malthouse both came close to scoring for Huddersfield and Huddersfield skipper Alex Battye and Tigers No.8 Frank Wragg were sent to join Entressengle in the bin after an altercation between the pair.
Deep into stoppage time another fine break by Morrill led to a second try for Thompson which Workman converted from wide out bringing an end to an entertaining forty minutes of rugby.
The Tigers started the second period in determined mood going on to produce a classic game of two halves. Having held continuous possession in the opening minutes North 2’s leading try scorer Jamie Broadly added to his tally rounding off a fine move in the centre.
On fifty minutes, with all thirty players back on the park, Huddersfield’s replacement flanker Ben Hoyle took up one of the vacant seats in the sin bin after Mr. Woods flashed his yellow card for the fourth and final time.
Tigers pressed strongly and came close shortly after Hoyle’s departure and when Huddersfield were penalised the resulting lineout led to their second score. The ball was taken well at the throw in and a well constructed maul was set up behind it. With the ball securely at the back of it hooker Tom Coates peeled off for the try after a steady drive towards the line.
Although Huddersfield didn’t add to their tally in the second half they did have their moments. On three occasions they produced very dynamic breaks but each time, when things looked promising, they lost possession in contact.
The bonus point win leaves Huddersfield in a solid sixth place in the table with only two games remaining.
Richard Sykes, Rugby Union Correspondent Huddersfield Daily Examiner.