By Brandon Reeves
Huddersfield came away from South Yorkshire with a fourth consecutive win after their dominant 34-10 defeat of Sheffield Tigers. Their latest victory puts them fourth in the table.
After being all square at the interval, Field completely swept aside their Yorkshire rivals in the second half scoring an unanswered twenty-four points to secure a momentum-building bonus-point win.
Of their five tries, the best of the bunch was Elliot Knight’s pitch-length effort late in the day to round off the scoring. After Tigers attempted to finish strongly in Field territory.
Without lead point-scoring fly half Mark Ireland for the afternoon, Tigers relied upon their young number ten in Joe Duffy.
Despite having one less threat to worry about, Field went behind in the early exchanges.
A theme which became evident in the first half was Sheffield being able to counter effectively, which is where their first try came from.
A break from Sheffield Tigers saw the backs combine down the right. Jamie Broadley found full back Pete Swatkins who attacked the space, Greg Mellor providing the extra man to receive the pass before running to the corner.
Huddersfield kept their composure and came straight back at their hosts. Their first real advance into dangerous territory bared fruit as the pack worked their way to the line, Harry Whitfield going over for the reply.
Will Milner opened his kicking account for the afternoon by converting, before taking the opportunity to extend Field’s lead with a penalty moments later.
Field were looking comfortable without being troubled, especially so when Tigers were down a man when their man-mountain of a second row Ash Holland was put in the bin.
They soaked up the pressure to their credit, and against the run of play broke away on the left for a score reminiscent of the opener.
Skipper Ed Simmons stole the ball in his own half before sending wing Henri Packard away running up the field. Swatkins, key to the try before was on hand as a man over to this time turn try-scorer, bringing the sides level going into the break.
Honours even at half time, it was anyone’s game on paper, but in reality, Field would have been disappointed not having the lead, given their territorial dominance.
However, their attitude stayed positive and patient, as the second half followed trend.
Pressure was building in Tigers’ half, and for all their defensive efforts before the break, the floodgates would burst open.
Inside the twenty-two Field picked their passes and eventually worked the play into having numbers on the left. Coming out of the ruck, the backs exploited the gaps to play in Lewis Workman, more than willing to run in the score. Milner on hand to kick through again.
Tigers had probably used up all of their defensive reserves as Field’s pack were to drive under the posts soon after.
Direct in their play, Sheffield couldn’t deal with them as Matt Dunn went over at the line to score. Field have proved adept at turning these situations into points recently, and Milner duly converted.
A Tom Hart tackle in the air on Bob Sykes, impressing on his first start, received a yellow straight from the restart, and Field had Tigers in the palm of their hands.
Minutes later, a Field lineout in Tigers’ twenty-two was won back briefly by Sheffield Tigers before it being stripped back. Mark Pease was on hand after the ball was won, to run for the space in the corner and touch down.
Approaching the final ten minutes, the least Sheffield Tigers could do at this stage was finish strongly and have the last say as they went about penning Huddersfield in their own twenty-two.
But Field were even dangerous on the backfoot. Tigers went to the wing to find a way through, but the ball was stolen back, and Elliot Knight saw open space.
A fair way to go on his own, Knight showed the defenders a clean pair of heels on his way to the whitewash. On his return from injury it was the perfect end to a near perfect away performance.
An impressed head coach Gareth Lewis paid tribute to the first half show his side put on.
“The way we performed in the first half shouldn’t be underestimated. It laid the foundations for the win and our defence was excellent.
“To come away from home and reach that level of performance sets the bar high for next week against Tynedale but there is still plenty more to come.”
Hinckley tightened their grip on top spot as they bettered South Leicester to go four points clear.
Hull in second made it back to back wins when they beat Stourbridge, but the sides either side of Field in Sedgley (3rd) and Chester (5th) both fell to defeats as both Peterborough and Leicester Lions recorded maiden wins at their expense.
Fylde were routed by Tynedale 59-12 for Tyne’s first win of the season while Wharfedale also picked up a bonus point win over Preston Grasshoppers.
Macclesfield also got off the mark but still sit joint bottom with Peterborough after beating Otley.