Huddersfield suffer a heavy defeat in the Yorkshire Dales.
Huddersfield were comprehensively beaten and out played by a spirited and determined Wharfedale team. In a game which the National 2 North form book suggested was a close one to call they lost 43 points to 5 in what turned out to be a very one sided affair.
Field started the game, choosing to kick deep into their hosts 22 and the first ten minutes saw them pressure the Dale defence. They were rewarded with a couple of very kickable penalties which could have given them an early lead but they chose instead to press for a try by going for line outs.
However the tactic back fired when firstly a knock on and secondly a lost line out cost them possession enabling Dale to push playback towards half way. Throughout the game Huddersfield’s line out continued to miss-fire making it difficult to establish any meaningful momentum.
On twelve minutes a penalty for Dale took them into the Huddersfield 22 and after a good break and off load by flanker Matty Houghton Charlie Graham went over on the left wing for the first try. Fly half Tom Barrett kicked the conversion.
Wharfedale had no problems with their line outs with lock Kieran Frost jumping and catching well at the back. It was he who touched down for the second try when driven over in a maul after a five metre line out.
Huddersfield coach Gaz Lewis introduced a couple of personnel changes mid-way through the half, bringing the vastly experienced Nick Sharpe and Tom Owen off the bench to try to establish a bit of go forward. Fly half Harry Davey also had a couple of long range penalty kicks at goal however his team went in at half time with a zero on their side of the scoreboard.
Things didn’t get any better for Huddersfield in the second half. Two minutes in Dale full back Robbie Davidson cut right through the middle of the defence from half way to score under the posts leaving Barrett to make the easiest of conversions. Barrett extended the lead with a penalty moments later.
Scrum half Phil Woodhead secured the bonus point try for his team on fifty minutes, nipping through a gap behind his forwards after another excellent line out. Barrett converted once again.
In the next few minutes Huddersfield did manage to put together some decent phases and take play close to their opponents line. However possession was carelessly lost and Woodhead picked up smartly and slipped a quick pass to Charlie Graham who sprinted home for another classic winger’s try with Barrett bagging the extras.
Wharfedale’s final try came with ten minutes to go. Replacement Steve Graham was the man who scored it after another push over maul from a five metre line out. This time Barrett missed his kick.
In the dying minutes Huddersfield did manage to gain and hold possession, working the ball forward through several continuous phases. Adam Malthouse, Ben Morrill and Richard Piper were amongst those showing good determination. After being on for only five minutes Dale’s replacement hooker Ian Larkin was sin binned for his role in spoiling proceedings and Huddersfield full back Lewis
Workman spilled the ball in a race for the line. Eventually Piper spared Huddersfield’s blushes crashing through for a try which avoided the whitewash.
Richard Sykes, Rugby Union Correspondent Huddersfield Daily Examiner.