Huddersfield get back to winning ways with a strong second half showing.
After an indecisive first forty minutes Huddersfield finished strongly to earn their eleventh National 2 North win. They scored five tries in the second half to secure the Yorkshire derby double over struggling Sheffield by 44 points to 10.
Huddersfield lost the services of Nick Sharpe early on. The flanker was yellow carded following a technical infringement after five minutes but Joel Hinchliffe gave fourteen man Field a three point lead with a penalty during his time out.
Thereafter the visitors dominated territory and looked the more threatening of the two sides. They went in front with a touch line try by winger Gareth Morley which was magnificently converted by scrum half Steve Depledge. However a series of knock-ons and unforced errors prevented them extending their advantage and when Sheffield prop Tom Marples was sin binned for reckless play after 20 minutes Hinchliffe narrowed the gap with his second penalty kick.
At the set piece Sheffield looked solid at the line outs with lock Dom Parsons taking a lot of clean ball. However Huddersfield were dominating the scrummages, posing problems for their visitors and gaining an attacking edge.
Having survived a prolonged defensive spell in their own half without any change to the score Huddersfield seized on a late chance to take a half time lead. A well judged kick behind the Sheffield line by centre Will Milner forced a defensive throw in 10 metres out. Uncharacteristically the ball was slapped to the ground at the jump and Field secured the turnover. The ball was moved swiftly along the three quarter line, eventually reaching Tom Owen in the centre who rolled out of the tackle for a try.
Huddersfield made a lively start to the second half and pegged their visitors back inside their 22. Lock Dave Clayton became the second Sheffield player to visit the sin bin after an illegal attempt to halt the go forward and although Hinchliffe missed his kick at goal his team took control of the game with three tries in ten minutes.
Winger Brandon Conway got the first. Huddersfield had taken possession behind a Sheffield scrum and when the ball reached him on the flank he grubbed it forward into the in goal and won the foot chase to touch down.
Front row men Ben Morrill and Francis Entressengle got the next two. Both players managed to break powerfully from congested situations in the fifteen metre channel to score behind the posts. Hinchliffe had no trouble adding the extras.
Although Sheffield had taken their tally into double figures with a second Depledge penalty they had lost their rhythm and were looking beleaguered. A penalty kick to touch set up an attacking line out for Huddersfield which resulted in a powerful maul being driven towards the line. When it was brought down illegally just short Marples was held responsible and referee Harry Walbaum flashed yellow and red cards in quick succession and awarded the penalty try.
From the penalty kick re-start Huddersfield took possession of the ball and held it through several well worked phases, their visitors desperately trying to halt the building momentum. Eventually second row Adam Malthouse proved too strong a man to stop and burst clear to run in the final try of the match. With two minutes left Hinchliffe added the final two points with the conversion.
Richard Sykes, Rugby Union Correspondent Huddersfield Daily Examiner.
Men of the match…
Huddersfield….Hooker Ben Morrill. Always a threat in the loose, making several powerful breaks. He scored a try and gave 100%.
Sheffield…No.8 Gareth Burns. Showed a lot of character in defence and did very well at the back of the scrums which Huddersfield were dominating.