By Brandon Reeves
A week after their biggest win of the season, Huddersfield were brought crashing down to earth with their biggest defeat of the campaign, being the wrong end of a 9-try-haul for the second time in the space of a month.
An emphatic second-half from hosts Chester in which they routed ‘Field with seven tries saw them march to a 57-10 victory at Hare Lane.
While it puts the Cheshire men level on points with top-spot, Huddersfield are now fourth with three games to go and it’s likely that all hopes of a top-two finish are dashed.
The score tells half the story in what was, until half-time at least, an evenly fought game of rugby on Chester’s artificial turf.
The sides went in 12-10 at the break before Chester bolstered promotion ambitions, scoring an unanswered fourty-five points in the second period.
Sean Green got the ball rolling after a tetchy start. The full back stretched an arm over the line from close range to get his side going, from which James Robins opened his account with the boot.
‘Field’s response was impressive as the game was being played with an intensity from either side.
Following a Joseph Kyle yellow after a succession of conceding penalties, Huddersfield found their way back into the match.
A fine break from Will Milner set them from their own half on their way to the try line. Lewis Workman was in-tow, so too was Joe Green who ran in his third in four.
Johnson did his duties not long before kicking a penalty to give his side a slender advantage against the 14 men.
But Chester, shorthanded, had the final say in the half. Shay Owen, Chester’s mobile no.8 who would get a hattrick, wriggled free and touched down to send his side in two points to the good.
They then produced a superlative half of rugby to demolish the travelling Yorkshiremen. Their running game sliced through Field, their rucking was abrasive and fast, defence was tight and Field had no answers to it.
Back row David Ford was first up with his first of a brace. Chester had numbers down the left and Ford ran in the converted try.
Shay Owen was soon at it again, breaking through after a Lineout to finish under the posts giving Robins an easy conversion.
Next, Sean Green was in for his second from wide right, Chester moved the ball across with speed before running into the corner. Robins hitting the post this time.
Rhodri Parry benefitted from Chester’s speed of movement next as he went in by the sticks for a converted try.
The bombardment just kept on coming at ‘Field, who will have found themselves wondering what hit them.
David ford leapt into the gap at ‘Field’s line after a number of phases penned them back. His second, Chester’s seventh, Robins’ fifth conversion.
It was Owen with the penultimate try that secured the hattrick as it was looking all too easy for the hosts.
Tom Foden put the gloss on proceedings with his converted try minutes from time, leaving Field needing to bounce back with some potentially great games of rugby around the corner.
Gareth Lewis credited Chester for their performance, but admitted his side fell short when required.
“Firstly, credit must go to Chester for the way they blew us away in the second half. The game was on a knife edge at half time but you can’t defend in that way and expect to keep out a good team.
“Ultimately we dropped off too many tackles were unable to slow down the ruck speed when we lost players to injury.
“Today was very disappointing, but we’ve responded to setbacks a number of times this season and we must do it once again.”